War in Israel: In Hamas’ hands the Gaza truce says Joe Biden

In Hamas’s hands lies the temporary ceasefire in according to him, while negotiations continue for the fourth day. Five months after the outbreak of the war between the army and Hamas, which has plunged the Gaza Strip into a humanitarian crisis, especially in the inaccessible north, hunger reaches “destructive levels”, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). Biden noted yesterday that Israelis are co-operative about the truce. This organization announced yesterday that its food convoy, the first to move northward Gaza in 15 days was looted by a “dire crowd” after waiting for hours, stranded, at an Israeli checkpoint in Gaza. In the face of the disastrous situation the US, Israel’s main ally, are pushing for a temporary ceasefire before the advent of the ramshake, which this year is expected to begin on the evening of 10 or 11 March. The agreement to armistice and release hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners is “in Hamas’ hands right now”, US President Biden judged yesterday, adding that Israelis are “cooperative”. According to him, if the war “continues during the rampart”, the situation can become “very dangerous”, especially in Jerusalem. On the part of Hamas official in Beirut he accused Israel of “sucking and reeling”. Osama Hamdan added that “we will not allow the path of negotiations to be open indefinitely, without a horizon, as the war of starvation and extermination continues against our people.” ‘Tough’ negotiations In Cairo, the “hard” negotiations that began on Sunday between representatives of the three countries and Hamas – not Israel – are expected to continue, broadcast the Al Kahera television network, which is considered to have relations with Egypt’s intelligence service, citing a senior official. The plan under discussion provides for the cessation of military operations for six weeks, the release of Hamas hostages in the Gaza Strip in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel, as well as an increase in humanitarian aid entering Gaza. Yesterday a Hamas leader, Mahmoud Mardaj, reiterated to the French Agency what the movement claims before there is an agreement on hostages: immediate and definitive ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip, the start of reconstruction in Gaza, the return of internally displaced people due to the war. Israel rejects Hamas’ terms, saying that the war will continue as the “complete victory” and, according to media, requires for its part a full list of the elements of hostages in Gaza. 105 hostages remain hostages According to Israeli sources, more than 130 remain hostages in Gaza – but 31 of whom are believed to be dead – after the release of over 105 hostages, in exchange for the release of 240 Palestinians from Israel, at the end of November, when a one-week truce was declared. Initially, some 250 hostages were taken to the Gaza Strip on October 7. The war broke out after the unprecedented attack that day by Hamas military arm in southern Israel on Gaza, where the Islamic Resistance Movement assumed power in 2007. In this attack 1,160 people were killed, most of them civilians, according to a French Agency count based on official Israeli data. In retaliation Israel vowed to “exterminate” Hamas, which it characterizes, like the US and the EU, a “terrorist” organisation. Since then, the Israeli army has been constantly pounding the Gaza Strip and since 27 October it has been conducting land operations, which began in the northern part of Gaza and have progressively been transferred to the south. In nearly five months, 30,631 people have died in the Gaza Strip, the vast majority of women and children, according to the latest report by the Hamas Health Ministry. Despite diplomatic efforts, the battles continue and Israel declares determined to launch a land operation in Rafa, in order to defeat the Palestinian Islamist movement in its “last fort”. The prospect alarms the international community, as 1.5 million people have fled to the city. Palestinians, almost all internally displaced – many more than once – who are now trapped on the closed border with Egypt. ‘More assistance’ Americans have been raising the tone in recent days in front of the increasingly destructive humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. Yesterday President Biden also asked for “more aid” to Gaza by insisting that Israel “has no excuses” for restricting the entry of trucks waiting at the border with Egypt. Loads with help, for transit of which green light is required by the Israeli authorities, who have imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip after Hamas took power there, arrive via Egypt in Rafa, but its quantity looks like a drop in the ocean. According to the UN, famine is “almost inevitable” for 2.2 million of the 2.4 million inhabitants. The situation is crucial especially in the north, flattened to a large extent, where delivery of aid by land means is very difficult due to disasters and fighting. According to the PEP, 14 trucks carrying about 200 tons of food moved yesterday to the north, for the first time since the agency announced that deliveries were suspended on February 20. But the motorcade stopped at an Israeli army checkpoint. After three hours of waiting at the checkpoint, in the central part of Gaza, the motorcade was forced to return, before being looted “by a desperate crowd”, the United Nations agency added. On 29 February, Israeli fire and footstep during food distribution in Gaza City (north) cost life to some 120 hostages, during the Hamas Health Ministry. At the same time, eight transport aircraft, Jordanian, American, French and Egyptian, went on to drop parcels containing a few tens of thousands of parachute meals in northern Gaza, Jordan’s armed forces announced, referring to the “greater operation of this type” since the start of the crisis. “The parachute throws are a solution to the appeal and does not allow us to avoid famine,” commented Karl Skau, deputy executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP). ‘We need points of entry in the north Gaza to deliver food sufficient for half a million people in desperate need,” he added. The UN calls on the international community to mobilize, “flood” Gaza with humanitarian aid. “Children have begun to die of hunger (…) this should be an alarm that like him does not exist,” commented Jens Lerke, a representative of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).