Israel will “never agree” to a recent ceasefire proposal from Hamas, NBC News reported Wednesday.
“The fact that Hamas is asking for a ceasefire for Israelis to withdraw its forces, that’s something that Israel will never agree to,” a source in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office told the outlet.
The source referenced a proposal Hamas submitted to Israel earlier Wednesday, which Reuters reported. It would consist of three 45-day truce phases. The first would see the release of Hamas’s Israeli hostages—males under 19, women, and the elderly—and of Palestinian women and children from jails in Israel, as well as the withdrawal of IDF troops from populated areas of the Gaza Strip.
After the two sides come up with a plan to completely end the war, the second phase would begin, in which Hamas would release the remaining men it holds hostage, and Israel would fully withdraw its forces from the enclave, per Reuters. Then, the two sides would exchange the remains of the dead in the third phase.
Hamas’s proposal also includes provisions for aid trucks to enter Gaza and a three-year plan to rebuild destroyed buildings in the enclave, as well as freedom of movement for its residents, who would be allowed to return to their homes, according to a separate report from NBC.
The terror group’s three-stage plan comes in response to its consideration of an earlier proposal from the United States and Israel that called for the release of hostages.
Israeli officials have long vowed to continue the war until Hamas’s complete destruction in response to the group’s Oct. 7 terror attacks, but they have faced pressure from the families of the hostages to cut a deal that would secure their loved ones’ release. A Tuesday report found that Israel believes a fifth of the remaining hostages in Hamas captivity are dead.