A senior Hamas official said they expect a swift response from the Israeli delegation regarding the new cease-fire and hostage deal proposal, within Friday or early Saturday.

With Israeli negotiators scheduled to arrive in Qatar for talks with mediators, Osama Hamdan insisted that the group’s military wing remains “in a good condition” to keep up the nine-month-old war.

Hamdan said there were no new concrete proposals in a document sent to Israel this week but “some ideas were proposed to overcome” Israeli reticence about a cease-fire.

“We are waiting to hear a response, likely today or tomorrow morning,” he said.

“If the response is positive, then we will discuss these ideas in detail because we will enter into the implementation discussion of these ideas, which… will not take long.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to send the head of the Mossad intelligence service, David Barnea, to Doha for talks with Qatari mediators and his delegation was expected to arrive on Friday.

Because of the devastation of the war, both sides face mounting international and domestic pressure to halt the conflict.

Israel’s attacks have killed at least 38,011 Palestinians, mostly civilians, according to the Gazan health ministry.

“The goal of negotiations is to cease the aggression, withdraw forces and allow the Palestinian people to rebuild Gaza, including shelter, relief and other details,” Hamdan said.

“Ultimately, a fair and suitable prisoner exchange deal must be completed.”

Netanyahu has said there can be no halt to hostilities until all hostages are freed. He has also insisted that Israel will not stop its campaign to destroy Hamas’s military and governance capabilities.

‘Ball in Israel’s court’

U.S. President Joe Biden announced a pathway to a truce deal in May which he said had been proposed by Israel. This included a six-week truce to allow for talks, the release of hostages and eventually a program to rebuild devastated Gaza.

Hamdan blamed Israel for the deadlock since Biden’s announcement.

“The Israeli side has made every effort to complicate matters and obstruct progress.”

The Hamas leadership is “not talking about a new proposal nor something new,” the official said. Talks would be on the existing proposals.

“There are some ideas that have pushed things forward, and that is what has been discussed.”

He said the ideas had been “conveyed by the mediators to the American side, which welcomed them and passed them on to the Israeli side. Now the ball is in the Israeli court.”

He said the Doha talks “will be a test for the U.S. administration to see if it is willing to pressure the Zionist entity to accept these proposed ideas.”

The official said that if the talks fail, Hamas is ready to keep fighting. “I can say that, by the grace of God, the capabilities of the resistance remain in a good condition that allows it to continue.”

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