Hamas Says It Agrees to Ceasefire Proposal in Gaza War

People flee the eastern parts of Rafah after the Israeli military began evacuating Palestinian civilians ahead of a threatened assault on the southern Gazan city, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Monday.

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (Reuters) – Militant group Hamas on Monday agreed to a ceasefire proposal in the seven-month-old war with Israel in Gaza, hours after the Israeli military told residents to evacuate some parts of Rafah, which has been sheltering more than a million displaced people.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh informed Qatari and Egyptian mediators that the group accepted their ceasefire proposal, according to a brief statement from Hamas, which gave no details of the accord.

The agreement, should it take effect, would be the first truce since a week-long pause in the fighting in November, and follows months of failed attempts at pausing the fighting to free hostages and allow more aid into Gaza.

There had been concerns that the ceasefire talks being held in Cairo had stalled after Hamas official Izzat al-Rashiq warned that any Israeli operation in Rafah would put the truce talks in jeopardy.

The city, on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip, has been the last sanctuary for around half of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents, pushed south by Israel’s seven-month-old assault.