Palestinian militant group Hamas on Monday accepted a ceasefire proposal to end Israel’s war on Gaza and release all Israeli hostages, AP reported.

Israel, however, said that the proposal remained “far” from meeting its demands and announced that its strikes on the Rafah city, in southern Gaza, would continue.

Israel’s war on Gaza began after Hamas’ incursion into southern Israel on October 7 that killed 1,200 people. The militant group had also taken over 200 people hostage.

A hundred of those hostages are still believed to be alive and in Gaza, according to Al Jazeera. Some of the hostages were released in November as part of a brief ceasefire agreement and others were killed as a result of the war.

Since October, Israel has been carrying out unprecedented air and ground strikes on Gaza. The attacks have killed more than 34,700 persons, including over 14,500 children.

The ceasefire proposal accepted by Hamas on Monday had been put forward by Egypt and Qatar. It included plans to end the war in three phases, each lasting six weeks.

It proposed Israeli forces to move away from densely populated areas of Gaza in the first phase, allowing the release of 33 hostages, reported Al Jazeera. In exchange, Israel was expected to release Palestinian prisoners.

The second phase would have seen full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and an end to military operations. In the third phase, there would have been an exchange of the remains of hostages and prisoners. The proposal also included plans to rebuild Gaza.

In a statement on Monday, Hamas said the head of its political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, told the Qatari prime minister and Egyptian intelligence minister that the militant group had approved their proposal.

However, shortly after, Ofir Gendelman, the Arabic language spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said in a social media post that the proposal Hamas agreed to was “far from Israel’s necessary demands”.

“Israel’s war cabinet has unanimously decided that Israel will continue the operation in Rafah to exert military pressure on Hamas in order to advance the release of our hostages, destroy Hamas military and governing capabilities and ensure that Gaza does not pose a threat to Israel in the future,” Gendelman wrote.

He said Tel Aviv would send a delegation to mediators “to exhaust the possibility of reaching an agreement under conditions acceptable to Israel”.

Israel, meanwhile, ordered evacuation from parts of Rafah.

The Israel Defence Forces said it was “conducting targeted strikes against Hamas terror targets”. Al Jazeera reported on Tuesday that Israeli forces had taken control of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

Shipment of crucial humanitarian supplies to Gaza have been stopped due to this.