Biden says Gaza ceasefire possible ‘tomorrow’ if Hamas releases hostages

Biden says Gaza ceasefire possible ‘tomorrow’ if Hamas releases hostages
Biden says Gaza ceasefire possible ‘tomorrow’ if Hamas releases hostages

UPDATE ON THE SITUATION – The IDF ordered the evacuation of the center of Rafah, and took control of its eastern part. 300,000 Palestinians have already left the city since Monday.

Biden says Gaza ceasefire is possible “tomorrow” if Hamas releases hostages, orders to evacuate civilians from Rafah are for the EU “unacceptable”, France asks Israel to stop “without delay” its military operation in Rafah, the United States considers it likely that Israel violated humanitarian law… Le Figaro takes stock of the fighting in the Gaza Strip. This conflict was caused by the deadly Hamas raid on October 7. Around a hundred hostages are still captive.

Biden says Gaza ceasefire possible ‘tomorrow’ if Hamas releases hostages

US President Joe Biden said on Saturday that a ceasefire was possible “tomorrow” in the war between Israel and Hamas if the Palestinian group released the hostages. “There would be a ceasefire tomorrow if Hamas released the hostages”assured Joe Biden during a fundraising reception near Seattle, in the northwest of the United States, at the home of a former Microsoft manager, after avoiding the subject in similar circumstances on Friday.

Orders to evacuate civilians from Rafah are “unacceptable” for the EU

Israeli orders to evacuate civilians stuck in Rafah to dangerous areas are for the EU “unacceptable”declared the President of the European Council Charles Michel on Saturday. “We call on the Israeli government to respect international humanitarian law and urge it not to undertake a ground operation in Rafah”added Charles Michel on X.

300,000 Palestinians have already left Rafah since Monday

300,000 Palestinians have already left the town of Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, where there are 1.4 million refugees. The IDF ordered the evacuation of the center of the city, and took control of its eastern part. According to her, the last contingents of Hamas, a terrorist group behind one of the largest massacres of Jews of the 21st century on October 7, are regrouping there.

“So far, around 300,000 residents have moved to the Al-Mawassi humanitarian zone”a few kilometers away, indicates in a press release the army, which is preparing a land offensive.

IDF orders evacuation of Rafah center to launch military operation

The Israeli army has asked residents of the center of the town of Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, to evacuate to the secure humanitarian zone of Al-Mawasi, we can read on the social networks of its spokesperson in Arabic. More than 150,000 people have already fled the city since the start of the military operation on May 7.

“You are in a dangerous combat zone. Hamas is trying to rebuild its capabilities in the region and that is why the IDF will work with great force against terrorist organizations in the region in which you are present. Therefore, everyone in these areas places themselves and their families at risk,” it is written.

Hamas announces death of detainee shown alive in video released Saturday

The armed wing of Hamas announced Saturday on Telegram the death of an Israeli hostage, held in Gaza since the Islamist group’s attack on October 7, and of whom it had broadcast images of him alive a few hours earlier. When contacted, the Israeli army did not immediately wish to comment on the information.

In the video, the hostage was identified by the Hostage Families Forum — an association representing some of the hostage families, as Nadav Popplewell, a 51-year-old Israeli-British citizen from Kibbutz Nirim. The Ezzedine al-Qassam brigades claimed in a video that he died on Saturday, and blamed his death on “injuries suffered after Zionist (Israeli) fighter jets targeted the place where he was being held more than a month ago”.

Israel reports rocket fire on aid crossing to Gaza

The Israeli army announced on Saturday afternoon that four rockets had been fired from Rafah towards the Kerem Shalom crossing point, the gateway for the delivery of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

Four shots “were identified coming from the Rafah area” , a town in the south of the Palestinian territory of Gaza, towards the crossing point, the army said in a statement. One projectile was intercepted by the Israeli air defense system, the others fell in uninhabited areas, without causing any injuries, according to the army.

France calls on Israel to cease its operation in Rafah “without delay”

“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”indicated the Quai d’Orsay regarding the situation in Rafah. “Such an operation threatens to cause a catastrophic situation for the civilian populations of Gaza, already displaced on multiple occasions”continues the press release from French diplomacy.

In order to “to overcome” Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considers necessary an operation in Rafah, a town in the south of the Gaza Strip where the last battalions of the terrorist movement are entrenched, but where there are also 1.4 million Palestinians, the majority displaced . The army indicated on Friday that it was continuing its “precision counter-terrorism operation” in certain areas of eastern Rafah, and have “eliminated from terrorist cells”.

Washington considers it likely that Israel violated the law in Gaza

The United States considers it likely 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. The report, eagerly awaited and made public on Friday, indicates that it is “reasonable to estimate” that Israel has used weapons in a manner inconsistent with international humanitarian law and therefore American law, but that the United States has not been able to achieve at this point “conclusions” definitive, due to lack of sufficient information.

Read alsoHamas-Israel conflict: what does international humanitarian law provide?

This report was commissioned by President Joe Biden under pressure from elected Democrats denouncing the use of weapons provided by the Biden administration, at the risk of seeing the United States become “accomplices”. It comes shortly after the US president publicly threatened to suspend the delivery of certain categories of weapons to Israel, including artillery shells, if Israel launched a major offensive in the crowded southern town of Rafah. of Gaza, which he opposes.

The Israeli army east of Rafah.
– / AFP

“The nature of the conflict in Gaza makes it difficult to assess or draw conclusions about individual incidents”notes the report which was transmitted to Congress. “Nevertheless, given Israel’s significant reliance on U.S.-made defense articles, it is reasonable to estimate that the defense articles … were used by Israeli security forces since October 7 in cases incompatible with its obligations under international humanitarian law”the report continues.

UN Security Council calls for ‘immediate’ independent investigation

The UN Security Council on Friday called for an investigation “independent” And “immediate” after the discovery around hospitals in Gaza of mass graves where were buried “hundreds” of people. In a statement, the members of the Council express “their deep concern regarding reports of the discovery of mass graves, in and around the Nasser and al-Chifa hospitals in Gaza, where hundreds of bodies, including women, children and the elderly, were buried”.

Bodies near Nasser hospital.
– / AFP

They emphasize the need to “accountable” and call for investigators to have a “unhindered access to all locations of mass graves in Gaza, to conduct an immediate, independent, rigorous, comprehensive, transparent and impartial investigation to determine the circumstances behind the graves”. The Council does not specify who could lead this investigation. It also underlines the importance for families of “know the fate and location of their missing loved ones, in accordance with international humanitarian law”.

200,000 liters of fuel were transferred to international organizations on Friday

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, the head of the OCHA office in the Palestinian territories, told AFP.

The Kerem Shalom crossing point.
– / AFP

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.

Washington observes Israeli operation in Rafah with “concern” but does not consider it “major”

United States “observe with concern” the ongoing Israeli military operation in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, but do not believe that it currently crosses the red lines drawn by Joe Biden, a House spokesperson said on Friday. White. “I wouldn’t go so far as to say that what we’ve seen in the last twenty-four hours signals a full-scale invasion or a major ground operation.”said John Kirby, spokesperson for the National Security Council.

A soldier receives orders in Rafah.
– / AFP

President Joe Biden has threatened to stop supplying certain weapons to Israel in the event of a large-scale offensive against this town near the Egyptian border, where more than a million Palestinians are refugees. John Kirby, also affirmed that the United States still judges “possible” an agreement on a truce in Gaza, while Hamas and Israel left talks taking place in Cairo without being able to reach an agreement.

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