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 see its hostages in the Palestinian territory freed and would reply.
With the death toll from nearly nine months of war mounting and conditions worsening daily for Gazans, both sides are under increased international pressure to agree a ceasefire.
Israel says there can be no halt to hostilities until Hamas releases all of its hostages.
Qatar, working with the United States, has been leading the mediation.
“We exchanged some ideas with the mediator brothers with the aim of stopping the aggression against our Palestinian people,” a Hamas statement said.
The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Mossad intelligence service confirmed the new approach.
“The hostages deal mediators have conveyed to the negotiating team Hamas’s remarks on the outline of the hostages deal. Israel is evaluating the remarks and will convey its reply to the mediators,” said an Israeli statement.
According to a source with knowledge of the talks, “the Qataris, in coordination with the United States, have been engaging with Hamas and Israel over the past weeks in an attempt to bridge the remaining gaps.”