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Hope for truce in Gaza fades

Photo: Agence France-Presse Two Palestinian women try to make their way through the rubble of buildings destroyed by the Israeli army in Khan Younes on Wednesday in the Gaza Strip.

Adel Zaanoun – Agence France-Presse and Mathieu Gorse – Agence France-Presse respectively in the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem


  • Middle East

Hopes for a truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip faded again on Thursday as the war that has already left tens of thousands dead entered its sixth month in the territory Palestinian, besieged and struck by famine.

Faced with the humanitarian disaster and the heavy toll among the civilian population, the United States, Qatar and Egypt hoped to reach an agreement on a pause in the fighting before Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, which begins at the beginning of next week.

But the Hamas delegation which took part in these discussions in Cairo left the Egyptian capital for “consultations”, a senior official of the Islamist movement announced to AFP.

“Initial responses” provided by Israel “do not meet the minimum requirements” made by Hamas, the official said.

The Israeli bombardments which continue unabated in the meantime have left 83 people dead in the Gaza Strip in 24 hours, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

Silent Death

In the small territory under total siege by Israel, 2.2 million people, according to the UN, the vast majority of the population, are threatened with famine.

“We can survive without food for several hours, but not our children,” volunteer Bassam Al-hou told AFP during a meal distribution to displaced people in Jabaliya, northern Gaza.

“They die and faint in the streets from hunger. What can we do ?,” he added.

Humanitarian aid, subject to the green light from Israel, only enters the Gaza Strip in dribs and drabs, mainly from Egypt, even though the needs are immense.

The situation is particularly serious in the north, where looting, fighting and destruction make the delivery of aid to around 300,000 residents almost impossible.

“This horror must stop now. A humanitarian ceasefire cannot wait,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday on social media X.

According to the Hamas Ministry of Health, at least 20 civilians, most of them children, died of malnutrition and dehydration.

“We believe that dozens of people are silently dying of hunger without reaching hospitals,” said ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra.

The war was sparked on October 7 by an attack of unprecedented scale by Hamas commandos infiltrated from the Gaza Strip in southern Israel, which claimed the lives of at at least 1,160 people, most of them civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to annihilate Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007, which it considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union.

His army launched a bombing campaign coupled with a ground offensive that has so far left 30,800 dead in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.< /p>

The United States, Israel's main ally, has stepped up pressure in recent days on both camps while China called Thursday for an “immediate ceasefire,” calling the war in Gaza of “shame for civilization”.

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  • Washington urges Hamas to agree to ceasefire

Immense destruction

The discussions that began on Sunday in Cairo, without an Israeli representative, focused on a possible six-week truce associated with a release of hostages held in Gaza in exchange for Palestinians detained by Israel, as well as the entry of increased aid into the Palestinian territory.

According to Israel, 130 hostages are still in Gaza, 31 of whom are believed to be dead, out of around 250 people kidnapped on October 7.

But Hamas is demanding, before any agreement on the release of the hostages, a definitive ceasefire, a withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, the reconstruction of the territory and the return to their homes of hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced by the war. .

Israel rejects these conditions and assures that its offensive will continue until the elimination of Hamas.

To achieve “total victory”, Israel announced that it was preparing a ground offensive on Rafah, a town located in the far south of the Gaza Strip, against the closed border with Egypt, where are massed, according to the UN, nearly a million and a half Palestinians.

Israeli tanks this week left the center of Khan Yunis, a town a few kilometers north of Rafah, leaving behind immense destruction after weeks of fighting.

AFP images showed residents walking in a devastated landscape, among the rubble of razed buildings.

More than 1,500 houses and buildings as well as hundreds of shops were “destroyed or badly damaged”, Hamas Civil Defense said, adding that soldiers had also destroyed “all water, sewage, electricity, communications and roads.”

According to witnesses, fighting continued on Thursday in the north, in Zeitoun, a sector of Gaza City, and in the south in Al-Shouka, a village near Rafah, as well as in the western part of Khan Younès.

More than 30 Israeli strikes targeted Rafah and the Hamad neighborhood of Khan Yunis on Thursday, as well as the center and north of the territory, according to the Hamas government press service.

Faced with the difficulties of ground supplies, several countries including the United States, Jordan and France have parachuted aid into northern Gaza, a solution considered insufficient and dangerous by humanitarian organizations.

The maritime supply route is also explored. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is due to visit the port of Larnaca in Cyprus, the EU country geographically closest to Gaza, on Friday.

The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet once again on Thursday behind closed doors to discuss the situation.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116