ROME - Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) major democracies "fully endorse and will stand behind the comprehensive" ceasefire and hostage release deal for the Gaza war outlined by U.S. President Joe Biden and call on Hamas to accept it, a statement said on Monday.

The deal "would lead to an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the release of all hostages, a significant and sustained increase in humanitarian assistance for distribution throughout Gaza, and an enduring end to the crisis, with Israel's security interests and Gazan civilian safety assured," the statement said.

The G7, of which Italy holds the rotating presidency for 2024, reaffirmed support "for a credible pathway towards peace leading to a two state solution."

Biden laid out what he described as a three-phase Israeli ceasefire proposal last week, winning a positive initial reaction from Hamas.

An aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Sunday that Israel had accepted the framework deal for winding down the Gaza war, though he described it as flawed and in need of much more work.

"We call on Hamas to accept this deal, that Israel is ready to move forward with, and we urge countries with influence over Hamas to help ensure that it does so," the G7 statement said.

 

 

 

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