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Truce talks between Israel and Hamas resume in Paris

Photo: Mohammed Abed Agence France-Presse According to Hamas, Israeli bombings left 110 dead during the night from Thursday to Friday.

Adel Zaanoun – Agence France-Presse and Delphine Matthieussent – Agence France-Presse respectively in the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem


  • Middle East

The Israeli army bombarded the southern Gaza Strip where the humanitarian situation is desperate, according to witnesses, while an Israeli delegation arrived in Paris on Friday for new talks on a truce.

Airstrikes targeted the town of Khan Younes and Rafah, at the southern tip of the Gaza Strip, according to an AFP journalist. The Hamas Health Ministry said bombings killed 110 people overnight across territory under Israeli siege since the war began on October 7.

After more than four months of airstrikes and artillery fire that have displaced hundreds of thousands of people in the small Palestinian territory, around 2.2 million inhabitants, the vast majority of the population of the Gaza Strip, are threatened with famine, according to the UN.

“All layers of Palestinian society are suffering seriously, we have reached the stage of extreme poverty and hunger, we cannot afford to buy food, drinks or any product at the market , we started eating grass,” Zarifa Hamad, 62, a displaced woman living in the Jabaliya camp (north), told AFP.

“We are fleeing from one place to another, children are dying of hunger, the elderly are dying of hunger, diabetes, blood pressure […]. Every child you ask will say, 'I'm hungry,'” she added.

Subject to the green light from Israel, humanitarian aid, still insufficient, enters Gaza mainly through Rafah via Egypt, but its transport to the north is made almost impossible by the destruction and fighting .

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“Unblock” talks

In an attempt to break the impasse, an Israeli delegation led by the head of Mossad (Israeli foreign intelligence service), David Barnea, arrived in Paris on Friday in the hope of “unblocking” the talks for a new truce with Hamas, according to an Israeli official.

He met at the end of January in Paris with his American and Egyptian counterparts and the Prime Minister of Qatar, to discuss a new truce agreement in Gaza.

A Hamas source said the plan discussed in Paris included a six-week pause in fighting and the release of 200 to 300 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for 35 to 40 hostages held by Hamas. Since then, talks have also taken place in Egypt, where Hamas leader Ismaïl Haniyeh visited, a visit which ended Thursday evening, according to the Palestinian Islamist movement.

Some 250 people were kidnapped and taken to Gaza on October 7, when Palestinian movement commandos infiltrated from the Gaza Strip carried out an unprecedented attack on Israeli soil, killing more than 1,160 dead, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data.

According to Israel, 130 hostages are still being held in Gaza, 30 of whom are believed to have died, after the release, following a first truce at the end of November, of 105 hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners.

“Breaking Point”

In retaliation for the Hamas attack, Israel vowed to wipe out the Palestinian Islamist movement, which seized power in Gaza in 2007 and is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the 'European Union. The Israeli army offensive has left 29,514 dead in Gaza, the vast majority of them civilians, according to the latest report on Friday from the Hamas Ministry of Health.

In a telephone interview with his American counterpart, Lloyd Austin, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant described Hamas as “a terrorist organization that plants its military infrastructure and its operatives among the civilian population and civilian institutions.” sensitive areas such as hospitals,” according to a statement from his office.

For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu submitted a plan for the post-war period in the Gaza Strip to the security cabinet on Thursday evening. In this document consulted on Friday by AFP, Israel notably plans to maintain “security control” of Israel in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, a possibility immediately rejected by the Palestinian Authority denouncing the desire to “perpetuate the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state.”

This plan also provides for the dismantling of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). The head of this agency which employs some 30,000 people in the occupied Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, where it notably manages schools and hospitals, indicated on Thursday that UNRWA had reached a “breaking point”.

The agency has had its funding suspended by 16 countries since Israel accused 12 of its employees of involvement in the October 7 attack, from which the agency immediately parted ways. As a result, the agency's operations across the region would be “seriously compromised from March”, warned its boss, Philippe Lazzarini.

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