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Ceasefire response from Israel 'negative', Hamas says

Ceasefire response from Israel 'negative', Hamas says following renewed talks
17 min read
20 March, 2024
Following the latest round of meetings in Doha, Israel's response to Hamas' ceasefire proposal was reportedly 'generally negative'.

Israel's response to Hamas' latest ceasefire proposal was "generally negative", senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan said on Wednesday after mediators handed it over.

Hamdan, who is based in Beirut, told a news conference that mediators had relayed Israel's position to them on Tuesday after the latest meetings, explaining that it was "generally negative... and constitutes a step backwards".

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is due to land in the region this week in his sixth visit since the start of the war. Blinken will reportedly visit Tel Aviv on Friday after meetings in Riyadh and Cairo.

As the talks went on, Israel's three-day siege on the Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City continued. The military claimed on Wednesday it had killed "90 gunmen" inside the hospital , which it says is a base for Hamas fighters, without providing any evidence, and arrested some 160 people after conducting aggressive searches and raids.

The siege has forced scores of people, including sick patients, to leave the hospital and seek refuge further south in Deir al-Balah, which has also been subject to Israeli air strikes.

On the 166th day of the war in Gaza, 31,923 people have been killed and 74,096 have been wounded since October.