Hamas 'agrees ceasefire deal' brokered by Egypt and Qatar

Hamas 'agrees ceasefire deal' brokered by Egypt and Qatar

The Hamas leadership has said it has accepted the terms of a ceasefire deal in Gaza.

In a statement the group says it has informed Qatari and Egyptian mediators of its decision.

The details are yet to be announce with how long it will last and what this means for hostages being held in Gaza yet to established.

Hamas officials say the “ball is now in Israel's court” after the group has indicated it would accept the terms of a ceasefire plan.

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will send a delegation to negotiate but the terms as they stand are not acceptable for his country which was attacked by Hamas on October 7.

In a statement published on its official website, Hamas says its leader Ismail Haniyeh conducted a telephone call with the prime minister of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani,

Also on the call, which confirmed the acceptance of the deal, was Egyptian intelligence minister Abbas Kamel.

Under the proposed deal there would be two 42 day ceasefires in which Israeli troops would gradually be withdrawn.

Israeli hostages would be released in a phased plan with some Palestinians in Israeli jails also let go.

Israel's military spokesperson said all proposals regarding negotiations to free hostages in Gaza are examined seriously and that in parallel it continues to operate in Gaza, echoing the words of his prime minister.

Asked during a media briefing whether Hamas saying it accepted a ceasefire proposal would impact a planned offensive in Rafah, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said: "We examine every answer and response in the most serious manner and are exhausting every possibility regarding negotiations and returning the hostages."

"In parallel, we are still operating in the Gaza Strip and will continue to do so," he said.

Meanwhile the United States is studying Hamas's response to a ceasefire proposal and will discuss it with allies in the Middle East in the coming hours, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

"I can confirm that Hamas has issued a response. We are reviewing that response now and discussing it with our partners in the region," Miller said on Monday afternoon, confirming that a response was received in the last hour or 90 minutes and that discussions would take place in the coming hours.

CIA director Bill Burns is in the region "working on this in real time," Miller said.

Meanwhile images have emerged of people cheering outside Al Aqsa hospital in Central Gaza after the Hamas statement.

However, officially Israel is still planning for a ground invasion of Rafah.

The Israeli army has told Palestinians to begin evacuating eastern Rafah in anticipation of such a move.

There were reports of Israeli airstrikes in the area as details of the proposed ceasefire were emerging.

Military spokesperson Nadav Shoshani said that “around 100,000 people” are being ordered to move to a nearby Israel-declared humanitarian zone called Muwasi in preparation for the expected assault.

The evacuation “is part of our plans to dismantle Hamas...we had a violent reminder of their presence and their operational abilities in Rafah yesterday,” the military spokesman said on Monday.