Hamas says it is studying the truce offer with a “positive spirit”

Hamas says it is studying the truce offer with a “positive spirit”
Hamas says it is studying the truce offer with a “positive spirit”

An Israeli hostage held in the Gaza Strip since the Hamas attacks on October 7 has been declared dead, Israeli authorities and relatives announced early Friday. In addition, Hamas is studying in a “positive spirit” the new offer on the table, for a 40-day break in the fighting, its leader, Ismaïl Haniyeh, said on Thursday.

Hamas says it is studying in a “positive spirit” the latest truce offer associated with the release of hostages in the Gaza Strip where nearly seven months of deadly war have caused “unprecedented” destruction according to the UN. While the mediating countries (Qatar, Egypt, United States) await Hamas’ response to this new proposal, medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported on Friday Israeli strikes in the Rafah sector (south).

The main information:

  • Hamas studies in a “positive spirit” the new offer on the table, for a 40-day break in fighting
  • Israel announced the death of one of the Israeli hostages in Gaza, Dror Or, a resident of Kibbutz Be’eri, two of whose children were released at the end of November as part of a first truce
  • Colombia announced on Wednesday that it was severing its diplomatic ties with Israel, and Turkey suspended its commercial relations with the same country on Thursday.
  • In addition to the human toll, reconstruction is expected to cost between 30 and 40 billion dollars (between 28 and 37 billion euros), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) estimated on Thursday.

Death of one of the Israeli hostages in Gaza

And Israel announced the death of one of the Israeli hostages in Gaza, Dror Or, a resident of Kibbutz Be’eri, two of whose children, also kidnapped on October 7 by Hamas, had been released at the end of November as part of a first truce. This week-long truce allowed the release of 105 hostages against 240 Palestinians detained by Israel. Since then, numerous attempts at mediation have been unsuccessful. Hamas is studying in a “positive spirit” the new offer on the table, for a 40-day break in the fighting, its leader, Ismaïl Haniyeh, said Thursday in a telephone conversation with the head of Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamel.

During this interview, Ismaïl Haniyeh “confirmed” that a delegation from the movement would go to Egypt “shortly” to complete recent discussions with a view to a possible agreement which “meets the demands of our people” and “puts an end to to aggression.” The leader of Hamas, whose movement is considered a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States, also spoke with the Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs, to whom he repeated his wish to “reach an agreement” . These comments clash with those the day before of a leader of the movement who spoke of a currently “negative” position of Hamas regarding these negotiations. Hamas, which took power in 2007 in Gaza, maintains its demands, first and foremost a permanent ceasefire, which Israel has always refused.

Defend yourself “alone”

Visiting Israel on Wednesday, American Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Hamas to say “yes” to an agreement that he considered “extraordinarily generous” on Israel’s part. He also urged Israel to renounce a ground offensive on the city of Rafah, the last major bastion of the terrorist movement according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where there are a million and a half Palestinians, the majority displaced by the war. “We will do what is necessary to win and defeat our enemy, including in Rafah,” Benjamin Netanyahu repeated Thursday, after promising to launch a ground offensive there, “with or without an agreement” of truce.

Many capitals and humanitarian organizations fear heavy civilian losses, in the absence of a plan deemed credible to protect the population. “If we have to defend ourselves alone, we will defend ourselves alone,” he said as mobilization increases in certain countries against Israel for the conduct of its war in Gaza. In addition to demonstrations on the campuses of major universities in the United States, Canada, or even in France at Sciences Po, Colombia announced on Wednesday that it was severing its diplomatic ties with Israel, and Turkey suspended its commercial relations with the same country on Thursday. . All this while Israeli officials are beginning to fear a possible indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is however opposed by their American ally.

According to the American sites Axios and Israeli Walla, American senators held a virtual meeting on Wednesday with officials of the Hague court to express their concern about possible arrest warrants against Israeli leaders for the war in Gaza. On October 7, an attack by Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza in southern Israel led to the death of 1,170 people, mainly civilians, according to an AFP report based on official Israeli data. More than 250 people were kidnapped that day and 129 remain captive in Gaza, 35 of whom died, including Dror Or, according to Israeli officials. In retaliation, Israel launched an offensive in the Palestinian territory which left 34,596 dead, mainly civilians, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

30 to 40 billion

In addition to this human toll, reconstruction is expected to cost between 30 and 40 billion dollars (between 28 and 37 billion euros), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) estimated on Thursday. “The scale of the destruction is enormous and unprecedented (…) This is a mission that the international community has not faced since the Second World War,” declared the director of the regional office for States Arabs of the UNDP, Abdallah al-Dardari. In terms of international aid, strictly controlled by Israel, it continues to arrive in trickles, mainly from Egypt, via Rafah, in the territory of 2.4 million inhabitants threatened by famine.

The American NGO World Central Kitchen, which suspended its activities in the Gaza Strip after the death of seven humanitarian workers during an Israeli airstrike in early April, resumed its activities this week. “After the kitchen closed, we realized that many mouths remained hungry,” Zakria Yahya Abukuwaik, manager of a kitchen supported by this NGO in Rafah where the population fears these days, told AFP on Thursday. this is a ground operation by Israeli soldiers in the absence of a truce agreement.

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