LIVE – According to Biden, a ceasefire in Gaza possible “tomorrow” if Hamas releases the hostages

LIVE – According to Biden, a ceasefire in Gaza possible “tomorrow” if Hamas releases the hostages
LIVE – According to Biden, a ceasefire in Gaza possible “tomorrow” if Hamas releases the hostages

Ariane Ménage with AFP / Photo credits: JEHAD ALSHRAFI / ANADOLU / ANADOLU VIA AFP
09:00, May 11, 2024modified to

The Israeli army bombed the Gaza Strip on Saturday and ordered new evacuations in Rafah after the UN warned of a “colossal humanitarian catastrophe” in this overcrowded town on the Egyptian border.

According to US President Joe Biden, a ceasefire in Gaza is possible “tomorrow” if Hamas releases the hostages. Early Saturday, AFP teams reported strikes in different areas of Gaza after the broadcast of a State Department report on the situation in this territory at the heart of a war which now stretches over more than of seven months. The United States considers it “reasonable to believe” that Israel violated international humanitarian law in Gaza without being able to definitively conclude this, and will continue to deliver weapons to this country, according to a State Department report.

At the same time, an overwhelming majority of the UN General Assembly ruled that the Palestinians deserved full membership in the organization, granting them some additional rights in the absence of real membership blocked by the United States. United, Israel’s first ally despite these recent criticisms. This symbolic vote, welcomed by the Palestinian Authority, angered Israel. “Violence pays,” said its head of diplomacy, Israel Katz, for whom the UN is rewarding Hamas for its October 7 attack.

The main information to remember:

  • Israeli strikes continue this Saturday in different areas of Gaza
  • The United States considers it “reasonable to believe” that Israel violated international humanitarian law in Gaza without being able to definitively conclude this
  • Indirect talks aimed at securing a truce and avoiding a major offensive on Rafah ended Thursday in Cairo without reaching an agreement
  • Around 300,000 people have fled since Israel called on residents of eastern Rafah to evacuate on Monday, according to the UN.

“Without delay”

Indirect talks aimed at securing a truce and avoiding a major offensive on Rafah ended Thursday in Cairo without reaching an agreement. In order to “defeat” Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defends an operation in Rafah (south), where according to him the last battalions of the Islamist movement are entrenched but where according to the UN there are also 1.4 million Palestinians, the majority displaced by the violence.

Defying international warnings, the Israeli army has been carrying out incursions into eastern Rafah since Tuesday and took control of the border crossing with Egypt, blocking a key gateway for humanitarian aid convoys. . The army also indicated on Friday that it was continuing its “precision anti-terrorist operation” in certain sectors of eastern Rafah, and having “eliminated terrorist cells”.

Famine

A large operation in Rafah would lead to a “colossal humanitarian catastrophe”, warned UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, adding that famine was looming in the Palestinian territory. “We call on the Israeli authorities to cease this military operation without delay and to return to the path of negotiations, the only possible path to lead to the immediate release of the hostages and obtain a lasting ceasefire,” diplomacy added overnight. French.

US President Joe Biden has threatened to stop certain arms deliveries to Israel in the event of a major offensive on this city located on the edge of Egypt. The United States is “observing with concern” the operation in Rafah, but does not consider it “major” at this stage, White House spokesperson John Kirby said on Friday.

Flee Rafah

According to the UN, around 300,000 people have fled since Israel called on the population of eastern Rafah to evacuate on Monday. “Some 30,000 people are fleeing the city every day,” said the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), adding that most “have already had to move five or six times” since the start of the war. Like Oum Soubhi, displaced from Gaza City (north). “At the beginning of the war, we went to Rafah, then we were moved several times to the Rafah area due to threats, strikes and the scary and terrifying situation, before coming to Nuseirat (center),” she told AFP.

Despite the reopening on Wednesday of the Kerem Shalom crossing, neighboring Rafah, closed by Israel for three days after Hamas rocket attacks, the delivery of aid remains “extremely difficult”, Andrea De Domenico told AFP , the head of the Ocha office in the Palestinian territories. Friday evening, Cogat, the body of the Israeli Ministry of Defense overseeing civil affairs in the Palestinian Territories, nevertheless announced “the transfer of 200,000 liters of fuel to international organizations” via Kerem Shalom.

Still “possible”

Egypt urged Hamas and Israel on Friday to show “flexibility” as mediators’ efforts “continue” towards a truce according to the media Al-Qahera News despite the departure of delegations from Cairo from the two belligerents . For Hamas, “Israel’s rejection” of this proposal brings the negotiations back to “square one.” On Monday, he gave the green light to an agreement in three phases of 42 days each according to him, including an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza as well as an exchange of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners, with a view to a “cease -permanent fire”.

However, Israel is opposed to a definitive ceasefire as long as Hamas, which it considers a terrorist organization, is defeated.

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