White House reviews Hamas response to Gaza ceasefire proposal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Monday said it was reviewing a response by the Islamist Hamas militant group to a ceasefire and hostage release proposal, as it continued to press Israel to halt plans for a ground invasion of Rafah.

Hamas earlier said in a brief statement that its chief, Ismail Haniyeh, had informed Qatari and Egyptian mediators that the group accepted their proposal for a ceasefire.

CIA Director Williams Burns was in the region having discussions on the proposal, White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters. He declined to provide any details, saying he did not want to jeopardize any progress toward a deal.

"We want to get these hostages out, we want to get a ceasefire in place for six weeks, we want to increase humanitarian assistance," Kirby said, adding that reaching an agreement would be the "absolute best outcome."

(Reporting by Steve Holland; writing by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chris Reese and Cynthia Osterman)