Israel-Hamas war, day 205: Hamas delegation to respond to Israel's truce proposals on Monday

The war knows no respite in the Gaza Strip

Israel-Hamas war, day 205: Hamas delegation to respond to Israel's truce proposals on Monday

The war knows no respite in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army said on Sunday April 28 that it had struck “dozens of terrorist targets” in central Gaza. It also claims to be preparing a ground offensive in Rafah where there are a million and a half Palestinians, mainly displaced people. Many capitals and humanitarian organizations fear a bloodbath in this city already regularly bombarded by the army.

Throughout Saturday, the Israeli navy targeted Hamas targets and provided support to troops deployed in the center of the territory, the army also said on Sunday. According to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) correspondent, Israeli forces carried out airstrikes and artillery fire in several areas of the Gaza Strip, notably in Khan Younes and Rafah, in the south of the territory, as well as than in Gaza City.

In twenty-four hours, at least 66 additional deaths were recorded, according to a statement from the Hamas health ministry, which reported a new death toll of 34,454 in the Gaza Strip since October 7. In more than two hundred days of war, on the Israeli side, 1,170 people, mainly civilians, died, according to an AFP report based on official Israeli data.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby told ABC on Sunday that Israel had agreed to consider U.S. concerns and proposals before launching a possible ground assault against Rafah. “They assured us that they would not go to Rafah until we had the opportunity to express our views and concerns to them,” Kirby said.

"What we're hoping is that after six weeks of a temporary ceasefire, we might be able to put in place something more lasting," said John Kirby, who also noted an increase in the number aid trucks in northern Gaza. “The Israelis have begun to meet the commitments that President Joe Biden asked of them,” he added.

A Hamas delegation will arrive in Egypt on Monday to submit its response to the recent Israeli counter-proposal, with a view to a truce and the release of hostages, a senior official of the Palestinian movement announced to AFP on Sunday.

The delegation, "led by Khalil Al-Hayya", a member of Hamas's political branch for Gaza and very involved in these negotiations, "will meet with the director and officials of the Egyptian intelligence service to discuss and submit the response of the movement" Palestinian , specified this senior official, on condition of anonymity.

Hamas said it had received on Saturday a “counter-proposal” made by Israel as part of mediation from Qatar and Egypt. The delegation must also discuss a “new Egyptian proposal,” added the senior Palestinian movement official.

Saudi Arabia denounced on Sunday the failure of the international community in the face of the war in Gaza and pleaded for the creation of a Palestinian state, during a special meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Riyadh. “The situation in Gaza is clearly a disaster from every point of view, humanitarian, but also a total failure of the existing political system to deal with the crisis,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Ben Farhan told leaders and senior officials attending the two-day summit in the Saudi capital.

The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, called on the United States to prevent a ground invasion in Rafah. “We call on the United States to ask Israel to stop the Rafah operation, because America is the only country capable of preventing Israel from committing this crime,” Abbas said at the summit in Riyadh, saying that such an operation, announced by Israeli officials, would be “the greatest disaster in the history of the Palestinian people.”

The US State Department said that Antony Blinken would travel to Riyadh on Monday to “discuss ongoing efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza that allows for the release of the hostages.” It will also “emphasize the importance of preventing a regional extension” of the war.

Israel will not be represented at the summit, and negotiations on a truce, conducted through American, Qatari and Egyptian mediation, are taking place elsewhere, but the event will be "an opportunity to have structured discussions" with "actors- key,” World Economic Forum (WEF) President Borge Brende said on Saturday.

“The world is walking a tightrope today, trying to find a balance between security and prosperity,” Faisal Al-Ibrahim, the Saudi planning minister, said at a press conference on Saturday. “We meet at a time when an error of judgment, an error of calculation or a miscommunication would further exacerbate our challenges,” he had added.

French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné is due to meet on Sunday in Beirut with key Lebanese officials to try to defuse the cross-border conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, and avoid a large-scale war.

“We are making proposals to the political authorities to (…) avoid war in Lebanon,” declared Mr. Séjourné during his visit to the headquarters of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), deployed in the south of the country . “I will go to Beirut to see the political authorities to (…) make proposals,” he added. “Our responsibility is to mitigate the escalation and this is also our role in UNIFIL. We have 700 soldiers present here. »

Since the start of the war, there have been daily exchanges of fire on Israel's northern border between the Israeli army and the Lebanese Islamist movement Hezbollah.

Meanwhile, internal pressure on Benjamin Netanyahu's government continues to increase. On Saturday evening, thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv to demand the release of hostages kidnapped on October 7. “A deal, now! » chanted the demonstrators, while calling on the Netanyahu government to resign.

Shortly before, Hamas released a video in which two hostages appear, Keith Siegel, 64, and Omri Miran, 47. This is the second video released in several days by Hamas. At the rally in Tel Aviv, Mr Miran's father urged Hamas to "show humanity", and asked the Israeli government to "make a decision now".

Pier under construction in Gaza "will certainly increase the volume of aid delivered" within "two to three weeks", but "nothing can replace land routes and trucks coming in" to Gaza, said John Kirby during an interview on ABC. “You will probably have to wait two to three weeks before an operation,” he said.