Gaza ceasefire talks appear to have stalled days before Ramadan

Negotiations aimed at brokering a ceasefire Israel-Gaza War With days left until the unofficial deadline for the start of Ramadan, the plan appears to have stalled.

Palestinian officials said two days of talks between Hamas and international mediators in the Egyptian capital Cairo did not yield any major breakthrough. Israel refused to send a delegation to participate in the latest round of negotiations.

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Egypt’s Al-Qahera News, which has close ties to the country’s intelligence services, quoted an unnamed senior official as saying that “negotiations are difficult but continue”.

Hamas’ team met with Egyptian, Qatari and U.S. mediators on Tuesday and agreed to continue talks for at least another day.

Israeli authorities did not immediately respond to a request for comment.A U.S. official has say saturday Israel “more or less accepted” the deal presented to the Israeli delegation in Qatar.

International mediators have put pressure on Hamas over the past two days Generate host list The release of the document is the first step toward a phased ceasefire agreement with Israel, according to officials familiar with the negotiations.

The United States also seemed to suggest that Hamas was delaying the negotiations. “There are no excuses, we must send more aid to Syria.” GazaThe ceasefire is now in the hands of Hamas,” Joe Biden told producers on Tuesday.

Israel did not send a delegation to talks in Cairo as scheduled the next day and asked Hamas to provide a list of 40 elderly, sick and female hostages who would be the first to be released as part of an initial part of a six-week truce that begins during the holy month of Ramadan.

Hamas demands that large-scale humanitarian aid be allowed into Gaza and that Palestinians who fled their homes in the northern coastal region be allowed to return.

Washington diplomatic sources said on Monday It was unclear what prevented Palestinian militant groups from compiling a list of the first hostages, noting that similar uncertainty ultimately led to the collapse of the last successful truce in November a week later.

They said this could reflect communication problems between Hamas forces inside and outside Gaza, that some hostages could be held by other groups, including the more hardline Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or that Hamas members withheld information as part of an effort to hinder a deal. way.

Children wait to receive food cooked by the Rafah Soup Kitchen. Malnutrition among children in Gaza is serious. Photo: Mohammad Salem/Reuters

While Washington’s rhetoric on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza has intensified in the past few days, critics say Biden has chosen not to use Washington’s influence as Israel’s main arms supplier and most important international ally to bring Israel to the negotiating table, or Let the country increase aid to desperate civilians in Gaza.

United States Air Force Airdrop starts on Saturday Aid was provided in a joint operation with Jordanian aircraft following Biden’s announcement the day before, delivering a total of 38,000 meals.

The Israeli offensive has killed more than 30,000 people, displaced 85% of the population of 2.3 million, and left more than half of Gaza’s infrastructure in ruins, according to Gaza’s health ministry and the United Nations.

The World Health Organization estimated on Tuesday that at least 8,000 patients would need to be evacuated for treatment, which would ease pressure on the few remaining hospitals still functioning.

The five-month-old war was triggered by unprecedented surprise attacks by Hamas on communities across Israel, which killed about 1,200 people and kidnapped another 250, according to Israeli figures.

In November, about 100 hostages were exchanged for 240 Palestinian women and children held in Israeli jails, but progress on a second deal has been elusive.

While the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan around March 10 is not a hard deadline for a new ceasefire, the United Nations says a quarter of Gaza’s population faces starvation, so a comprehensive ceasefire is agreed to allow enough aid to reach all areas of Gaza. Besieged territory is crucial.

Malnutrition among children is growing in the besieged area, with United Nations officials reporting on Monday that one in six children under the age of two in the northern half of Gaza is severely malnourished.

U.N. officials also said Palestinians detained by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip were “thoroughly traumatized” upon their release and reported abuse while in captivity, including threats of electrocution, being photographed nude and being deprived of sleep.

The longer the fighting drags on, the greater the risk of conflagration: Iran-backed groups in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen have already been drawn into the conflict. Ramadan is often accompanied by an escalation of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even in quieter years.

Fighting in Gaza continued on Tuesday, with Hamas officials reporting dozens of Israeli airstrikes near the Hamad European Hospital near the southern city of Khan Younis.

Bombing, shelling and ground fighting across Gaza killed a further 97 people in the past 24 hours, the health ministry in Hamas-controlled areas said, without distinguishing between civilian and combatant deaths. Israel said its warplanes struck 50 targets in the past 24 hours. The past day.

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