Israel Awaits Hamas Response to Cease-Fire Plan: Live Updates

A destroyed building in Rafah, Gaza, on Sunday.Credit…Haitham Imad/EPA, through Shutterstock

Israel was ready on Monday for Hamas officers to reply to a proposal to pause the preventing within the Gaza Strip and launch the remaining hostages there, as Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken headed again to the area looking for to rally help for such a deal.

A broadcaster affiliated with Hamas, Al-Aqsa, reported on Sunday that Hamas was nonetheless holding consultations on the proposal, every week after it was formulated. Leaders of the group had beforehand signaled that substantial gaps remained between the 2 sides, at the same time as representatives from the United States, Egypt and Qatar sought frequent floor.

Mr. Blinken, who was set to go to Saudi Arabia first, is hoping to advance talks on a collection of interlocking offers to finish the battle in Gaza, and a deal for a hostage launch will probably be central to that effort.

Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s nationwide safety adviser, advised CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that “the ball is in Hamas’s court.”

A deal that may launch hostages, pause preventing and permit humanitarian help to attain Gaza is of “paramount” significance, he added.

“We’re going to press for it relentlessly, as the president has done, including recently in calls with the leaders of Egypt and Qatar, the two countries that are our central brokers in this effort,” Mr. Sullivan mentioned.

The Hamas-led assaults of Oct. 7, throughout which Israeli officers have mentioned about 1,200 individuals have been killed and greater than 200 others taken hostage, ignited a battle with Israel and touched off a wider disaster within the Middle East. Israel has traded hearth with members of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Houthi militia that controls a part of Yemen has fired on ships touring to and from the Suez Canal.

Other Iran-backed militants have launched assaults in opposition to U.S. bases within the area, together with one just lately that killed three U.S. troopers in Jordan.

The United States has responded to the Houthi assaults with repeated strikes, together with on Sunday, and to the Jordan assault with a separate collection of army strikes this weekend in opposition to Iranian forces and the militias they help at seven websites in Syria and Iraq. Top U.S. nationwide safety officers mentioned on Sunday that additional retaliation in opposition to Iran-backed militias was nonetheless deliberate.

But Mr. Sullivan mentioned he believed these efforts have been a separate situation from the talks supposed to attain a cease-fire deal that has eluded each side since a one-week pause in November.

“We believe that the steps that we took on Friday and the steps we took against the Houthis last night are not connected to the hostage negotiations,” he advised NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And we believe that now, at this point, it’s up to Hamas to come forward and respond to what is a serious proposal.”

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