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Gaza Strip. Israel strikes Rafah, at least 13 people die

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On the night from Sunday to Monday, Israeli forces attacked the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip from the air. At least 13 people were killed during the attack. Palestinian sources also report deaths from the Israeli airstrike on Gaza City in the north of the enclave.

World agencies note that the Israeli air strikes on civilian targets in Gaza and Rafah, where there are over a million refugees from other parts of the Gaza Strip, took place a few hours before the meeting scheduled for Monday in Cairo of Qatari and Egyptian mediators with representatives of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas regarding prospects of signing an armistice with Israel.

At least 13 people were killed during the air attack

Reuters writes, citing anonymous informants, that the proposal for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement negotiated with the participation of Qatar, Egypt and the United States includes, among others: the release by Hamas of at least 40 hostages, the release of a number of Palestinians from Israeli prisons, and the temporary cessation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip. In the next stage, there is talk of Israel unblocking humanitarian aid for the Palestinian population, freedom of movement between the northern and southern regions of the Strip, and the partial withdrawal of Israeli troops.

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Attack despite American opposition

Meanwhile, the White House announced on Sunday another telephone conversation between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The American leader was to maintain his opposition to the offensive on Rafah announced by Israel and demanded increased humanitarian aid for the Palestinian population.

Biden and Netanyahu agreed that responsibility for implementing peace proposals rests with Hamas. US Foreign Minister Antony Blinken will visit the Middle East on Monday.

Israel is negotiating with Hamas and preparing for another offensive. “We are preparing for various scenarios”Monika Krajewska/Fakty TVN

Israel was giving a “last chance” to negotiations. Hamas set conditions

Israel declared on Friday that it would “give one last chance” to negotiations before striking the city of Rafah located in the very south of the Gaza Strip, which is considered the last stronghold of Hamas.

On Thursday, Al-Hajja said that the Hamas group could conclude a several-year truce with Israel in exchange for a two-state solution and the Jewish state's consent to the return of descendants of refugees from the 1948 war to its borders. If this happened, Hamas would disband its military wing. He did not explain whether this would mean the end of the conflict or just its suspension, especially since the provisions in the fundamental documents of his organization would remain unchanged. The documents show the annihilation of Israel as the goal. He added that Hamas does not regret last year's attack on Israel.

Israel's attack on the Gaza Strip took place in response to the attack by Hamas militants on Israel on October 7, 2023, which resulted in the death of 1,200 people and 253 were kidnapped as hostages. According to Palestinian sources, more than 34,000 people died as a result of the Israeli offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. civilians – mostly women and children. The hostilities forced more than 2.3 million Palestinians to flee.

Main photo source: EPA

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