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Egypt ‘awaiting responses’ on plans to end Hamas-Israel war

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30 December 2023, SBS News

As the war in Gaza continues to escalate, Egypt has put forward a framework proposal to end the conflict and “restore peace and stability to the region”.

Key Points

  • Egypt has put forward framework proposal to end the conflict between Hamas and Israel in Gaza.
  • Sources have previously said the proposal includes a ceasefire and prisoner releases.
  • Over 21,000 people have died in the war, according to according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza.

Egypt has confirmed it has put forward a framework proposal to end the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip that includes three stages ending with a ceasefire, and says it is awaiting responses on the plan.

Egypt would give further details of the plan once those responses are received, Diaa Rashwan, head of Egypt’s State Information Service, said in a statement.

The proposal is an attempt “to bring viewpoints between all concerned parties closer, in an effort to stop Palestinian bloodshed and the aggression against the Gaza Strip and restore peace and stability to the region,” he said.

Egyptian security sources had previously said the proposal included a multi-stage ceasefire involving prisoner releases by Israel and Hamas.

One Egyptian source said the idea of a post-war Gaza administration was raised.

Israeli tanks advanced deep into a town in the central Gaza Strip on Thursday after days of relentless bombardment that forced tens of thousands of already displaced Palestinian families to flee in a new exodus.

A Palestinian journalist posted pictures of Israeli tanks near a mosque in a built-up area of Bureij which had apparently advanced from orchards on the eastern outskirts.

Further south, Israeli forces struck the area around a hospital in the heart of Khan Younis, the Gaza Strip’s main southern city, where residents feared a new ground push into territory crowded with families made homeless in 12 weeks of war.

Palestinian health authorities said 210 people were confirmed killed in Israeli strikes in the past 24 hours, raising the toll of the war to 21,320 dead – nearly 1 per cent of the enclave’s population.

Thousands more dead are feared to be buried or lost in the ruins.

Israel has escalated its ground war in Gaza sharply since just before Christmas despite public pleas from its closest ally the United States to scale the campaign down in the closing weeks of the year.

It launched the war to destroy the Hamas movement that runs Gaza after fighters rampaged through Israeli towns on 7 October, killing 1200 people and capturing 240 hostages.

The Israeli army expressed regret on Thursday over the “harm to uninvolved individuals” caused by a recent strike on the al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

The 24 December attack on the urban refugee camp left dozens of people dead.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry put the toll at more than 70, with children among the victims.

More than 33,000 people live in al-Maghasi, which covers an area of 0.6 square kilometres, according to the UN.

An Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesman said on Thursday that fighter jets had “struck two targets adjacent to which Hamas operatives were located on 24 December.

“Before the strikes were carried out, steps were taken by the IDF to mitigate harm to uninvolved civilians in the area,” he said.

“A preliminary investigation revealed that additional buildings located near the targets were also hit during the strikes, which likely caused unintended harm to additional uninvolved civilians.”

The incident is now being dealt with by a special committee within the army, which is responsible for investigating “exceptional incidents that occur during combat”.

Israel’s KAN broadcaster reported, citing an unnamed military official, that the investigation had revealed that the appropriate ammunition was not used in the attack, leading to the extensive damage.

“This could have been prevented if the right ammunition had been chosen for the operation,” the broadcaster reported.

The war between Hamas and Israel is the latest escalation in a long-standing conflict.

Hamas is a Palestinian political and military group, which has governed the Gaza Strip since the most recent elections in 2006.

Hamas’s stated aim is to establish a Palestinian state and stop the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, illegal under international law.

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Article source: SBS News 30.12.2023

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000