Hamas withdraws from Cairo-Gaza ceasefire talks as Ramadan approaches

As Israel’s hope becomes increasingly slim——Hamas Ceasefire and hostage release deal to be reached before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, President Biden The US military has been ordered to build temporary ports and terminals on Gaza’s Mediterranean coast to open a new route for humanitarian aid.

Administration officials described what they called an “emergency mission” to be announced by Biden during his State of the Union address Thursday night as part of a presidential directive to “flood” the region with much-needed aid by air, land and sea. .

The port plans come after the United States began airdropping aid to Gaza last week, with the third airdrop taking place on Thursday. One of three senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the plan said the new offshore facility would allow “hundreds” of truckloads of aid to be delivered to Gaza each day, according to White House rules. The aid will pass through Cyprus, where the cargo will be inspected by Israel before being loaded onto what officials describe as “large ships carrying food, water, medicine and temporary shelter.”

Relations between Washington and Jerusalem have become increasingly tense as Israel’s siege of Gaza severely limits the amount of humanitarian aid allowed into the enclave.There are millions of civilians in war zones on the verge of famine amid a worsening public health disaster, according to humanitarian organizations.

At home and abroad, Biden’s efforts to balance unwavering U.S. diplomatic and military support for Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas militants with the increasingly dire situation in Gaza have become increasingly equivocal. Can’t stand still.

Despite growing alarm over acts of war, the U.S. continues to flood Israel with weapons

“We are not waiting for Israel” to provide more aid, a senior official said. “This is a time for U.S. leadership and we are building a coalition of nations to address this urgent need.” After the U.S. initially delivers by sea, it is hoped other countries will join the mission that will eventually include commercial operations, the official said middle.

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not issue an initial statement on the U.S. announcement. An Israeli official, who spoke on condition of anonymity pending an official response, said Israel “welcomes and fully supports” the port plan, which has been discussed and “will be implemented with full coordination between the two parties.”

Biden has pledged that the U.S. military will not be involved in the war, and officials have said there will be no construction of port facilities to station U.S. troops.

See also  Fulton County cyberattack may be tied to Trump election case

One official said the “planned concept involves the presence of U.S. military personnel on naval vessels offshore Gaza” but does not require U.S. military personnel to come ashore to install dock or causeway facilities or unload aid.

“This important capability will take weeks to plan and execute,” the official said, adding that the required U.S. troops “are either already in the area or will begin moving there soon.”

The Pentagon declined to provide further details about how, when, where or which military units built the facility, saying more details about the mission would be released on Friday.

The United Nations and other humanitarian organizations will distribute aid inside Gaza, and Israel will make security arrangements, officials said. Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said on Thursday they welcomed “any way to provide more aid to Gaza” but stressed that truck convoys were more efficient. “We have been saying from the beginning that we need more points of entry, we need more assistance coming by land,” he said.

Israel only allows land transport from southern Gaza with Egypt through the Rafah crossing and the Israeli crossing at Kerem Shalom in the southeastern corner of the enclave. Most of the aid will go to the city of Rafah, where some 1.5 million Gazans have taken refuge from Israeli bombardment. Israel has warned that Hamas forces and its leadership are hiding in Rafah and are about to launch an offensive.

Gaza has long relied on international aid. According to Israeli authorities, before Hamas attacked Gaza on October 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking 253 hostages, an average of about 500 trucks carrying humanitarian and commercial cargo entered the area every day. land. Both Israel and Egypt tightened access after the attack and subsequent Israeli military offensive. Gaza health authorities say the offensive has killed more than 30,000 people. The average number of trucks per day dropped to 170 in January, 98 in February, and even single digits on some days.

Only a few convoys have reached the north, which suffered massive damage from Israeli air and ground attacks last year. Most northern residents evacuated to the south, but at least 300,000 people are believed to have taken refuge in the ruins in and around Gaza City. Israeli forces denied access to or delayed aid convoys, while criminal gangs hijacked trucks that managed to approach the area without local police escorts, and hungry civilians besieged trucks that had abandoned them after being attacked by Israel. this task.

Aid delivery in northern Gaza marked by despair and death

See also  The latest Israel-Hamas war news and Gaza conflict updates

Last week, more than 100 people were killed by Israeli gunfire or a stampede in Gaza City when a group suddenly attacked a rare aid convoy. The World Food Program said a second attempt to reach the north on Wednesday was “largely unsuccessful” and Israeli forces delayed and rerouted 14 trucks that were looted by civilians before reaching their destination.

Growing demands for more food, medicine and supplies to be delivered to Gaza are increasing pressure on Israel and Hamas to halt hostilities ahead of the start of Ramadan early next week.

The announcement of the Gaza port came as a senior government official declined to predict whether ongoing negotiations for a ceasefire and hostage release would succeed. The Biden administration says Israel has agreed to the terms of the interim deal, which includes a six-week ceasefire and the release of women, children, the sick and the elderly held captive by Hamas, including some Israeli soldiers. Some hostages are believed to be dead and the interim agreement includes the return of their bodies. During a lull in fighting late last year, Hamas exchanged more than 100 hostages for 240 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.

The Hamas proposal also includes redeploying Israeli troops in Gaza away from urban areas, allowing residents of northern Gaza to return to their homes and significantly increasing the flow of humanitarian aid, the official said. “All of these things have been negotiated,” the official said. The United States and Israel say the ball is now in Hamas’s court.

A Hamas official told The Washington Post that the group rejected an Israeli offer for a six-week truce while keeping troops in Gaza and accepting the return of hostages. “We want a permanent ceasefire, we want Israeli forces to withdraw from the Gaza Strip,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss ongoing negotiations. He said a ceasefire that lasted only through Ramadan and released hostages would leave Gazans without protection after the ceasefire ends.

U.S. officials have said they expect to reach a three-phase deal, with the first phase to negotiate more ceasefires and ultimately an end to the war. Israel says it intends to return to its mission to eliminate Rafah Hamas once the hostages are freed.

Earlier this week, Israel withdrew its negotiating team from the Cairo talks. A Hamas delegation left Cairo on Thursday, reportedly for consultations with the group’s political leaders in Qatar.

Daduk reported from Beirut. Missy Ryan and Alex Horton contributed to this report.

Source link

By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *