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Israeli official says Hamas changed, 'rejected' latest cease-fire deal

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Editor's Note: This page is a summary of news for the Israel-Hamas war for Tuesday, June 11. For the latest, view our story for Wednesday, June 12.

Hamas and Israel had contrasting views of cease-fire negotiations Tuesday, as the militant group expressed "readiness to positively'' reach a deal after making some modifications to the latest proposal while an Israeli official said the plan had been "rejected.''

The diverging stances appeared to once again dash hopes for an agreement that will stop fighting in Gaza and gain the release of more than 100 hostages after encouraging signs earlier in the day.

The Israeli official said Hamas had turned down the three-stage plan put forth by President Joe Biden, adding, "They have changed all of the main and most meaningful parameters," according to Reuters, which did not name the person.

The proposal calls for an immediate truce, withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, an exchange of Palestinian prisoners for hostages and a pathway to a permanent end to the war. The White House said it's evaluating the Hamas response, issued through Egyptian and Qatari mediators.

Earlier Tuesday, Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Hamas official based outside Gaza, told Reuters the militant organization accepted the terms of the U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution approved Monday and was ready to negotiate over specifics.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "reaffirmed his commitment" to the truce proposal when they met Monday night in Jerusalem, but that Hamas leadership in Gaza had yet to approve it.

"That's what counts, and that's what we don't have yet," Blinken said early Tuesday.

UN Security Council vote:Cease-fire plan gets backing with 14-0 vote

Developments:

∎ A senior field commander for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah was among at least four people killed late Tuesday in an Israeli strike on the village of Jouya in southern Lebanon.

∎ Blinken on Tuesday announced more than $400 million in humanitarian assistance to Palestinians and called for other donors to also step up.

∎ Six Palestinians were killed Tuesday in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The Israel Defense Forces said it was conducting a raid and that four of those killed were armed militants who exchanged fire with soldiers near the Palestinian city of Jenin.

∎ Blinken met with Benny Gantz, chairman of the National Unity Party, who this week withdrew from Netanyahu's coalition government. Gantz said in a social media post that he emphasized the importance of exerting maximum pressure on the mediators to get Hamas to agree to the plan.  

∎ Blinken met with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa, saying the U.S. welcomed reform announcements by the authority. The authority manages the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and the Biden administration wants a reformed version of the authority to take a leading role in governance of Gaza after the war.

After dramatic hostage rescue:Israeli War Cabinet minister Benny Gantz resigns

Blinken meets with families of hostages, promotes truce deal

Blinken met Tuesday in Israel with the families of Americans held captive in Gaza and urged Hamas to accept the cease-fire and hostage-release deal that drew the support of the U.N. Security Council on a 14-0 vote, with only Russia abstaining.

Blinken said the U.S. remains committed to the defeat of Hamas and to ensuring it won't govern Gaza again.

"We also believe strongly that while military means have been necessary, they're not sufficient," Blinken said. "There has to be a clear political plan, a clear humanitarian plan, in order to ensure that Hamas does not in any way, shape or form resume control of Gaza and that Israel can move forward toward more enduring security."

U.S. officials believe five Americans are among scores of hostages still held by militants. The bodies of three Americans also are being held in Gaza.

"We are determined to bring them home," Blinken said.

Houthi rebels urged to free 13 UN personnel

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Houthi rebels to release 13 U.N. personnel detained and accused of spying for the U.S. and Israel. The Human Rights Office has been working in Yemen since 2012 promoting and protecting "the rights of all the people of Yemen," Volker Türk said in a statement released Tuesday.

"I categorically reject the outrageous allegations against our staff, and am deeply worried about the conditions in which they are being held," he said.

Six of the staffers were taken into custody Monday. The Iran-backed Houthis control only about a third of Yemen's territory, but that includes much of the urban areas, among them the capital of Sana'a. Since the war in Gaza began eight months ago, the rebels have been seizing ships and disrupting shipping in the region.

UN: Israeli hostage raid may have been a war crime

The reported killing of hundreds of Palestinians in Israel's operation during the raid that freed four hostages last week could amount to an Israeli war crime, the U.N. Human Rights office said Tuesday.

"Reports of hundreds Palestinians killed in Israel's operation in #Gaza call into question respect for international humanitarian law principles of distinction, proportionality & precaution," the agency said in a social media post.

The office also said holding hostages by Palestinian armed groups is "distressing" and that the captives must be released. The Israeli military says the raid targeted two apartments in a densely populated refugee camp. The airstrikes and a special-forces assault killed about 100 militants, the Israeli military says. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says more than 270 Palestinians were killed, many of them women and children. The ministry does not separate civilian from militant deaths.

Hamas leader says Palestinian deaths put Israelis 'right where we want them'

Messages from Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar to other top Hamas officials reflect a willingness to sacrifice thousands of Palestinian deaths to gain a permanent cease-fire − one that allows Hamas to declare a historic victory by outlasting Israel and claim leadership of the Palestinian national cause, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Journal says it reviewed dozens of messages, including one in which Sinwar cited civilian losses in Algeria, where hundreds of thousands died fighting for independence from France, saying, "these are necessary sacrifices."

In an April 11 letter to Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh after three of Haniyeh's adult sons were killed by an Israeli airstrike, Sinwar wrote that their deaths would "infuse life into the veins of this nation, prompting it to rise to its glory and honor."

Sinwar said in a recent message to Hamas officials seeking to broker an agreement mediated by Qatari and Egyptian officials that "we have the Israelis right where we want them."

Contributing: Reuters

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