War in the Middle East: USA and G7 push for Gaza agreement

War in the Middle East: USA and G7 push for Gaza agreement

The international community is increasing the pressure on Israel and the Islamist Hamas to reach an agreement. But the war in Gaza continues unabated. The news at a glance.

Following the plan for an agreement to end the Gaza war announced by US President Joe Biden, Israel’s most important ally wants to secure the backing of the UN Security Council. The US has said it has introduced a corresponding resolution. By adopting the draft resolution, the Council must insist that the Islamist Hamas accept the agreement, including the release of the hostages.

The G7 group demonstratively backed the offer for an agreement presented by Biden, which Israel is said to have already agreed to. They “fully support” the plan because it will lead to a permanent end to the crisis, according to a statement from the Italian G7 presidency.

Netanyahu: No ceasefire without fulfillment of conditions

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised doubts as to whether an agreement with Hamas would be reached. “The claim that we have agreed to a ceasefire without our conditions being met is not correct,” Netanyahu said of Biden’s move, according to his office.

A senior Israeli official told NBC News that Biden had not “accurately” reported Israel’s proposal. Biden himself, however, sees it as the “best possible opportunity for an agreement” in the stalled negotiations. In a telephone call with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the US president reaffirmed Israel’s willingness to accept the conditions that have now been offered to Hamas, the White House said.

Israel: Four hostages killed in Hamas captivity

Netanyahu had made it clear, however, that Israel’s conditions for ending the war had not changed: the destruction of Hamas and the release of all hostages. According to Israeli information, four hostages kidnapped by Hamas were killed in captivity. Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said the four men died several months ago in Khan Yunis in the south of the Gaza Strip. The exact circumstances were initially unclear. It is feared that a large proportion of the 124 hostages still being held in Gaza are dead.

For weeks, the US, Qatar and Egypt have been mediating between Israel and Hamas to achieve a ceasefire and an exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners. Biden surprisingly presented details of a draft deal in three phases. Netanyahu’s right-wing religious coalition partners have since threatened to collapse the coalition if Israel agrees to the deal.

Netanyahu said in parliament behind closed doors that the wording of the proposal would allow Israel to resume fighting if talks on a permanent ceasefire do not progress at a later stage, the Wall Street Journal quoted an official as saying.

USA: Israel’s offer is the result of intensive diplomacy

White House National Security Council Communications Director John Kirby stressed that the proposal on the table was one from the Israeli side and was “the result of intense diplomacy.” Biden “described it well and now it is up to Hamas to accept it.”

Israeli officials feared that Netanyahu’s recent comments could sabotage the “constructive ambiguity” in the proposal, the news portal Axios wrote. The wording of the proposal allows both sides to enter the first phase of the agreement, which includes the release of a group of hostages and a 42-day ceasefire. The question of whether this will actually end the war will be postponed until later.

G7 states: Hamas must agree to agreement

The G7 leaders called on the Islamist Hamas to accept the agreement with Israel. Countries with influence over Hamas should help to ensure that it agrees to the agreement, the joint statement continued. At the same time, the G7 group reiterated its support for a credible path to peace that should ultimately lead to a two-state solution.

The G7 includes Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Canada and the USA. In his conversation with the country’s emir, US President Biden called on Qatar to take all appropriate measures to ensure Hamas’ acceptance of the agreement, the White House said. Hamas is now the only obstacle to a complete ceasefire and the liberation of the people of the Gaza Strip.

Fighting in Gaza continues

Meanwhile, the fighting in the sealed-off coastal strip continues unabated. The Israeli army came across more Hamas tunnels and weapons depots during its advance in Rafah in southern Gaza, the military announced. “Terrorist infrastructure” was destroyed in the targeted operations. In addition, a Hamas weapons production facility was attacked from the air, it said.

According to an analysis by the United Nations satellite observation program UNOSAT, more than half of all buildings in the Gaza Strip have been damaged or completely destroyed by the war that has been going on for about eight months, as UNOSAT announced on X.

X-Contribution UNOSAT

In view of the high number of casualties and the disastrous supply situation for the people in the embattled Gaza Strip, a majority of 61 percent of the population in Germany is now against Israel’s military action in the sealed-off coastal strip. This is the result of a Forsa survey for the “Stern” newspaper. Only 33 percent support the military strikes by the Jewish state.

The data was collected by telephone from 1,003 respondents on May 30 and 31. This means that the survey is representative. In November, in a Forsa survey for the “Stern” newspaper, 62 percent of respondents were in favor of military action and 31 percent were against it. This means that the opinion has almost reversed in recent months.

Source: Stern

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