Hamas has proposed a ceasefire plan that would quiet the guns in Gaza for four-and-a-half months leading to an end to the war, in response to a proposal sent last week by Qatari and Egyptian mediators and backed by the United States and Israel.
According to a draft document seen by media oultets, the Hamas counterproposal envisions three phases lasting 45 days each.
The proposal would see Hamas release Israeli women, males under 19, the elderly, and the sick in exchange for Palestinian women and children’s release from Israeli jails.
The remaining male hostages will be released in the second phase, and by the third phase, Hamas expects an agreement on an end to the war.
Israeli forces would withdraw completely, and bodies and remains would be exchanged.
The Gaza-governing group has proposed the release of 1500 prisoners, with a third chosen from the list of Palestinians sentenced to life by Israel.
The group also aims to increase the flow of aid to Gaza’s desperate civilians, who are facing hunger and shortages of basic supplies.
Dozens of Israelis entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, conducting religious ceremonies and “provocative tours of its courtyards”, according to eyewitnesses.
Israeli forces prevented Muslim worshippers from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayers.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, home to the Dome of the Rock and the 8th-century Qibli Mosque is forbidden for Jews due to its sacred nature, Arab media reported.