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Plan for one-month Gaza truce makes progress as Israel hits Khan Younis

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Palestinians stand by the border fence with Egypt at a makeshift tent camp for displaced Palestinians in Rafah within the southern Gaza Strip, on January 24, 2024 amid the continuing battle between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
| Photo Credit: AFP

Israel and Hamas have moved nearer to an settlement on a 30-day ceasefire in Gaza when Israeli hostages and Palestinians prisoners could be launched, sources stated, as Israel pressed forward with its assault on southern Gaza’s foremost metropolis of Khan Younis.

Qatar, the U.S. and Egypt have held shuttle diplomacy since December 28 searching for to bridge variations between Israel and the Palestinian militant group on a framework for a break in hostilities, which might additionally enable a rise in humanitarian help to Gaza.

But the 2 sides stay at odds over how one can completely finish the Gaza struggle, and Hamas has refused to maneuver ahead till that is resolved, the sources stated.

The U.S. State Department and White House, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry and Egypt’s State Information Service didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Meanwhile, in its largest operation in a month, the Israeli army pressed forward with encircling Khan Younis the place a whole lot of hundreds of displaced Palestinians are sheltering.

Israeli tanks on Tuesday shut the highway from Khan Younis in the direction of the Mediterranean coast, blocking the escape route for civilians making an attempt to achieve Rafah on Gaza’s southern edge bordering Egypt — now full of greater than half the enclave’s 2.3 million folks.

Israeli forces killed greater than 100 militants in western Khan Younis in 24 hours, army spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari stated on Tuesday night. Israel says it has killed round 9,000 militants in whole. Reuters was unable to confirm the quantity.

On Monday, Israel’s army suffered its deadliest day in over three months of battle as 24 troopers have been killed in two incidents, bringing the Israeli army loss of life toll in Gaza since late October to 220. Hamas claimed accountability for a rocket assault that killed 21 of the troopers.

The newest deaths prompted Israeli officers to reiterate that the aims of the struggle towards the Palestinian Hamas motion that runs Gaza have been unchanged and that efforts have been being made to achieve the discharge of greater than 100 hostages.

“In the name of our heroes, for the sake of our lives, we will not stop fighting until absolute victory,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated.

Israeli authorities spokesperson Eylon Levy stated there could be no ceasefire that left Hamas in energy and hostages in Gaza, following the militant group’s cross-border rampage on Oct. 7 by which some 1,200 Israelis have been killed.

Palestinian well being officers stated no less than 195 Palestinians have been killed over the prior 24 hours, elevating the documented loss of life toll to 25,490. Thousands extra are feared misplaced within the rubble.

“The entire population of Gaza is enduring destruction at a scale and speed without parallel in recent history,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres instructed the Security Council.

“Nothing can justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” he stated, denouncing Israel’s opposition to creation of a Palestinian state that might exist alongside Israel.

‘CAUSE FOR OPTIMISM’

Diplomacy round a ceasefire deal appeared intense. Qatar stated on Tuesday the nation had “presented ideas to both sides, we are getting a constant stream of replies from both sides, and that in its own right is a cause for optimism.”

Later, White House spokesperson John Kirby stated U.S. Middle East envoy Brett McGurk was in Cairo and would journey within the area for “active” discussions on guaranteeing launch of hostages and securing a humanitarian pause.

“The conversations are very sober and serious about trying to get another hostage deal in place,” Kirby instructed reporters.

Each aspect blamed the opposite for the collapse of a seven-day truce in November by rejecting phrases to increase the every day launch of hostages held by militants in change for Palestinian detainees.

Women, kids and international hostages have been freed, however mediators failed on the last hour to discover a components to launch extra, together with Israeli troopers and civilian males.

In southern Gaza, Israel has blockaded hospitals, which Palestinian officers say makes it not possible to rescue the wounded. Israel says Hamas fighters function in and round hospitals, which hospital employees and Hamas deny.

At the European Hospital, reached by Reuters in southern Khan Younis, Ahed Masmah introduced in 5 corpses, piled on a mattress on his donkey cart.

“I found them face down in the street,” he stated.

At Khan Younis’ foremost Nasser hospital, the most important nonetheless functioning within the Gaza Strip, our bodies have been being buried on the grounds as a result of it was unsafe to go to the cemetery.

Martin Griffiths, U.N. coordinator of emergency reduction, stated on Tuesday that 24 folks have been killed in strikes on an help warehouse, U.N. centre and humanitarian zone within the Khan Younis space. A distribution centre the place households obtain help got here below heavy bombardment, he stated on social media platform X.

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