Hamas Leader To Attend Ceasefire Discussions In Cairo
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was scheduled to arrive in Cairo on Thursday for discussions regarding a proposed ceasefire in Gaza, even as Israel continued its offensive in the besieged Palestinian territory.
Hamas was reportedly assessing a proposal for a six-week truce in its conflict with Israel. Mediators convened in Paris, signaling increased international efforts to establish a new pause in the devastating war.
The ongoing conflict in Gaza persisted, with no respite in fighting or aerial bombardment. The focal point of the current combat was the major southern city of Khan Yunis, identified by Israel as a location where prominent Hamas militants are believed to be hiding.
Witnesses reported multiple Israeli airstrikes in the city overnight, and aid and health workers consistently highlighted intense fighting, particularly around two hospitals. The latest night of strikes resulted in 119 casualties, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza.
Leo Cans, the head of mission for the international NGO Doctors Without Borders for the Palestinian Territories, characterized the situation as a “massacre” unfolding in Gaza.
Israel has accused Hamas of utilizing tunnels under hospitals in Gaza and using medical facilities as command centers. This allegation, denied by Hamas, which is designated a “terrorist” organization by the European Union and the United States, has further complicated the already dire humanitarian situation.
The World Health Organization’s emergencies director, Michael Ryan, emphasized the critical condition of the population in Gaza due to constraints on humanitarian aid delivery, stating that civilians are “starving to death.” He underscored the importance of protecting Gaza’s civilians and health facilities, emphasizing their status as non-parties to the conflict.
In the latest update from the UN, heavy bombardment across the Gaza Strip was reported, particularly in Khan Yunis. Additionally, 184,000 Palestinians from the city were registered to receive humanitarian assistance after fleeing their homes.
Amid escalating mediation efforts led by Qatar and Egypt, Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, was set to engage in discussions in Cairo on Thursday. The talks aimed to address a truce proposal crafted in Paris during the previous weekend, involving CIA chief William Burns.