Israel-Hamas War: US Vice President Kamala Harris Calls for “Immediate Ceasefire” in Gaza

Negotiations resumed on Sunday, March 3, in Cairo, with a view to a truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, during the month of Ramadan

Israel-Hamas War: US Vice President Kamala Harris Calls for “Immediate Ceasefire” in Gaza

Negotiations resumed on Sunday, March 3, in Cairo, with a view to a truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, during the month of Ramadan. The besieged Palestinian enclave is subject to new deadly bombings and is threatened with famine according to the United Nations (UN). Representatives of Hamas, Qatar and the United States met to “start a new round of negotiations,” according to pro-government Egyptian media Al-Qahera.

The American Vice-President, Kamala Harris, advocated an immediate truce on Sunday. “Given the scale of the suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate ceasefire for at least the next six weeks, which is currently on the negotiating table” between Israel and Hamas, he said. she said during a speech commemorating a civil rights march in Selma, Alabama. “This will allow the hostages to be released and a significant amount of aid to be delivered,” she added, calling on Hamas to position itself favorably. “Hamas says it wants a ceasefire. Well, there's a deal on the table. And as we said, [he] has to accept this deal. »

Kamala Harris also issued the strongest criticism yet of Israel from a senior US official, calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take steps to increase aid to Gaza. “The Israeli government must do more to significantly increase the flow of aid. There are no excuses,” she said, adding that Israel “must open new crossing points” and “must not impose unnecessary restrictions on the delivery of aid.”

“Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed,” said the vice-president of the United States, referring to the distribution of aid in Gaza which turned into a tragedy on Thursday; Hamas health ministry accuses Israeli army of killing 118 people by firing into crowds. The Israeli military acknowledged “limited shooting” and said most of the victims died in a “stampede.”

“The threat that Hamas poses to the people of Israel must be eliminated,” added the Vice-President of the United States.

On Friday, US President Joe Biden repeated “hope” for a truce by Ramadan, the holy month of Muslim fasting, which will begin on March 10 or 11. The Hamas delegation must give an “official response” to a proposal drawn up at the end of January by the mediating countries – Qatar, United States, Egypt – and Israeli negotiators, according to a source close to the Palestinian Islamist movement.

The proposal includes, in a “first phase,” a six-week pause in fighting and the release of 42 hostages held in Gaza, in exchange for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. The Israelis have “more or less accepted” the plan and “the ball is in Hamas’s court,” a senior American official in Washington assured Saturday. Israel has not confirmed this information.

The mediating countries have been trying for weeks to obtain a truce in the war which has killed 30,410 Palestinians since October 7, 2023, according to the latest report from the Hamas-administered Health Ministry, published on Sunday. He also reported, in a press release, 90 deaths in the last twenty-four hours and a total of 71,700 wounded in the territory since the start of the war. On the Israeli side, at least 1,160 people died in the October 7 attack, the majority of them civilians, according to a count by Agence France-Presse (AFP) based on official Israeli data.

• Benny Gantz expected in Washington on Monday

Influential member of the Israeli war cabinet Benny Gantz will meet with American leaders on Monday in Washington to discuss "a temporary ceasefire" and "the need to significantly increase" humanitarian aid to Gaza, announced, Sunday, a White House official.

He is scheduled to speak with Vice President Kamala Harris and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, the same official told reporters. Another American source said he would also meet Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet are confronted by relatives of the hostages, who are urging them to reach an agreement with Hamas on their release. On Saturday, thousands of demonstrators in Jerusalem completed a four-day march that began near the border with the Gaza Strip. “We want them to go home, we want them to be alive,” one protester told AFP. We don't want to wait any longer. »

• “Almost inevitable” famine

Benjamin Netanyahu announced the upcoming launch of a major operation on Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, to defeat Hamas in its “last bastion”. This prospect worries the international community because the city is home to nearly 1.5 million Palestinians, the vast majority displaced, trapped against the closed border with Egypt.

On Sunday evening, an AFP correspondent reported several Israeli air strikes on Rafah and Khan Younes, further north. Witnesses also told AFP that an Israeli strike hit a humanitarian truck in Deir Al-Balah, in the center of the enclave. Contacted by AFP, the Israeli army said without providing details: “It was not a humanitarian truck that was hit.” For its part, the Palestinian Red Crescent declared on

In almost five months, the war has also caused a humanitarian catastrophe. The UN says 2.2 million of the country's 2.4 million people are at risk of "almost inevitable" famine, according to Jens Laerke, spokesperson for OCHA, the coordinating agency for humanitarian affairs. United Nations.

The Hamas health ministry reported sixteen children who died of “malnutrition and dehydration” in recent days. The UN Security Council on Saturday expressed “grave concern” and called for the unhindered delivery of “large-scale” humanitarian aid.