Qatar says current Gaza ceasefire proposal is closer in positions of both sides

Qatar's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Majed Al-Ansari speaks during weekly press briefing, in Doha

DUBAI/DOHA (Reuters) -Qatar said on Tuesday it delivered an Israeli proposal to Hamas that reflected the positions stated by U.S. President Joe Biden, adding that the paper was now much closer to the positions of both sides.

Qatar, which has been mediating on Gaza between Israel and Hamas, also stressed that there should be a clear position from both parties to reach a ceasefire deal, its foreign ministry spokesperson said in a press briefing.

"We are waiting for a clear Israeli position that represents the entire government in response to the U.S.'s Gaza proposal," Majed Al-Ansari added.

Biden on Friday laid out a three-phase ceasefire proposal from Israel to Palestinian Islamist group Hamas to end the war in Gaza that has killed tens of thousands and caused a humanitarian crisis.

The offer calls for a ceasefire, the release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners, and the reconstruction of Gaza.

"The ceasefire deal should immediately end the long suffering of all people in Gaza and the hostages and their families and provide a roadmap for a permanent ceasefire and an end to the crisis", al-Ansari said.

Qatar said that it was still waiting to reach language that was agreed by both parties.

"We are now using our best efforts to finalise an agreement," al-Ansari added.

(Reporting by Jana Choukeir, Clauda Tanios, Nayera Abdallah in Dubai and Andrew Mills in Doha; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Alex Richardson)