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Negotiations for a truce between Israel and Hamas progress

Photo: Agence France-Presse Gaza City was bombed by the Israeli army on Sunday.

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


  • Middle East

Negotiations on a truce in the war between Israel and Palestinian Hamas resume Monday in Cairo after “significant progress”, the day after a call from US Vice President Kamala Harris for an “immediate ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip threatened with famine.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army continued its air and ground bombardments on several sectors of the Palestinian territory that it has been besieging for almost five months, killing at least 100 people, including women and children, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

The international community, including the United States, Israel's main ally, is increasing calls for a truce in this war sparked on October 7 by a Hamas attack on Israeli soil that resulted in the deaths of at least 1,160 people, most of them civilians, according to an AFP count based on official data.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to annihilate Hamas launching a campaign of intensive bombing by land, air and sea on Gaza followed by a ground offensive on October 27, which left at least 30,534 people dead , mostly women and children, according to the Islamist movement's Ministry of Health.

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Faced with a heavy human toll and a catastrophic humanitarian situation, representatives of Egypt, Qatar and the United States – mediator countries – have resumed negotiations in Cairo with a view to a truce, a television close to Egyptian intelligence speaking of 'significant progress' on Sunday. A Hamas delegation is also in Cairo.

The mediating countries have been trying for weeks to obtain a truce agreement allowing in particular the release of hostages held in Gaza in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.

Approximately 250 people were kidnapped during the October 7 attack. A truce at the end of November allowed the release of 105 hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners.

“Egypt continues its intense efforts to reach a truce before Ramadan,” a holy month of fasting for Muslims that begins this year on March 10 or 11, Al Qahera News channel said.

“There are no excuses! »

Considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union, Hamas demands, in order to accept an agreement, a return of displaced people to northern Gaza, an increase in humanitarian aid, a definitive ceasefire and an Israeli military withdrawal from Gaza.

Israel, which is not participating in the Cairo negotiations, rejects these conditions, saying it wants to continue its military operations until the elimination of Hamas, which took power in Gaza in 2007. It also demands that Hamas provides list of hostages still held in Gaza.

As the war will soon enter its sixth month, famine is “almost inevitable” according to the UN for 2.2 million of the 2.4 million inhabitants of this small, cramped territory on which Israel was already imposing an air and land blockade. maritime since 2007.

Not to mention the destruction of entire neighborhoods and the displacement of 1.7 million people, most of them crowded into the city of Rafah (south), backed by Egypt's closed border, and who fear an Israeli ground offensive announced.

“Given the scale of the suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate ceasefire for at least the next six weeks, which is currently on the negotiating table,” said Sunday Mrs. Harris.

She called on Israel, which controls the entry of humanitarian aid into the Palestinian territory, to “do more to significantly increase the flow of aid. There are no excuses […] [Israel] must not impose unnecessary restrictions on the delivery of aid.”

At the same time, “the threat that Hamas poses to the people of Israel must be eliminated,” she said.

On Monday in Washington, Benny Gantz, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu's Israeli war cabinet, is scheduled to meet Ms. Harris. He is also scheduled to meet with White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

This visit was condemned by other members of the Israeli government who consider it subversive.

“Stop the blood! »

Faced with road delivery difficulties, several countries have airdropped aid to the Gaza Strip, including the United States.

In recent hours, Israeli bombings have mainly targeted Rafah and Khan Younes in the south, Jabaliya, Nusseirat in the center and Gaza City in the north, according to the Hamas government and witnesses.

The Israeli army claimed that its soldiers, with air support, were seeking to encircle the western part of Khan Yunis where “there are many terrorist infrastructures and where fleeing terrorists are hiding.”

“Stop the blood! Stop it! Why this blood ? Why ? Why are they exterminating us ?,” cries a woman displaced from Gaza outside a morgue at Najjar Hospital in Rafah, where Palestinians mourn the death of their loved ones killed in an Israeli bombardment. “Every day, bombing, bombing, bombing. There is no safe place. »

In Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, expressed his fear that the war in Gaza could lead “to a much wider conflagration” citing the daily exchanges of fire on the Israeli-Lebanese border and attacks by Yemeni Houthi rebels against ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

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