news agency
Israel bombs Rafah amid “decisive” truce negotiations

Israel bombs Rafah amid “decisive” truce negotiations

The Israeli army bombed Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Stripwaiting for a possible major land incursion, and in the middle of negotiations in Cairo for a truce that, according to Hamas, are “decisive” after seven months of war.

The resumption of negotiations in the Egyptian capital is being carried out with the presence of Israeli representatives and the Palestinian Islamist movement, as well as mediators from Qatar, the United States and Egypt, reported a media outlet close to the Egyptian authorities.

Despite international warnings, Israeli tanks took control of the Palestinian side of the border crossing the day before. Egypt and the city of Rafah, the main entry point for humanitarian aid to the Palestinian enclave.

Under pressure from Washington, its main ally, Israel announced on Wednesday the reopening of another border post, that of Kerem Shalom, also in the south, closed after a rocket attack on Sunday that killed four soldiers.

“Trucks from Egypt are arriving at the crossing with humanitarian aid, including food, water, shelter materials, medicines and medical equipment provided by the international community,” indicated an army statement.

The supplies will enter the enclave after undergoing inspection, he added.

But Juliette Touma, spokesperson for UNRWA, the Human Rights Agency UN for Palestinian Refugees, told AFP that this crossing “was still not open” at mid-morning.

Another border crossing from Israel, Erez, further north, is also open for the arrival of aid, the army added.

Suspension of weapons shipment

USA considered the closure of these border crossings “unacceptable.”

Pressured by pro-Palestinian protests on American college campuses, the administration Joe Biden last week stopped shipments of certain bombs to Israel due to “concerns” about an offensive against Rafah.

“There are 1,800 bombs of 907 kilos and 1,700 bombs of 226 kilos,” a senior administration official said on condition of anonymity.

United States, the UN and the European Union urged Israel not to enter Rafah – where 1.4 million Palestinians are crowded, mainly displaced people, according to the UN – for fear of a bloodbath and a worsening of the humanitarian crisis in the Strip. Qatar called on the international community on Wednesday to act to prevent a “genocide.”

Following the evacuation of tens of thousands of Palestinians from areas east of Rafah on Monday and the closure of the border crossing with Egypt, Israeli forces continue to bombard the city.

There was also shelling in Gaza City in the north, where a hospital announced the death of seven members of a family.

“Decisive round”

The fate of Rafah and that of the Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas are at stake in the negotiations in the Egyptian capital, but both Israel like the Islamist group, they are inflexible in their positions.

A senior Hamas official told AFP on Wednesday that his movement “insists on the legitimate demands of its people” and assured that this is a “decisive round.”

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahuurged his delegation to “remain firm on the conditions necessary for the release” of the hostages.

These negotiations represent “the last opportunity for Netanyahu and for the families” of the hostages “to see their children return,” another Islamist leader warned the day before.

Until now, only a one-week truce in November managed to stop the conflict that broke out on October 7 due to the attack by Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union.

Islamist commandos infiltrated southern Israel that day, killing 1,170 people and kidnapping about 250, according to an AFP count based on Israeli data.

Israel estimates that, after an exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners in that November truce, 128 people remain captive in Loopof which 36 are feared dead.

Israel launched a retaliatory offensive that has already left 34,844 dead in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the Ministry of Health of the territory governed since 2007 by Hamas.

The Islamist group accepted the latest proposal presented by the mediators, but Netanyahu’s office assured that it was “far from” their demands and decided to continue “the operation in Rafah to exert military pressure on Hamas.”

According to Jalil al Hayya, a senior official in the Islamist movement, the current proposal contemplates three phases of 42 days each.

The proposal includes a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, the return of the displaced and an exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners, with the aim of a “permanent ceasefire.”

But Israel opposes a complete withdrawal from Gaza and a permanent ceasefire without first defeating Hamas, which, according to its army, has its last battalions in Rafah.

Source: Gestion

You may also like

Hot News

TRENDING NEWS

Subscribe

follow us

Immediate Access Pro