Monday, March 4, 2024

Efforts to restore a cease-fire in Gaza, and news that Israel is willing to negotiate as the fighting continues

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Reuters and the Wall Street Journal quoted an Israeli official as saying Israel is willing to negotiate a ceasefire and prisoners held by Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip, but fighting continues.

The Washington-based official told Reuters that Israel was willing to offer additional pauses and could hold talks while the fighting continued.

Freeing the largest possible number of prisoners is a “priority” for Israel, he said, adding that “we have learned the lessons from our operations in northern Gaza and are applying them.”

The Israeli official added – according to the agency report – that Israel was working on a plan to minimize civilian casualties in any operation in southern Gaza, as he said.

Reuters cited a US official – described as a senior – that the US was working with Israel “on a plan to minimize harm to civilians in any operation south of Gaza”.

In turn, the Wall Street Journal quoted a U.S. official as saying that Israel had pledged to carry out “highly targeted” military action, which it described as aimed at minimizing civilian casualties and damage to buildings and other infrastructure.

Armistice extension

In this regard, Qatar – which has played a key role in mediation efforts – has said that negotiations with the Israelis and Palestinians to return to the ceasefire are still ongoing, but renewed Israeli bombardment of Gaza is complicating mediation efforts.

For its part, the Wall Street Journal quoted Egyptian officials as saying that Egypt and Qatar’s mediators failed to reach a breakthrough on a ceasefire in Gaza yesterday Friday, and mediators are expected to resume talks today. They stumbled upon the background of deciding whom the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) would release later.

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Officials said – according to the newspaper – that Hamas wants Israel to release its remaining women and children, and that the movement is offering to release the bodies of dead and elderly prisoners.

The ceasefire, which began on November 24, has been extended twice, and Israel said it could continue if Hamas released 10 prisoners each day, but mediators could not find a formula for freeing more prisoners, including Israeli soldiers.

A Palestinian official said the ceasefire broke down after Israel demanded the release of female soldiers detained by Hamas.

Back to the bombing of Gaza page

As soon as the cease-fire expired on Friday, Israel returned to a violent bombardment of the Gaza Strip, killing more than 240 Palestinians and injuring hundreds more within hours.

Yesterday, the Israeli occupation dropped leaflets in the eastern parts of Khan Yunis, ordering the evacuation of residents of 4 towns, not to the rest of the town as happened before, but to the southern town of Rafah.

Israel released a link to a map dividing Gaza into hundreds of zones, which it said would be used to determine safe zones in the future.

Despite this, Israel continues to bombard Rafah and other areas in the south, where hundreds of thousands of Gazans have taken refuge from fighting in the north. Doctors and witnesses said the blasts were intense yesterday in Khan Younis and Rafah.

Genocide and ethnic cleansing

For his part, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told a press conference in California that “we will continue to work with Israel, Egypt and Qatar towards the return of peace”, blaming the Hamas movement.

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The Wall Street Journal quoted a US official as saying that Israel has pledged to carry out a more targeted military operation aimed at reducing civilian casualties and damage to buildings and other infrastructure.

The official said that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had pressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli wartime government about how long the war would last and had not received a clear answer.

The officials explained International pressure could force Israel to halt its operations as early as this year, especially if civilian casualties continue to be high, a timetable Israel does not accept.

Hamas accused Washington of green-lighting a “war” on Israel. Genocide and ethnic cleansing.” He said in a statement, “Today you shamelessly repeat Zionist lies …
Hamas takes responsibility for resuming the war and not extending the humanitarian peace.

Meanwhile, Senator Mark Warner, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Reuters that Washington must pressure Israel, “We must push Israel to realize that this is not just a military conflict, but a conflict of hearts and minds. People in the world and people in the United States.” “.

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
"Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert."

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