WhatsApp Logo Subscribe
For News Alert

News

Hamas says studying new Israeli truce proposal

By AFP

April 27, 2024 08:59 PM


Twitter Share Facebook Share WhatsApp Share

Hamas said Saturday it was studying Israel's latest counterproposal for a Gaza ceasefire, a day after media reports said a delegation from mediator Egypt was in Israel trying to jump-start stalled negotiations.

The signs of fresh truce talks come as the United Nations warned that "famine thresholds in Gaza will be breached within the next six weeks" unless massive food assistance arrives.

Aid groups say Gaza's already catastrophic humanitarian conditions would be worsened by Israel's vow to attack Hamas fighters still in Rafah city in southernmost Gaza.

Rafah, on the border with Egypt, is crowded with hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced by nearly seven months of war between Israel and the Islamist movement.

The area comes under regular bombardment. Hospital officials said strikes in Rafah and elsewhere killed more than a dozen people overnight.

Among the dead were an entire family, their relative Mohammed Yussef said.

"Nobody left: the father, the mother, a girl and two boys" were killed when their house was targeted, he said.

Elsewhere in Rafah people searched the rubble of homes that one young man, Abed al-Aziz Barhum, said were "bombarded without prior warning".

He appealed to "all Arab people to support us against occupation and help us reach a ceasefire".

 Daily deaths 

 Khalil al-Hayya, deputy head of Hamas's political arm in Gaza, said it had "received the official Zionist occupation response to the movement's position, which was delivered to the Egyptian and Qatari mediators on April 13".

In a statement, Hayya said Hamas "will study this proposal" before responding.

The movement has previously insisted on a permanent ceasefire, which Israel rejects.

Egypt, Qatar and the United States have been unsuccessfully trying to seal a new Gaza truce deal ever since a one-week halt to the fighting in November saw 80 Israeli hostages exchanged for 240 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.

Al-Qahera News, which is linked to Egyptian intelligence services, reported "noticeable progress in bringing the views of the Egyptian and Israeli delegations closer".

In early April, Hamas had said it was studying a proposal, after talks in Cairo, and Al-Qahera reported progress. Days later Israel and Hamas accused each other of undermining negotiations.

As talks drag on, dozens in Gaza die every day, according to figures from the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

The war began with Hamas's unprecedented October 7 attack which resulted in the deaths of about 1,170 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

 Summit in Saudi 

 Israel's retaliatory offensive against Hamas has killed at least 34,388 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry.

An international summit set to begin Sunday in Saudi Arabia will have a strong focus on the war, including the humanitarian situation, organisers said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be among leaders attending the World Economic Forum special meeting, organisers said.

Israel's military said Saturday its aircraft had hit more than 25 militant targets over the previous day.

Israel estimates that 129 hostages seized by militants on October 7 are still being held in Gaza, including 34 the military says are dead.

Israeli demonstrators have intensified protests for their government to reach a deal that would free the captives, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of prolonging the war.

In its report on Friday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said "the only way to halt famine" is by "massive and consistent food assistance that can be delivered freely and safely".

OCHA says rising temperatures are exacerbating Gaza's sanitation crisis.

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said this month that Israel planned to "flood Gaza" with aid, but the OCHA report cited continued "access constraints".

A Royal Navy support ship has sailed from Cyprus to house hundreds of US army personnel building a jetty for aid sent by sea, a British defence source said on Saturday.

And Cyprus said the aid-laden Jennifer -- which had previously returned after an Israeli strike killed seven aid workers in Gaza -- is now sailing back to the territory.

In Turkey, however, a "Freedom Flotilla" aimed at delivering aid was blocked after being denied use of two ships flying the Guinea-Bissau flag, with organisers blaming Israeli pressure on the West African nation.

 Lebanon, West Bank deaths 

 The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), the main aid agency in Gaza, lost much of its funding in January when Israel alleged that 12 of its 13,000 Gaza staff were implicated in the October 7 attack.

UNRWA immediately fired the accused staffers and began an investigation.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Friday one case has been closed "as no evidence was provided by Israel to support the allegations against the staff member".

Investigations into three others were suspended as information provided by Israel is "not sufficient", Dujarric said.

The Gaza war has led to increased violence between Israel and Iran's proxies and allies, in particular Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Israeli strikes on southern Lebanon killed three people on Saturday, including two members of Hezbollah, the movement and state media said.

The violence has fuelled fears of all-out conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, which last went to war in 2006.

Since October 7, more than 250 Hezbollah fighters and dozens of civilians have been killed in Lebanon, according to an AFP tally.

Israel says 11 soldiers and nine civilians have been killed on its side of the border.

Violence has also soared in the Israeli-occupied West Bank where almost 500 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops or settlers since October 7, Palestinian officials say.

Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians near the city of Jenin on Saturday, the army and Palestinian media reported.


AFP


Most Read

  1. Hania Aamir and Zaviyar Nauman's Nikkah glam gives ‘heart attack’ to many Hania Aamir and Zaviyar Nauman's Nikkah glam gives ‘heart attack’ to many
  2. Guard shoots dead his employer in Lahore’s Ghalib Market Guard shoots dead his employer in Lahore’s Ghalib Market
  3. Ex-CJP Saqib Nisar uses influence for grandson at Aitchison College Ex-CJP Saqib Nisar uses influence for grandson at Aitchison College
  4. Bomb blast kills two labourers in Kot Addu scrap godown Bomb blast kills two labourers in Kot Addu scrap godown
  5. Woman hit by car in Lahore's Askari XI breathes her last Woman hit by car in Lahore's Askari XI breathes her last
  6. Abdu Rozik postpones his wedding with Amira, for what reason? Abdu Rozik postpones his wedding with Amira, for what reason?

Opinion

  1. An Unmissable Opportunity: The Time for Modi and Islamabad leadership to Resume Bilateral Dialogue is Now!
    An Unmissable Opportunity: The Time for Modi and Islamabad leadership to Resume Bilateral Dialogue is Now!

    By Sudheendra Kulkarni

  2. Premier Shehbaz and Chinese model
    Premier Shehbaz and Chinese model

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  3. Modi's myth broken, yet in power
    Modi's myth broken, yet in power

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  4. Xi, Shehbaz and CPEC phase - 2
    Xi, Shehbaz and CPEC phase - 2

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  5. Pakistan's UNSC Triumph: A New Era
    Pakistan's UNSC Triumph: A New Era

    By Dr Asif Channer

  6. Shehbaz, Deng, Xi and transformation
    Shehbaz, Deng, Xi and transformation

    By Naveed Aman Khan