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Hamas Drops Key Demand, Clearing Way For Potential Ceasefire

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Hamas gave initial approval for a proposed ceasefire deal after dropping one of its key demands, the Associated Press reported.

Hamas, which launched the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that took hundreds hostage and killed 1,200 people, agreed to no longer seek a commitment from Israel to completely end the war, according to the AP, citing an Egyptian and a Hamas official. The proposal would stop the fighting for six weeks, with the terrorist group releasing female, ill and older hostages in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and Israel withdrawing from the northern portion of Gaza.

The two sides would then negotiate the return of the remaining hostages in exchange for prisoners, with an eventual rebuilding program to be established, the AP reported. The proposal is backed by the United States.

President Joe Biden has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept a ceasefire deal, saying during an April phone call that an “immediate ceasefire” is “essential.”

Israeli forces freed four hostages on June 8 in raids on two locations in the central Gaza refugee camp of Nuseirat. The freed hostages included Noa Argamani, Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov and Shlomi Ziv.

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