Israel approved an agreement with Hamas to free the hostages

Israel approved an agreement with Hamas to free the hostages

Israel approves agreement with Hamas to free hostages

While the debate was taking place within the Israeli Government, its troops were fighting with Palestinian militiamen from the Gaza Strip in an urban refugee camp and at the gates of a nearby hospital.

The negotiations that led to this approval of ceasefire by Israel were measured by Qatar.

The front line of hostilities, now in their seventh week, moved to the Jabaliya town camp, a dense labyrinth of concrete buildings near Gaza City that houses Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war unleashed by the founding of Israel, as well as its descendants.

Israel has been bombing the area for weeks and the military says fighters from Hamas and the Islamist group Islamic Jihad have regrouped there and elsewhere in northern Gaza after being expelled from much of Gaza City, the largest of the enclave’s towns.

Fighting also intensified outside the Indonesian Hospital on the outskirts of Jabaliya, where an Israeli shelling killed 12 people yesterday, according to Palestinian officials.

Israel denied bombing the hospital but said its troops returned fire on militants who attacked them from inside.

Gaza health officials said today that hundreds of patients and displaced people are trapped inside the Indonesian Hospital with dwindling supplies after some 200 people were evacuated the previous day.

A medical worker at the Indonesian Hospital said intense clashes prevented ambulances from taking the wounded, after saying yesterday that Israeli tanks and snipers were stationed nearby.

For his part, the director general of the Gaza Health Ministry, Munir al Bursh, who said he was inside the hospital, told Al Jazeera by telephone that Israeli forces had laid siege to it, forcing health workers to bury 50 bodies in the patio.

“The situation is unimaginable. We are trapped inside the hospital,” he said.

A similar situation has been developing for several days at the Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, the largest in the Strip, where more than 250 patients and medical workers are stranded after the evacuation of 31 premature babies who arrived yesterday in neighboring Egypt.

The UN said it was working on a plan to evacuate that health center.

International mediation

Attacks on hospitals have marked the last weeks of the offensive launched by the Israeli Army in Gaza since Hamas militants killed 1,200 people and kidnapped another 240, including twenty Argentines, in Israel on October 7.

Qatar, United States and Egypt They have been mediating for weeks between Israel and Hamas to achieve a truce in the Israeli offensive in exchange for the release of hostages, and the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu stated today that negotiations were “advancing”which kept expectations open.

Hours before, Hamas leader Isamail Haniyeh said a deal was “close.”

“We are close to reaching an agreement on a truce,” he declared in a message posted on Telegram.

In Qatar, the Government reported today that the negotiators were already in the “final phase” and that they “were never as close to an agreement” as they are now.

Two sources familiar with the negotiations explained that the tentative agreement is based on the release of between “50 and 100” hostages in exchange for the release of 300 Palestinian prisoners in Israel, including children and women, the AFP news agency reported.

The hostage exchange

The exchange, according to what he previously spoke, It would be carried out at a rate of 10 Israeli hostages per day against 30 Palestinian prisoners and would also entail the entry of food, medical assistance and fuel into Gaza and a “five-day humanitarian truce,” he added, without identifying the sources.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) claims not to participate in these conversations, but its president, Mirjana Spoljaric, met yesterday at Qatar with Haniyeh to “advance humanitarian issues linked to the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza.”

US President Joe Biden said yesterday for the second day in a row that he believed an agreement was close.

Israel says Hamas, which controls Gaza, uses civilians as human shields and operates a network of tunnels and has command centers in and under hospitals in the northern coastal territory.

More than 13,300 Palestinians killed

Israel’s critics say its siege of Gaza and continued bombing amounts to collective punishment of all Palestinians in the territory, where Israeli attacks have already left more than 13,300 dead, including some 5,500 childrenaccording to the local Ministry of Health.

The Israeli Army has repeatedly called on Palestinian civilians to move to southern Gaza from the north, where fighting and shelling is focused.

It is unclear how many people remain in northern Gaza, but the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) estimates that some 160,000 people are still in shelters there, even though it can no longer provide services to them.

Some 1.7 million Palestinians, about three-quarters of the 2.3 million Palestinians living in Gaza, have fled their homes because of the fighting, according to the UN.

Hundreds of thousands of displaced people have taken refuge in schools and other UN-run facilities across southern Gaza. With shelters overflowing, people were forced to sleep on the streets, under winter rains that have fallen in recent days.

Throughout Gaza there are shortages of food, water and fuel for the generators that power basic infrastructure. The region has been without power since Israel cut fuel imports at the beginning of the escalation with Hamas.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians had taken refuge in hospitals in northern Gaza, but these have been progressively emptied as the fighting reached their doors, and most are no longer operational.

In Geneva, meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned today that tens of thousands of Palestinian children are at risk of dying from “massive epidemics” caused by the lack of fuel and water sanitation in the Strip. Loop.

Source: Ambito

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