Gaza Strip: New negotiations on a truce between Israel and Hamas

Negotiations between and for a truce in the Gaza Strip will resume tomorrow Sunday (31.03.2024) in Cairo, in a last attempt to achieve a halt to hostilities after nearly 6 months. Israeli official stressed to Reuters that Israel will send a delegation to Cairo tomorrow Sunday while a Hamas official told Reuters however that the Palestinian organisation would first expect to hear from Cairo mediators the result of their talks with Israel. The opposing parties intensified negotiations, through the mediation of Qatar and Egypt, for a six-week pause of Israel’s military offensive in exchange for the release of 40 of the 130 hostages Hamas is still holding in Gaza. The Palestinian movement seeks to turn any agreement into an end to the fighting and to the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip. But Israel has ruled out this scenario, saying it will eventually resume efforts to dismantle Hamas’ governance and military capabilities. The latter also wants to allow hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who left Gaza City and surrounding areas to the southern part of the enclave during the first stage of the war to return to the northern part. An Israeli official stressed that the Jewish state is open to discussing allowing the return of only “some” from the displaced. More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s military attack on the Gaza Strip since October 7, according to Hamas health authorities. The war sparked after Hamas attacked southern Israel, which caused the death of 1,200 people and the captivity of 253 hostages, according to Israeli accounts. Israel continued its aerial and ground bombings of the Gaza Strip yesterday Friday, killing 82 Palestinians within 24 hours, stressed Hamas’ health ministry, as the battles raged around Gaza’s central al-Sifa hospital. Hamas’ ministry said the Israeli forces that controlled the hospital ruled out 107 patients holding them without water, electricity or drugs for many days, and the Israelis did not respond to any appeal to remove the patients. The armed wards of Hamas and Islamic Jihad stressed that they continued to fight Israeli forces around the hospital, the largest of the Gaza Strip before the war, which was one of the few health care facilities that even partially operated in northern Gaza before the last battles. The Israeli army stressed that his forces operating in al-Sifa killed three armed Hamas commanders within two hospital buildings. The Jewish state also reported killing and arresting hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad gunmen at the hospital during his raid there. Hamas and medical staff denied the presence of armed men within the medical facilities, accusing Israel of killing and arresting civilians.