The terrorist group Hamas says it has presented its response to the US proposal for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip to Qatari and Egyptian mediators. They are ready to negotiate positively to reach an agreement, Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad organization said on Tuesday. Their priority is to end the war completely.

The response “puts the interests of our Palestinian people first and emphasizes the need for a complete halt to the ongoing aggression against the Gaza Strip,” said a joint statement by the radical Islamic groups on Tuesday. The exact content of their response to the mediators initially remained unclear.

A senior Hamas official, Osama Hamdan, told Lebanese television station Al-Majadin that the group had submitted some comments on the proposal to the mediators, but he did not provide details. The foreign ministries of Qatar and Egypt said they were studying the response and would continue their mediation efforts together with the United States.

The White House also said it was examining Hamas’ response. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had previously called on Hamas to accept the proposal, which the world supports. The UN Security Council voted in favor of the proposal on Monday and adopted a corresponding resolution.

The proposal, announced by US President Joe Biden in May, calls for a ceasefire in three phases. The agreement is expected to result in the full release of hostages still held by the extremists – in return for a permanent ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip. There are said to still be up to 120 hostages there who were abducted from Israel in the Hamas terror attack on October 7. However, it is believed that about a third of them are no longer alive.