Hamas official denies group presented new ideas for Gaza truce deal

FILE PHOTO: Aftermath of Israeli strikes at the area where Israeli hostages were rescued on Saturday, in Nuseirat refugee camp

CAIRO (Reuters) - Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan denied on Wednesday that the Palestinian Islamist group had put forward new ideas for the U.S.-backed proposal for a Gaza ceasefire, after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it had suggested numerous changes.

Hamdan, speaking to pan-Arab Al-Araby TV, also said Blinken was "part of the problem, not the solution" in the Gaza war.

Earlier, Blinken said that Hamas had suggested many changes, some unworkable, to the proposal though he also said mediators remained determined to close the gaps.

"In everything that we presented, we affirmed our commitment to what was presented on May 5 to the mediators and we did not talk about any new ideas or proposals," Hamdan said.

He reiterated Hamas' stance that it was Israel that was rejecting proposals and accused the U.S. administration of going along with its close ally to "evade any commitment" to a blueprint for a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Hamdan also demanded guarantees from mediators to ensure that Israel does not "evade its responsibilities".

On Tuesday, Egyptian and Qatari mediators said they had received a response from Hamas and other Palestinian groups to the U.S. proposal, though the statement did not clarify what the response entailed.

On May 31, U.S. President Joe Biden laid out what he called a "three-phase" Israeli proposal that would include negotiations for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza as well as phased exchanges of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.

(Reporting by Jaidaa Taha and Yomna Ehab; Editing by Gareth Jones)