Israel to continue attacks on Rafah after Hamas accepts truce proposal

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Israel to continue attacks on Rafah after Hamas accepts truce proposal

Israel's military said on Monday night that it was carrying out large-scale airstrikes in Rafah, the southernmost city of the Gaza Strip, hours after Hamas announced acceptance of an Egyptian-Qatari proposal regarding a ceasefire in the strip, reported Xinhua.

In the meantime, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said the proposal is far from meeting Israel's "core demands," and that the government will send a delegation to Cairo to exhaust every possibility of reaching an agreement acceptable to Israel.

Also, a Qatari delegation will head to Cairo on Tuesday for indirect negotiations on the Gaza truce between Israel and Hamas through mediators, according to a spokesperson for the Qatari Foreign Ministry.

HAMAS NODS TO GAZA TRUCE PROPOSAL

Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh has told the Egyptian and Qatari sides that his movement approved their proposal regarding a ceasefire in Gaza, the Gaza-ruling Palestinian faction said in a statement on Monday.

"We agreed on the proposal that meets our demands of ceasing fire, reconstructing the strip, the return of the displaced to their areas of residence, and a deal on a prisoner swap," the statement said.

Immediately after Hamas's announcement, joy spread in the streets and shelters of the coastal enclave.

According to an Egyptian security source on Monday, a Hamas delegation has headed to Cairo to work on the enforcement of the Egyptian proposal.

The source said Egypt has informed the Israeli side of Hamas's acceptance of the Egyptian proposal, adding that the Israeli delegation will arrive in Cairo on Tuesday to complete discussions on the implementation of the Gaza ceasefire proposal and a hostage-for-prisoner swap deal at the invitation of Egypt.

THREE-PHASE CEASEFIRE PROPOSAL

A Hamas source told Xinhua that the Gaza ceasefire proposal presented by Egypt and Qatar includes three phases, each lasting 42 days.

The source said the first phase involved a complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the "Netzarim axis," a zone in central Gaza that separates the northern and southern Palestinian enclave, as well as the free movement of displaced persons from south to north Gaza.

Also, this phase would bring out a 10-hour daily cessation of Israeli airstrikes and a temporary ceasefire in Gaza, as well as the release of approximately 33 Israeli hostages in return for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, the source added.

The second phase features an agreement on restoring a "sustainable calm" to Gaza, with a complete withdrawal of most Israeli forces from the coastal area, while, during the third phase, the complete blockade on the strip would be lifted.

The source emphasized that "the ball is now in the Israeli side's court," noting that the United States is committed to ensuring the agreement's implementation.

ISRAEL ADVANCES RAFAH ATTACK PLAN

Also on Monday, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Daniel Hagari said Israel was reviewing "seriously" the proposal earlier approved by Hamas.

"We are examining every response and answer very seriously, exploring every possibility regarding the issues of negotiations and the return of hostages," Hagari said at a press briefing.

However, the Israeli army was in parallel conducting large-scale airstrikes in Rafah, where about 1.2 million people uprooted by the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict have been seeking refuge.

"The IDF is currently conducting targeted strikes against Hamas terror targets in eastern Rafah in southern Gaza," the Israeli military said in a statement.

The attack came after the military announced in the morning the beginning of the evacuation of civilians from eastern Rafah "as part of the preparation for a ground operation in the region," Hagari said.

The Israeli war cabinet unanimously decided on Monday to continue the operation in Rafah to exert military pressure on Hamas to promote the release of Israeli hostages and to achieve other goals of the war, according to a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister's Office.

The statement confirmed that the proposal approved by Hamas is far from meeting Israel's "core demands" and Israel will send a delegation to Cairo to exhaust every possibility of reaching an agreement acceptable to Israel.

Israel has launched a large-scale offensive against Gaza since Oct. 7, 2023, after Hamas's unprecedented attack on Israel that resulted in the deaths of about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and the kidnapping of around 250 others, according to Israeli official figures.

Israel estimated that there were still about 134 Israelis held hostage in Gaza, whereas Hamas announced that 70 of them had been killed in Israeli indiscriminate airstrikes.

On Monday night, people in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv took to the streets, rallying to demand the immediate release of the hostages.

Currently, the bloody conflict in Gaza has killed more than 34,600 Palestinians and injured over 78,000 others, according to the Hamas-run health authorities.

Cairo, Doha, and Washington are seeking to reach a deal for a prisoner exchange and a second ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, following the first one that ended in late November 2023.

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

5 Comments
  1. Jennifer123 says

    It is concerning that despite Hamas accepting the truce proposal, Israel continues its attacks on Rafah. The lack of a peaceful resolution is disheartening for both sides.

  2. EmilySmith says

    It’s concerning to see Israel continuing attacks on Rafah even after Hamas accepted the truce proposal. The situation in Gaza needs urgent attention and a peaceful resolution for the sake of innocent civilians caught in the conflict.

  3. Emily_Rose says

    While Hamas accepting the truce proposal is a step towards peace, it’s concerning that Israel continues its attacks on Rafah. Hopefully, both sides can find common ground for a lasting ceasefire.

  4. EmilySmith22 says

    Do you think Israel will agree to the ceasefire proposal despite not meeting their core demands?

  5. EmilySmith says

    It’s concerning to see the ongoing conflict in Rafah despite Hamas accepting the truce proposal. Hopefully, both sides can come to a peaceful resolution soon.

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