BEIRUT (NEWSnet/AP) — Hamas said Tuesday that it gave Qatari and Egyptian mediators its reply to the U.S.-backed proposal for a cease-fire in Gaza, with some “remarks” on the deal.

It appeared the reply was short of an outright acceptance that the United States has been pushing for, but the group said it was ready to keep working to reach an agreement.

On his eighth visit to the region, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.N. Security Council’s vote in favor of the U.S.-backed proposal for a Gaza cease-fire and hostage release made it “as clear as it possibly could be” that the world supports the plan, as he again called on Hamas to accept it.

“Everyone’s vote is in, except for one vote, and that’s Hamas,” Blinken told reporters in Tel Aviv after meeting with Israeli officials. He said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had reaffirmed his commitment to the proposal when they met late Monday.

The foreign ministries of Qatar and Egypt — who have been key mediators with Hamas in months of talks — confirmed that they had received Hamas’ response and said mediators were studying it.

In a joint statement, Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad militant group said they were ready to “deal positively to arrive at an agreement” and that their priority is to bring a “complete stop” to the war. A senior Hamas official, Osama Hamdan, told Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen television that the group had “submitted some remarks on the proposal to the mediators.” He did not give any details.

In a separate development, the U.N. human rights office said Israeli forces and Palestinian militants may have committed war crimes during the deadly Israeli raid that rescued four hostages over the weekend. At least 274 Palestinians were killed in the operation, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

The proposal, announced by President Joe Biden last month, calls for a three-phased plan in which Hamas would release the rest of the hostages in exchange for a lasting cease-fire and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. The group is still holding around 120 hostages, a third of whom are believed to be dead.

Biden presented it as an Israeli proposal, but Netanyahu has publicly disputed key aspects of it, saying Israel won’t end the war without destroying Hamas and achieving the return of all the hostages.

Hamas supports the broad outline of the agreement but has demanded assurances it will be implemented. The militant group embraced a similar proposal last month that was rejected by Israel.

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