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Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu says battle towards Hamas is not going to cease after cease-fire

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JERUSALEM — Israel and Hamas on Tuesday appeared near a deal to quickly halt their devastating six-week battle for dozens of hostages being held within the Gaza Strip to be freed in trade for Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

However as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his Cupboard for a vote, he vowed to renew the Israeli offensive towards Hamas as quickly because the truce ends.

“We’re at battle, and we are going to proceed the battle,” he mentioned. “We are going to proceed till we obtain all our objectives.”

The Israeli Cupboard was anticipated to vote on a plan that might halt Israel’s offensive in Gaza for a number of days in trade for the discharge of about 50 of the 240 hostages held by Hamas. Israel has vowed to proceed the battle till it destroys Hamas’ army capabilities and returns all hostages. The Cupboard assembly continued into the early hours of Wednesday.

Hamas predicted on Tuesday {that a} Qatari-mediated deal could possibly be reached in “the approaching hours.”

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Netanyahu acknowledged that the Cupboard confronted a troublesome choice, however supporting the cease-fire was the correct factor to do. Netanyahu appeared to have sufficient help to move the measure, regardless of opposition from some hard-line ministers.

Netanyahu mentioned that throughout the lull, intelligence efforts shall be maintained, permitting the military to organize for the following levels of battle. He mentioned the battle would proceed till “Gaza is not going to threaten Israel.”

The announcement got here as Israeli troops battled Palestinian militants in an city refugee camp in northern Gaza and round hospitals overcrowded with sufferers and sheltering households.

Particulars of the anticipated cease-fire deal weren’t launched. Israeli media reported that an settlement would come with a five-day halt in Israel’s offensive in Gaza and the discharge of fifty hostages held by Hamas in trade for some 150 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Israel’s Channel 12 TV mentioned the primary releases would happen Thursday or Friday and proceed for a number of days.

Talks have repeatedly stalled. However even when a deal is reached, it could not imply an finish to the battle, which erupted on Oct. 7 after Hamas militants stormed throughout the border into southern Israel and killed not less than 1,200 folks, most of them civilians, and kidnapped some 240 others.

In weeks of Israeli airstrikes and a floor invasion, greater than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed, two-thirds of them ladies and minors, and greater than 2,700 others are lacking and believed to be buried underneath rubble, in keeping with Gaza’s Well being Ministry. The ministry says it has been unable to replace its rely since Nov. 11 due to the well being sector’s collapse.

Gaza well being officers say the toll has risen sharply since, and hospitals proceed to report deaths from day by day strikes, typically dozens at a time.

The Well being Ministry within the West Financial institution final reported a toll of 13,300 however stopped offering its personal rely Tuesday with out giving a purpose. Due to that, and since officers there declined to elucidate intimately how they tracked deaths after Nov. 11, the AP determined to cease reporting its rely.

The Well being Ministry toll doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants. Israel says it has killed hundreds of Hamas militants however has not offered proof for its rely.

In southern Lebanon, an Israeli strike killed two journalists with Al-Mayadeen TV, in keeping with the Hezbollah-allied Pan-Arab community and Lebanese officers. There was no speedy remark from the Israeli army. A separate Israeli drone strike in Lebanon killed 4 Hamas members, a Palestinian official and a Lebanon safety official mentioned.

The Israeli army has been buying and selling hearth nearly day by day throughout the border with Lebanon’s Hezbollah group and Palestinian militants for the reason that outbreak of the battle.

Israel, the USA and Qatar, which mediates with Hamas, have negotiated for weeks over a hostage launch that might be paired with a short lived cease-fire and the entry of extra help.

In Washington, President Joe Biden mentioned Tuesday {that a} deal on releasing some hostages was “very shut.”

“We might deliver a few of these hostages residence very quickly,” he mentioned on the White Home.

Qatar’s Overseas Ministry spokesman, Majed al-Ansari expressed optimism, telling reporters that “we’re on the closest level we ever had been in reaching an settlement.” He added that negotiations have been at a “crucial and ultimate stage.”

