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Negotiations in Cairo take place between Israeli raids and bombs in Rafah

Photo: Agence France-Presse A Palestinian stands in front of a crater created by an Israeli bomb in Rafah.

France Media Agency to Rafah

Posted at 7:16 a.m. Updated at 6:33 p.m.

  • Middle East

The Israeli army carried out deadly airstrikes on Wednesday and said it was continuing its “targeted” ground operations in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, as Cairo delicate negotiations for a truce between Israel and Hamas.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatens to launch a major ground offensive against the city of Rafah, which according to the UN shelters 1.4 million Palestinians, the majority displaced by the war, to eliminate the last battalions of the Islamist movement.

On Tuesday, after calling on residents of several eastern districts of the city to evacuate the day before, the army deployed tanks in Rafah and took control of the border crossing with Egypt, cutting off the main entry gate. for humanitarian aid convoys to the besieged Palestinian territory.

Another crossing point near Rafah, Kerem Shalom, between Israel and the Gaza Strip, was targeted Wednesday by rocket fire shortly after its reopening, fire which slightly injured a soldier, the army announced. This crossing was closed on Sunday after previous shootings claimed by Hamas, which killed four soldiers.

Israeli Civil Defense and a correspondent from Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that heavy airstrikes and artillery fire continued to target eastern Rafah on Wednesday.

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“Continuous firing”

“There is continuous and indiscriminate Israeli artillery fire in the east and the center of Rafah, which left many killed and injured and targeted the upper floors of residential buildings,” Ahmed Radwan, a Civil Defense official, told AFP.

According to the army, Israeli soldiers continued their “targeted operations on Wednesday on the Gaza side of the eastern Rafah crossing, based on reports of terrorists operating in the area.”

The aviation, according to the army, struck “more than 100 targets” of armed groups across the territory.

“We are very scared. The occupying army continues to indiscriminately fire shells at neighborhoods in eastern Rafah, in addition to intensifying airstrikes,” a 29-year-old Rafah resident told AFP, Mouhanad Ahmad Qishta.

“Even areas presented as safe by the Israeli army are bombarded,” he added.


The closure of crossing points and military operations in Rafah are causing concern among the international community, which fears a bloodbath and a worsening of the humanitarian crisis.

The UN said on Tuesday that it only had one day of fuel reserves left for humanitarian operations in Gaza and called for the crossings to be reopened.

It does not Hospitals in southern Gaza remained “three days short of fuel” on Wednesday, “which means they could soon stop functioning,” warned World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

A British emergency doctor, James Smith, on a mission to southern Gaza, described a “catastrophic” health situation and an “omnipresent” smell of sewage in hospitals .

Negotiations in Cairo take place between Israeli raids and bombs in Rafah

Photo: Jack Guez Agence France-Presse The Israeli army continued its artillery fire on Tuesday, May 8.

Washington deemed “unacceptable” the closure of the crossing points at a time when the population of Gaza is threatened with famine, according to the UN.

The United States also “suspended delivery of a shipment” of bombs to Israel after that country failed to respond to its “concerns” about an offensive in Rafah, a U.S. official said.< /p>

The war broke out on October 7 when Hamas commandos infiltrated from the Gaza Strip carried out an attack on Israel, unprecedented in the history of this country, which left more than 1,170 dead, mostly civilians, according to a report from AFP established from official Israeli data.

More than 250 people have been kidnapped and 128 remain captive in Gaza, of whom 36 are believed to have died, according to the army .

In response, the Israeli army launched an offensive which has so far left 34,844 dead, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health, including 55 in 24 hours.

“Last chance”

In Cairo, indirect negotiations resumed Wednesday morning to try to reach a compromise on a truce and avoid an assault in Rafah.

They continued into the evening, according to the media Al-Qahera News , close to Egyptian intelligence, who reported a “convergence” of views on certain points.

Representatives of Israel and Hamas, as well as the mediating countries — Qatar, Egypt and the United States — are present in the Egyptian capital.

Benjamin Netanyahu also met with CIA Director William Burns in Jerusalem on Wednesday to discuss a possible “pause” in military operations in the southern Gaza Strip in exchange for the release of hostages, according to an Israeli official.< /p> Negotiations in Cairo take place between Israeli raids and bombs in Rafah

Photo: Abdel Kareem Hana Associated Press Palestinians took refuge in Deir al Balah after fleeing the city of Rafah, Wednesday, May 8, 2024.

Palestinian analyst Mkhaimar Abusada of Gaza's Al-Azhar University said the timing of Israel's takeover of the Rafah crossing “could show it is trying to sabotage the talks.” “This takeover is also a symbol shown to the world that Hamas no longer has control,” he added.

On Monday, a few hours before the deployment of Israeli troops in Rafah, Hamas had given the green light to a proposal presented by the mediators.

This, according to a leader of the movement, Khalil al-Hayya, includes a three-phase truce, each lasting 42 days, including an Israeli withdrawal from the territory as well as an exchange of hostages held in Gaza and Palestinians held by Israel, with the aim of a “permanent ceasefire.”

Israel responded that this proposal was “far from its demands” and repeated its opposition to a definitive ceasefire as long as Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007 and which it considers a terrorist organization, as well as the United States and the European Union, would not be defeated.

Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that he had instructed his delegation to “continue to be firm on the conditions necessary for the release” of the hostages and “essential” to Israel's security.

“This could be the last chance” for Israel “to recover the captives […] ] alive,” according to a Hamas official.

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