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Netanyahu Spurns Hamas Offer for Gaza Cease-Fire

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Under Hamas’s proposal, both sides would observe a three-stage cease-fire over 135 days, with each stage lasting 45 days. In the first stage, Israeli forces would retreat from Gaza’s residential areas. In the next phase, the Israeli military would leave Gaza altogether.

During the first two phases, Hamas would release Israelis and foreign nationals held hostage in Gaza, while Israel would release at least some of the more than 8,000 Palestinians held in its jails. Before the second phase ends, an agreement would need to be reached for a “complete calm,” in Gaza, the plan states.

During the third phase, both Israel and Hamas would swap dead bodies held in their custody.

More than 250 people were taken hostage in Israel on Oct. 7, according to Israeli officials. Almost half were freed in an earlier deal. About 100 hostages are believed to still be alive.

As part of the first phase, Hamas is demanding the release of all Palestinian women, children and older adults being held in Israeli prisons, as well as the ailing. In exchange, Hamas would release all the hostages in those same categories, except for female soldiers.

Another 1,500 Palestinian prisoners would also be released during the first phase, including 500 serving long sentences for their involvement in deadly attacks against Israelis.

In Gaza, Palestinians would be allowed to return to their homes during the first stage of the cease-fire, under the Hamas proposal. Mr. Netanyahu has said Israel won’t allow displaced Palestinians to return to their homes in northern Gaza as long as fighting there continues.

The Hamas plan also calls for at least 500 trucks of aid, fuel and other goods to be allowed to enter Gaza every day.

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