May 30, 2024

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Israel and Hamas are exchanging blame amid few signs of a breakthrough in the ceasefire and hostage-taking talks

Israel and Hamas are exchanging blame amid few signs of a breakthrough in the ceasefire and hostage-taking talks



CNN

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he “cannot accept” Hamas’s demands to end the war in Gaza, as both sides traded blame amid new ceasefire talks that showed little sign of a breakthrough.

It is believed that discussions have centered around it New frameproposed by Cairo, calls on the armed group to release hostages kidnapped from Israel in exchange for a pause in Hostilities in Gaza.

A Hamas delegation has now left Egypt after the latest round of arduous, months-long talks, saying: “In-depth and serious discussions have taken place.”

There was reason for optimism, as Egyptian media quoted an Egyptian official as saying that “significant progress” had been made in the negotiations. But recent comments from Israel and Hamas show how far apart the two sides are.

The head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, said on Sunday, in a statement, that the movement is “still keen” to reach an agreement with the mediators, but any proposal must guarantee Israeli withdrawal and a permanent cessation of fighting in the Gaza Strip.

He reiterated that the delegation held “positive and flexible positions” aimed at stopping “the aggression against our people, which is the basic and logical position that lays the foundation for a more stable future.”

Waheed Salmi/AFP

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh again called on Israel to withdraw from Gaza.

But Haniyeh, referring to the Israeli government, said that “the world has become hostage to an extremist government, which has a large number of political problems and crimes committed in Gaza,” and accused its leadership of seeking to “sabotage the efforts being made.” Through intermediaries and various parties.”

Netanyahu, in turn, accused Hamas of making unacceptable demands in the Cairo talks, adding that Israel “has shown a willingness to go a long way” in the negotiations.

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He said that Hamas’s demand for Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza is out of the question.

He said: “Hamas remained committed to its extremist positions, most notably the demand to withdraw all our forces from the Gaza Strip, end the war, and leave Hamas as it is.” “The State of Israel cannot accept this.”

He added: “We are not ready to accept a situation in which Hamas brigades emerge from their hideouts, take control of Gaza again, rebuild their military infrastructure, and return to threatening the citizens of Israel in the surrounding settlements, in the cities of the south.” And all over the country.”

Netanyahu said: “Israel will not agree to Hamas’ demands that mean surrender, and will continue fighting until all its goals are achieved.”

Later on Sunday, an Egyptian source familiar with the negotiations told CNN that Egypt received Hamas’ response to the truce proposal and sent it to the Israeli side.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said, “Several alternatives and scenarios have been put forward to overcome the main point of disagreement related to ending the war.”

The source also confirmed that the Hamas delegation is scheduled to leave Cairo for Doha on Sunday evening “to conduct internal consultations on what was discussed during the round of negotiations in Cairo.”

Amid the tension of the ongoing negotiations, there is an expected ground Artillery shelling on the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza StripIt is estimated that about 1.5 million Palestinians have taken refuge there after fleeing the fighting in the north.

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The United States sought to increase pressure on Hamas to accept the deal on the table, while also trying to prevent the Israeli army from moving towards Rafah. And recently, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken Hold another round of high-stakes talks In Israel on Wednesday.

However, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant told his soldiers on Sunday that they expect “intensive actions in Rafah in the near future, and in other places throughout the Strip.”

Gallant entered the Strip on Sunday morning, according to the Defense Ministry, where he told soldiers that Israel was “committed to eliminating Hamas and releasing the hostages.”

“We are aware that there are worrying signals that Hamas does not actually intend to reach any framework agreement with us, which means – to carry out action in Rafah and the entire Gaza Strip in the near future,” Gallant said.

He added: “We are just before the operation, and we are in a high state of readiness, and the Israeli army knows what must be done, and we are prepared for things and it will include the entire sector from north to south, and the entire region and within it.” Rafah.”

On Sunday, six Palestinians, including two women and three children, were killed in an air strike on Rafah, according to a medical source at Abu Youssef Hospital in Najaf.

The source said that the air strike targeted a house for the Al-Attar family in the Yabna camp in central Rafah.

A local journalist who was at the hospital told CNN that the Palestinians killed in the air strike arrived dismembered.

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A video seen by CNN showed a building being demolished as civilians dug through the rubble to find the injured. Another video obtained by CNN shows the body of what appears to be a boy suffering from a fatal head injury and bleeding.

Meanwhile, Israel closed the Kerem Shalom border crossing to humanitarian aid trucks after it was hit by at least 10 rockets on Sunday morning, according to the Israeli military.

The crossing was central to Bringing aid into Gaza.

It was not immediately clear where exactly the missiles landed in the area or whether there were any injuries or deaths. Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said it targeted the crossing with missiles.

Following the rocket barrage, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) blamed Hamas for the failure of aid to reach the besieged Strip.

In a post on the X website, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said: “Hamas will do anything to prevent aid from reaching the residents of Gaza. During the past few days and in separate incidents: Hamas fired mortar shells into the corridor for humanitarian purposes, disrupting the arrival of aid from south to north Gaza, and preventing residents from receiving humanitarian aid.

A CNN correspondent in Rafah, Gaza, said that people there became afraid because immediately after the rockets fell on the Kerem Shalom crossing, artillery fire could be heard east of the city while Israeli planes bombed unspecified targets.