Israel-Hamas war: “We are approaching a truce agreement”

Israel-Hamas war: “We are approaching a truce agreement”

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Published on November 21, 2023

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“The movement [Hamas] delivered its response to the brothers of Qatar and the mediators. We are getting closer of the conclusion of a truce agreement », Declared Hamas leader Ismaïl Haniyeh on November 21, in a brief message in Arabic sent by his office. According to sources within Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the second largest Palestinian armed Islamist group, the two movements have accepted an agreement, the details of which must be announced by Qatar and the mediators. The Israeli government did not react in immediately to these statements.

The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Mirjana Spoljaric, had met the previous evening with leaders of Qatar as well as Haniyeh, based in the Gulf emirate, in order to “move forward on humanitarian issues linked to the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza.

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Although the ICRC assured that it would not participate in these talks, it insisted that its “teams be authorized to visit the hostages in order to ensure their well-being and to administer medication to them, and so that the hostages are able to communicate with their families,” according to a press release.

Qatar, Egypt and the United States are working towards an agreement to try to free hostages kidnapped in Israel on October 7 by Hamas, in particular in exchange for a truce in the Gaza Strip. “We have never been so close, we are confident. But there is still work to do. Nothing is done until everything is done,” said White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. To a journalist who he asked: “Is an agreement to release the hostages close?” », US President Joe Biden replied in Washington: “I think so. »

“Ten” hostages against “thirty” prisoners

Two sources familiar with the matter said the talks focused on a deal to release "50 to 100" hostages in exchange for the release of 300 Palestinian prisoners in Israel, including children and women. The transfer would take place in stages at the rate of “ten” Israeli hostages against “thirty” Palestinian prisoners per day et would include the entry of food, medical aid and fuel and above all a “renewable five-day humanitarian truce”. But Israel insists on “family reunification” – which means that if a civilian was released, his partner would also be released, even if he was a soldier – which Hamas, opposed to the release of soldiers, refuses for the moment , according to these two sources.

Relatives of the hostages met on the evening of November 20 with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his “war cabinet”, under pressure for bring the approximately 240 hostages back to Israel. “Recovering our hostages is a sacred and supreme task and I am committed to it,” declared the head of government on the social network with an open heart” with the families.

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Recovering the hostages is one of the objectives of the ongoing Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip and launched in the wake of the October 7 attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement. In Israel, 1 people, en The vast majority of civilians were killed, according to the authorities. In the Gaza Strip, more than 13 people have been killed in Israeli bombardments, including more than 300 children, according to the Hamas government.

Twelve dead in hospital attack

According to the UN, nearly 1,7 million of the 2,4 million inhabitants have been displaced by the war in the Gaza Strip, subject since October 9 to a "complete siege" by Israel, which blocks the deliveries of food, water, electricity and medicine.

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The army indicated in the night that its soldiers "continued to fight" in the north of the Gaza Strip while Palestinian sources reported tensions at the Indonesian hospital, targeted the day before Israeli strikes having killed 12 patients and their relatives" and left "dozens wounded” according to Hamas.

The Islamist movement constantly repeats that Israel is waging “a war against the hospitals” in Gaza, almost all of which in the north of the territory no longer work. Israel, for its part, accuses Hamas of using hospitals to of military purposes and to use the civilians there as “human shields”, which the Palestinian movement denies.

The head of Indonesian diplomacy Retno Marsudi condemned this “Israeli attack […] which killed many civilians and is a clear violation of international humanitarian law”. According to local hospital sources, more than a hundred injured people were transferred in the evening and night from this hospital to the Nasser complex in Khan Younes, in the south of the Gaza Strip. During the night, the agency press Palestinian Wafa reported an Israeli strike causing deaths and injuries on a residence in the Nuseirat camp, located in the center of the Gaza Strip.

Putin at Brics meeting on Gaza

Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to participate on Tuesday in a virtual meeting of emerging Brics countries devoted to the war in Gaza, while his head of diplomacy Sergei Lavrov is due to receive his counterparts from the Arab League and the Organization of the cooperation Islamic.

(with AFP)

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