Izzat Rishq, a senior Hamas official, mentioned Tuesday that an settlement could possibly be reached “within the coming hours,” by which Hamas would launch captives and Israel would launch Palestinian prisoners. Hamas’ leader-in-exile, Ismail Haniyeh, additionally mentioned they have been near a deal.

Israel’s Channel 12 TV, citing nameless Israeli officers, mentioned a truce could possibly be prolonged and extra Palestinian prisoners launched if there have been extra hostages freed.

Inside Gaza, the entrance line of the battle shifted to the Jabaliya refugee camp, a densely constructed district of concrete buildings close to Gaza Metropolis that homes households displaced within the 1948 battle surrounding Israel’s creation. Israel has bombarded the world for weeks, and the army mentioned Hamas fighters have regrouped there and in different jap districts after being pushed out of a lot of Gaza Metropolis.

The preventing in Jabaliya additionally affected two close by hospitals, trapping tons of of sufferers and displaced folks sheltering inside. A strike Tuesday hit inside one of many amenities, al-Awda, killing 4 folks, together with three docs, the hospital director advised Al-Jazeera TV. The director, Ahmed Mahna, blamed the strike on Israel, a declare that AP couldn’t independently verify. The medical help group Docs With out Borders confirmed that two of the docs killed labored for it.

Residents of Jabaliya mentioned there was heavy preventing as Israeli forces tried to advance underneath the duvet of airstrikes. “They’re going through stiff resistance,” mentioned Hamza Abu Mansour, a college pupil.

The Israeli army mentioned strikes hit three tunnel shafts the place fighters have been hiding and destroyed rocket launchers. Footage launched by the army confirmed Israeli troopers patrolling on foot as gunfire echoed round them.

It was not attainable to independently verify particulars of the preventing.

It’s unclear what number of Palestinian civilians stay in northern Gaza, however the U.N. company for Palestinian refugees estimates that some 160,000 individuals are nonetheless in its shelters there, although it could possibly not present companies. Hundreds extra nonetheless shelter in a number of hospitals within the north even after many fled south in current weeks.

Most hospitals are not operational. The hospital state of affairs in Gaza is “catastrophic,” Michael Ryan, a senior World Well being Group official, mentioned Monday.

With Israeli troops surrounding the Indonesia Hospital, additionally close to Jabaliya, employees needed to bury 50 {dead} within the facility’s courtyard, a senior Well being Ministry official within the hospital, Munir al-Boursh, advised Al-Jazeera TV.

As much as 600 wounded folks and a few 2,000 displaced Palestinians stay stranded on the hospital, in keeping with Gaza’s Well being Ministry.

The same standoff performed out in current days at Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest, the place over 250 sufferers and medical staff are stranded after the evacuation of 31 untimely infants.

Israel has offered proof in current days of a militant presence at Shifa. But it surely has but to substantiate its claims that Hamas had a significant command middle beneath the power, allegations denied by Hamas and hospital employees.

Most of Gaza’s inhabitants of two.3 million have crowded into the southern part of the Gaza Strip, the place Israeli strikes have continued and the place the army says it intends to increase its floor invasion. Many are packed into U.N.-run faculties and different amenities throughout the territory’s south or sleeping on the streets exterior, whilst winter rains have pelted the coastal enclave in current days.

There are shortages of meals, water and gas for turbines throughout all of Gaza, which has had no central electrical energy for over a month.

Strikes in a single day crushed residential buildings within the Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, killing not less than 20 folks, in keeping with hospital officers. Footage from the scene confirmed the legs of 5 younger boys protruding from underneath a collapsed concrete slab of 1 residence.

Israel continues to strike what it says are militant targets all through Gaza, typically killing ladies and youngsters. Israel accuses Hamas of utilizing civilians as human shields.


Jeffery reported from Cairo. Related Press writers Wafaa Shurafa in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip; Samy Magdy in Cairo; and Melanie Lidman in Jerusalem contributed.


Full AP protection at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.

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