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⇒ Truce in Gaza: an agreement looms
⇒ Fighting continues in the northern Gaza Strip
⇒ The EU defends the creation of a “Palestinian state”
“Near” truce agreement in Gaza
Talks accelerate Tuesday for the release of hostages held by Hamas in exchange for a truce in the Gaza Strip. The Hamas terrorist movement “has delivered its response to the brothers of Qatar and the mediators. We are getting closer to concluding a truce agreement,” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday in a brief message in Arabic sent by his office at AFP.
According to sources within Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the second largest Palestinian armed Islamist group, the two movements have accepted an agreement, the details of which must be announced by Qatar and the mediators. The Israeli government did not immediately react to these statements. The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Mirjana Spoljaric, met Monday evening with leaders of Qatar as well as Ismaïl Haniyeh, based in the Gulf emirate, in order to “advance on humanitarian issues linked to the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza.
Qatar, Egypt and the United States are working on an agreement to try to free hostages kidnapped in Israel by Hamas in exchange for a truce in the Gaza Strip.
For his part, the spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, John Kirby declared: “We have never been closer, we are confident. But there is still work. Nothing is done until that everything is not done.” To a journalist who asked him the following question: “Is an agreement to release the hostages close?”, American President Joe Biden replied in Washington: “I think so”.
“50 to 100 hostages” could be released
Two sources close to the matter told AFP on Tuesday that the talks discussed an agreement to release “50 to 100” hostages in exchange for the release of 300 Palestinian prisoners in Israel, including children and women. The transfer would be carried out in stages at the rate of “ten” Israeli hostages against “thirty” Palestinian prisoners per day and would include the entry of food, medical aid and fuel and above all a “renewable five-day humanitarian truce”.
Relatives of the hostages met the Israeli Prime Minister and his “war cabinet” on Monday evening. “Recovering our hostages is a sacred and supreme task and I am committed to it,” declared Benjamin Netanyahu on the social network families.
Tensions at Indonesian hospital in northern Gaza
The army indicated overnight that its soldiers “continued to fight” in the north of the Gaza Strip while Palestinian sources reported tensions at the Indonesian hospital, targeted the day before Israeli strikes which killed 12 patients and their loved ones” and left “dozens of wounded” according to Hamas, a toll that no independent source is able to verify. According to local hospital sources, more than a hundred wounded were transferred to the evening and night from this hospital to the Nasser complex in Khan Younes, in the south of the Gaza Strip.
During the night, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported an Israeli strike causing deaths and injuries on a residence in the Nuseirat camp, located in the center of the Gaza Strip.
Josep Borrell calls for a two-state solution
“The best guarantee for Israel’s security is the creation of a Palestinian state,” Josep Borrell said during a videoconference with the 27 European foreign ministers, after touring the Middle East. This is “a fundamental political conclusion” of his discussions in the region, argued the EU’s top diplomat.
Josep Borrell insisted that Israel should not occupy Gaza after the end of the conflict and that control of the territory should be transferred to the Palestinian Authority. “Despite the enormous challenges, we must advance our thoughts on the stabilization of Gaza and the future Palestinian state,” he stressed. In the short term, there is a “sense of urgency” in the region over the desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza, Josep Borrel added after visiting a series of Arab states.