June 15, 2024

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Israel News: Possible Ceasefire for Withdrawal from Gaza Strip

Israel News: Possible Ceasefire for Withdrawal from Gaza Strip

Aid to Gaza must again come through Rafah

According to a media report, under pressure from the United States, Israel and Egypt agreed to reopen the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip for the transport of humanitarian aid. This was reported by Israeli broadcaster Khan on Thursday evening. It is not yet clear when the crossing point will reopen. According to reports from American news website “Axios”, representatives of the three countries are expected to discuss it in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, in the coming days. A US government delegation led by Terry Wolff, the Middle East director at the White House’s National Security Council, also wants to talk at a meeting in Cairo about preventing the smuggling of weapons to the Islamist Hamas through tunnels under the border. An underground wall is planned for this purpose.

The US, Israel and Egypt want to talk about border security

Israel’s military says it has taken control of the entire border with Egypt in the past few days. It was said on Wednesday that there are about 20 tunnels leading to Egypt in the nearly 14 kilometer long sector. The information could not be independently verified at first. A military spokesman said Hamas used the border area known as the Philadelphia Corridor to smuggle weapons. To prevent this in the future, an underground wall is being considered – similar to the barrier Israel has built along the Gaza border, according to a US news website. As a result, Israel has blocked most of Hamas’ attempts to dig cross-border tunnels in the past.

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Statements: Palestinians must control the Rafah crossing

According to US officials, the talks planned in Cairo will primarily focus on how to reopen the Rafah border crossing, Axios reported. According to the Khan broadcaster, Israel agreed to meet one of Egypt’s conditions and withdraw its forces from the border crossing. Axios also reported that Israel has presented Egypt with a plan to allow Palestinians with no ties to Hamas or other terrorist groups to take control of the crossing. Israel’s troops will withdraw from Hamas’ outward attacks and secure the crossing. Aid was suspended from Egypt two weeks ago in protest at Israel’s annexation of a cross section of Palestine.

Last Friday, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi agreed to reopen the Kerem Shalom border crossing near Rafah for humanitarian aid in talks with US President Joe Biden. Axios reported that Biden assured his Egyptian counterpart in the conversation that the United States would work to open the Rafah border crossing as soon as aid flows to Gaza could resume. At the same time, they agreed to discuss the issue with the Israelis in Cairo. In the Gaza war, the United States and Egypt, along with Qatar, are acting as mediators between Israel and Hamas in indirect negotiations for a ceasefire and the release of hostages.

Hamas only wants a hostage deal at the end of the war

Meanwhile, Hamas has said it has told mediators it will return to the negotiating table on the hostage deal only if Israel stops fighting. The terror group said in a statement on Thursday that it was ready to reach a “full agreement” on the release of hostages kidnapped from Israel in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. But the precondition is to end the war. As such, they are ready to continue negotiations and reach a “comprehensive transfer agreement”. The Israeli government categorically rejects a ceasefire.

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Muslims have left open what constitutes a complete agreement. It is conceivable that the exchange of all hostages for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons should take place at once – not in several stages as previously planned. Israel’s national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi told relatives of the hostages on Thursday that the current government is not ready to end the war, Israeli media reported. Secret talks on a deal had already failed, as Hamas had made Israel’s final war a condition for even partial release of hostages.

Palestinian: One dead, many injured in West Bank

One person was killed during Israeli military operations in the West Bank on Thursday, according to Palestinian sources. He died in Ramallah from a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the local health ministry. Four more Palestinians were injured in the clashes during the attack, one of them critically. The information could not be independently verified. When asked, the Israeli military said it was verifying the reports. According to Palestinian reports, several people were also injured in the refugee district in Jenin. When asked by the Israeli army, the Israeli security forces said they were carrying out anti-terrorist operations in the area. The Palestinians threw explosives and stones at them and shot them. The emergency services returned fire.

More than 1,200 people have been killed since the Gaza war began following a massacre by Hamas and other extremist groups in Israel on October 7 last year, worsening an already tense situation in the West Bank. According to the Ministry of Health there, at least 498 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli military operations, clashes or their own attacks. Violent attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians also increased. (DPA)