Fighting rages across Gaza amid revival of truce talks

Mar31,2024



CAIRO: Israeli military strikes on the Gaza Strip killed dozens of Palestinians on Sunday, health officials said, as Egypt hosted an Israeli delegation for a new round of talks to secure a cease-fire with Gaza's Hamas rulers.
The warring sides agreed, brokered by Qatar and Egypt, to suspend Israel's offensive for six weeks in exchange for the proposed release of 40 of the 130 hostages still held by Hamas militants in Gaza following the October 7 attack on southern Israel. The conversation has intensified.
Hamas has tried to negotiate any agreement to end the fighting and allow for the withdrawal of Israeli forces. Israel rejects this, saying it will eventually resume efforts to dismantle Hamas's governance and military capabilities.
An official told Reuters on Sunday that Hamas would not attend talks in Cairo as it waited to hear from mediators whether a new Israeli proposal was on the table.
In the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli forces continued the blockade of two main hospitals, and tanks shelled the central and eastern areas of the territory.
Palestinian health officials said an Israeli airstrike killed nine people in Bani Suhayla near Khan Yunis, while another airstrike killed four in the al-Maghazi camp in the central Gaza Strip.
In Deir al-Balah, health officials and Hamas media said an Israeli airstrike targeted several tents inside the Shuhada al-Aqsa hospital, killing four people and injuring several, including some journalists.
In Gaza City, Israeli forces continued the crackdown inside Al Shifa hospital, the territory's health ministry said. Residents living nearby said Israeli forces had destroyed residential districts near Al Shifa.
Abu Mustafa, 49, said, “I went out to buy some medicine from a pharmacy and what I saw was heartbreaking. Entire roads and buildings were destroyed.”
“…This is not a war, this is a genocide,” he told Reuters by phone from Gaza City.
Like the rest of Gaza's population of 2.3 million, Abu Mustafa, a father of six, is struggling to provide food for his family in the north of the enclave, where the United Nations warned that famine was imminent.
“We have had enough, we sleep and wake up dreaming of a ceasefire that will end the war and the lives of whoever is left in Gaza,” he said, declining to be named for fear of Israeli reprisals. Will keep it safe.”
The Israeli Army (IAF) said forces operating in Al Shifa killed gunmen manning a barricade in the area and found weapons.
“Several complexes in the Rimal area near Shifa were used to launch anti-tank missiles and where snipers operated were attacked by Indian Air Force aircraft,” the army said.
It said the army killed 15 gunmen in the central Gaza Strip and several in Khan Younis, including near al-Amal hospital.
Israel said it killed and detained hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad gunmen in al-Shifa during a raid. Hamas and medical staff deny any armed presence inside medical facilities, accusing Israel of killing and arresting civilians.
In peace talks, Hamas also wants thousands of Palestinians displaced from Gaza City and surrounding areas to the south during the first phase of the war to be allowed to return to the north.
More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli military offensives in the Gaza Strip since October 7, according to health officials in the territory.
The war broke out after Hamas militants crossed the border and attacked communities in southern Israel, killing 1,200 people and kidnapping 253 hostages, according to Israeli data.
The World Court on Thursday unanimously ordered Israel, accused by South Africa of genocide in Gaza, to take all necessary and effective action to ensure basic food supplies for the population.



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