Israel bombs Gaza, truce efforts continue

Israel bombs Gaza, truce efforts continue
Israel bombs Gaza, truce efforts continue
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Keystone-SDA

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May 27, 2024 – 01:18

(Keystone-ATS) The Israeli army carried out new bombings in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, as efforts intensify to resume negotiations to reach a truce. Benjamin Netanyahu said he was “firmly opposed” to the end of the war.

In Tel Aviv and central Israel, warning sirens sounded for the first time in months. The Israeli army reported eight rockets fired from Rafah, in the far south of the Gaza Strip, where the army has been carrying out operations since May 7 to destroy the last battalions of Hamas, against which it is at war. for almost eight months.

In the Gaza Strip, airstrikes and artillery fire targeted Rafah in particular, despite a decision on Friday by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordering Israel to suspend its operations in this essential sector at the entrance to the Gaza Strip. ‘humanitarian aid.

Center for displaced people: dozens of victims

In the evening, the Hamas government media office in Gaza reported that at least 30 people had been killed and dozens more injured in Israeli strikes on a center for displaced people near Rafah.

Earlier in the day, a senior Israeli official told AFP that a war cabinet meeting was planned for Sunday evening to discuss efforts to secure the release of hostages held in Gaza since the Hamas attack on October 7 which sparked the war, the latest episode in the long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Nearly 36,000 dead

The attack on Israeli soil by Hamas commandos infiltrated from the Gaza Strip led to the taking hostage of 252 people, according to Israel, taken to the Palestinian territory. After a truce in November which notably allowed the release of around a hundred of them, 121 are still held in Gaza, of whom 37 have died, according to the army.

In response, the Israeli army launched an all-out offensive in the Palestinian territory, which left at least 35,984 dead, mainly civilians, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

Furthermore, the Israeli occupying army announced on Sunday the death of two soldiers, bringing to 289 the toll of its soldiers killed since the entry of Israeli troops on October 27 into the narrow strip of besieged land.

Efforts towards a truce

After more than 230 days of war, international efforts continue to secure a truce between Israel and Hamas, which came to power in Gaza in 2007.

Shortly before Sunday’s war cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv, Benjamin Netanyahu accused the leader of Hamas in the Palestinian territory, Yahya Sinouar, of “continuing to demand an end to the war, the withdrawal of Israeli defense forces from the Gaza Strip and leave Hamas intact, so that it can carry out the atrocities of October 7 again and again,” his office said in a statement, adding that the prime minister “firmly opposed it.”

At the beginning of May, indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinian movement, through Qatar, Egypt and the United States, did not result in a truce agreement associated with the release of hostages and prisoners. Palestinians detained by Israel.

New framework

This weekend, Israeli media reported that David Barnea, the head of Mossad (Israeli intelligence services), had reached an agreement with CIA Director William Burns and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdelrahman Al -Thani, on a new framework for negotiations, during a meeting in Paris.

Egypt is also continuing “its efforts to reactivate negotiations”, according to Al-Qahera News, a media close to Egyptian intelligence, while Qatari officials are expected to meet a Hamas delegation in the coming days, according to the American site Axios .

“The right to have a State”

On Tuesday, Spain, Ireland and Norway should officially recognize the State of Palestine. “Palestinians have the right to have a state, as Israelis have this right,” said the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs on Sunday. Jose Manuel Albares.

In this context, the foreign ministers of the European Union will meet on Monday in Brussels with their counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, as well as with the Secretary general of the Arab League.

“Hunger and thirst”

Meanwhile, the situation remains dire in the Gaza Strip. The Rafah crossing point on the border with Egypt, which allowed the delivery of humanitarian aid, was closed after the launch of the Israeli ground operation.

“We are suffering (…) from hunger, thirst and a cruel lack of aid,” Moaz Abou Taha, a 29-year-old Palestinian, told AFP from this city that some 800,000 people fled to the over the past two weeks, according to the UN.

Egypt, which refuses to reopen the Rafah crossing as long as Israeli troops control the Palestinian side, announced on Sunday that aid trucks from Egyptian territory have started entering the Gaza Strip through the crossing point of Kerem Shalom, according to Al-Qahera News.

According to this media, a total of “200 trucks” headed towards Kerem Shalom, without specifying how many vehicles had passed checks.

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