Israel 'evaluating' Hamas 'ideas' for ceasefire in Gaza

Israel has said it is "evaluating" new comments put forward by Palestinian group Hamas aimed at bringing about a long-awaited ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas militant group said Wednesday it has sent new "ideas" to Qatari mediators aimed at ending the nearly nine-month Gaza war with Israel.

Israel confirmed that it was "evaluating" Hamas "comments" on a deal to free its hostages in the Palestinian territory and would reply.

With the death toll mounting and conditions worsening daily for Gazans, both sides are under increased international pressure to agree a ceasefire -- more recently based on a roadmap pushed by US President Joe Biden.

Hamas has demanded "a permanent ceasefire and complete withdrawal" of Israeli troops from Gaza.

Israel says there can be no halt to hostilities until Hamas releases all hostages seized during the October 7 attacks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also repeatedly vowed that Israel's Gaza campaign will not end until Hamas's military and governing capabilities are destroyed.

Qatar, working closely with the United States, has been leading mediation efforts.

"We exchanged some ideas with the mediator brothers with the aim of stopping the aggression against our Palestinian people," a Hamas statement said.

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