Explosions Echo in Gaza: 15 Lives Lost in Israel-Hamas Conflict

"Israel and Hamas Reach Tentative Deal for Temporary Ceasefire, Hostage Release Expected"

This is the Guardian’s ongoing coverage of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. According to a report by the Washington Post, a possible agreement has been reached for Israel to halt its attacks for five days in exchange for the release of hostages by Hamas. However, there has been no official confirmation from the parties involved in the negotiations. The White House stated that no deal has been finalized yet, but efforts are being made to reach one. Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu also denied the existence of a deal prior to the publication of the Post’s story.

In recent developments, fifteen Palestinians were killed in Israeli air strikes on the central and southern parts of the Gaza Strip. The World Health Organization (WHO) has described Al-Shifa hospital, which was once a leading medical facility in Gaza, as a “death zone.” The hospital is no longer able to function properly due to a lack of essential resources such as clean water, fuel, medicine, and food. The WHO team also witnessed signs of shelling and gunfire, as well as a mass grave at the hospital’s entrance. Urgent plans are being made to evacuate the remaining patients, staff, and families within the next 24-72 hours. However, the other hospitals where they will be transferred are already overwhelmed.

Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that Israel is rejecting pressure from the international community, including some voices in the US, to agree to a full ceasefire. He emphasized that Israel will only accept a temporary ceasefire in exchange for the return of their hostages. Netanyahu also dismissed rumors of a possible deal to release hostages in exchange for a pause in fighting. The US National Security Council spokesperson stated that efforts are ongoing to reach a deal, but no agreement has been made yet.

The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, warned that Israel’s approval of only half of the daily minimum requirements for fuel for humanitarian operations in Gaza is insufficient. This shortage affects various essential services, including desalination plants, sewage pumps, hospitals, and water pumps in shelters. On Saturday, over 80 people were killed in double Israeli strikes on the Jabalia refugee camp. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) strongly condemned an attack on their convoy, which was evacuating staff members and their families. The convoy was targeted while trying to leave premises near Al-Shifa hospital.

In Jerusalem, thousands of demonstrators, including family members of hostages kidnapped by Hamas, marched to demand more action from the Israeli government to bring their loved ones home. This protest marked the largest demonstration on behalf of the hostages since their abduction. US President Joe Biden, in an op-ed for the Washington Post, suggested that the Palestinian Authority should govern both Gaza and the West Bank after the conflict. He also called for an end to extremist violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.

In a separate development, a spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi military announced that they will target all ships owned or operated by Israeli companies or flying the Israeli flag. The spokesman urged all countries to withdraw their citizens working on such ships. However, it is important to note that these statements come from unconfirmed sources and should be treated with caution. The situation remains fluid, and further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

Martin Reid

Martin Reid

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