Hamas demands written commitment from Israel on Gaza truce

Hamas has demanded a "clear written commitment" that Israel will withdraw from the Gaza Strip during the second of a three-phase ceasefire deal, a senior Egyptian official and a Hamas official said yesterday.

"We confirm our readiness to reach a deal regarding a serious exchange of prisoners between the two sides," Hamas said.

The statment came after Israel said earlier yesterday that Hamas rejected the latest proposal for a deal submitted last week.

The Egyptian official said Hamas wants "a comprehensive, phased deal" that included ending the war, Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and an agreement of all hostages in return for a large number of Palestinian prisoners.

Israel's Mossad spy agency said in a statement released by Netanyahu's office that Hamas' rejection "proves" that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar "does not want a humanitarian deal and the return of the hostages."

Sinwar was "continuing to exploit the tension with Iran", Mossad said, and was aiming for "a general escalation in the region."

The comments came just hours before Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel, the vast majority of which intercepted according to Israel.

Mossad said Israel would "continue to work to achieve the objectives of the war against Hamas with all its might and will turn every stone to bring back the hostages from Gaza".

Despite the apparent gulf between the two sides, the talks, mediated by Egypt, the United States and Qatar, are ongoing in the Egyptian capital.

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