Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday rejected a multi-stage truce and hostage release proposal by Palestinian militant group Hamas, vowing to continue his country’s war on Gaza until Israel achieved “absolute victory”, AP reported.

The three-phase ceasefire agreement would have been implemented over four and a half months and left Hamas in power in the Gaza Strip. The proposal came in response to a plan drawn up by the United States, Israel, Egypt and Qatar and communicated to Hamas last week.

Netanyahu’s comments on Wednesday came after his meeting with United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has been travelling in the region to try and secure a ceasefire.

Speaking to reporters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, Blinken said, “While there are some clear non-starters in Hamas’s response [to the truce proposal], we do think it creates space for agreement to be reached, and we will work at that relentlessly.”

In its proposal, Hamas stated that all hostages would be released in exchange for Israel freeing hundreds of imprisoned Palestinians, including senior militants. The group said that in the first 45-day phase of the truce, it would release all Israeli women hostages, males under 19 years, the elderly and those who are sick, in exchange for Palestinian women and children held in Israeli jails.

Hamas also demanded the reconstruction of hospitals across Gaza and said that the establishment of camps to shelter the population should begin in the first 45 days, in addition to the withdrawal of Israeli troops.

In January, Netanyahu said that he had told United States President Joe Biden that he rejects Hamas’ demands for a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli troops and the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the remaining hostages.

Accepting the demands would mean that another Hamas attack on Israel “would only be a matter of time”, Netanyahu had said at the time. He had also rejected the United States’ call for post-war plans, including paving the way to establish a Palestinian state.