Hamas briefs Hezbollah on proposal for ceasefire, Hezbollah welcomes step, sources say

The Palestinian militant group Hamas informed its ally Hezbollah it had agreed to a proposal for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the leader of the powerful Lebanese group welcomed the step, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

A Hamas delegation headed by the group’s deputy leader Khalil Al-Hayya briefed Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah about the latest developments at a meeting in Beirut, the sources said.

Iran-backed Hezbollah said in a statement earlier that Nasrallah and Hayya had discussed the latest developments in negotiations aimed at reaching a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Hezbollah and Israel have been trading fire for nearly nine months in hostilities that have played out in parallel to the Gaza conflict, raising fears of an all-out war between the heavily armed adversaries.

Hezbollah has said its campaign of rocket and drone attacks on northern Israel has aimed to support Palestinians under Israeli bombardment in Gaza.

One of the sources, a Hezbollah official, told Reuters that the group would cease fire as soon as any Gaza ceasefire agreement takes effect, echoing previous statements from the group. “If there is a Gaza agreement, then from zero hour there will be a ceasefire in Lebanon,” the official said.

The Hezbollah statement said Nasrallah received Hamas deputy chief Hayya for the meeting, which reviewed “the latest security and political developments” in the Gaza Strip.

“They also discussed the latest developments in the ongoing negotiations these days, their atmosphere, and the proposals presented to reach an end to the treacherous aggression against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip,” the statement said.

A senior U.S. administration official said on Thursday that Hamas had made a pretty significant adjustment in its position over a potential hostage release deal with Israel, expressing hope that it would lead to a pact that would be a step to a permanent ceasefire.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday he would send a delegation to resume negotiations, and an Israeli official said his country’s team would be led by the head of the Mossad intelligence agency.

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