Strikes rock Gaza as major powers push for truce

Heavy fighting rocked Gaza on Tuesday after G7 and Arab powers urged both Israel and Hamas to agree to a truce and hostage release deal outlined by U.S. President Joe Biden.

Mediator Qatar said it had yet to see statements from either side "that give us a lot of confidence", but the foreign ministry said Doha was "working with both sides on proposals on the table".

Washington said it would seek a U.N. Security Council resolution to back the three-phase roadmap which Biden presented last Friday as Israel's plan, even as the war has ground on.

Under the proposal, fighting would stop for an initial six weeks and hostages would be swapped for Palestinian prisoners, ahead of the start of a phase to rebuild Gaza, Biden said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has, however, stressed that fighting would only have to cease temporarily to free the captives, and that Israel still plans to destroy Hamas.

A statement from the premier's office said Israel's war cabinet was meeting in Jerusalem on Tuesday, but no further details were given.

A source with knowledge of the truce negotiations said CIA chief Bill Burns would be "returning to Doha... to continue working with mediators on reaching an agreement between Hamas and Israel on a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of hostages."

Biden told Qatar's emir that "Hamas is now the only obstacle to a complete ceasefire", and "confirmed Israel's readiness to move forward" with the terms he set out last week.

Hamas, which has long ruled the Palestinian territory of 2.4 million people, said Friday it viewed Biden's outline "positively".

But a senior Hamas official in Beirut on Tuesday accused Israel of seeking "endless" truce negotiations, and repeated the group's...

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