Israeli Strikes Hit Gaza As Cease-Fire Talks Set To Resume


Israeli strikes pounded Gaza on Sunday as talks aimed at achieving a cease-fire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas were resuming in Cairo.

Witnesses say an Israeli airstrike hit several tents inside the Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in central Gaza, killing at least two people. Thousands of people have been sheltering in the area after the fighting forced them to flee their homes. The Israeli military has not commented on the incident.

Fighting in the region has continued despite a U.N. Security Council resolution last week, calling for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Hamas and the release of all hostages held by the militant group.

With the war nearing the six-month mark, the United States, Qatar and Egypt have been trying to mediate another cease-fire and hostage release since the first one in November.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a return to cease-fire talks with Hamas on Friday.

Hamas, however, would not be present at the talks in Cairo, an official told the Reuters news agency on Sunday, as it waited to hear from mediators on whether a new Israeli offer was on the table.

Hamas has previously proposed a gradual cease-fire process during which it would release all the remaining hostages in exchange for an end to the war and full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, the opening of its borders for aid and reconstruction, and the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, including top militants serving life sentences.

Netanyahu has called Hamas’s terms delusional and pledged to resume Israel’s offensive after any hostage release and keep fighting until the militant group is destroyed.

Hamas, a U.S. designated terror group, is believed to be holding roughly 100 hostages, as well as the remains of about 30 people among the approximately 1,200 people killed in Israel during Hamas’s October 7 terror attack that triggered the war.

So far, Israel’s retaliatory campaign to destroy Hamas has killed more than 32,000 people, mostly women and children, and injured upwards of 70,000, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza. Israel claims one-third of those killed are militants.

Large parts of the enclave have been reduced to rubble, and most of Gaza’s population is sheltering in Gaza’s southern border city of Rafah.


The VOA is the Voice of America

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *