Israel and Gaza live updates: Ceasefire negotiations have reached a “critical stage,” US says

Israeli Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement on Monday that the current proposal put forward by Hamas “has major gaps.”

He added, “Despite that, we continue to turn over every stone, and a delegation will head to Cairo.”

Gantz said that “every decision will be presented to the war council,” which consists of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant and himself.

– ABC News’ Dana Safire

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that the United States is reviewing Hamas’ response to the ceasefire proposal.

Kirby did not reveal many details about where the negotiations were, but he said they had reached a “critical stage.”

“I don’t know that it’s ever been more sensitive than it is now,” Kirby said. “The worst thing we can do is start speculating about what it contains.”

– ABC News’ Molly Nagle

A senior Israeli official familiar with the negotiations said that they had received a response from Hamas to the ceasefire proposal.

This is not the same proposal that was under discussion, the official said, adding that it will now be studied.

The official added that it will take some time before Israel officially responds.

The Israeli war cabinet is now being discussed, according to an Israeli political source.

Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said Israel would consider all options to repatriate the hostages, including the latest response from Hamas, and said they would continue operations in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement, the Israeli Hostage Center urged the government to accept the deal. The statement said, “We welcome Hamas’ announcement to strengthen the ceasefire, which encourages the return of the 132 kidnapped persons who have been detained by Hamas for seven months.” “Now is the time for the Israeli government to practically prove its commitment to its citizens – the government must take Hamas’ approval and turn it into a deal for everyone’s return! The return of the kidnapped is the key to the Israeli solution.” protection!”

– Jordana Miller and William Gretzky, ABC News

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