Senior Hamas official criticizes U.S., West's calls on group to accept Biden's Gaza proposal

Aftermath of an Israeli strike on an area designated for displaced people, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip

CAIRO (Reuters) - Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri criticised Washington and the West's calls for it to accept a ceasefire proposal advanced by U.S. President Joe Biden, saying on Tuesday it was "as if it is Hamas who is hampering the deal".

In comments reported by Hamas media, Abu Zuhri said Israel was not serious about reaching a deal in Gaza and was still manoeuvring under U.S. cover.

Biden on Friday laid out a three-phase ceasefire proposal from Israel to 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.

Hamas said on Friday it had a positive view of the contents of the proposal.

The United States said on Sunday that if Hamas accepted the proposed plan it expected Israel to follow suit.

"This was an Israeli proposal. We have every expectation that if Hamas agrees to the proposal, as was transmitted to them, an Israeli proposal, that Israel would say yes," White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told ABC News.

Qatar, which has been mediating on Gaza between Israel and Hamas, stressed that there should be a clear position from both parties to reach a ceasefire deal.

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

(Reporting by Nidal Al-Mughrabi, Writing by Clauda Tanios; Editing by Michael Georgy and Alex Richardson)