Israel Ready to Resume Gaza Truce Talks as Death Toll Surpasses 35,984

Sun May 26 2024
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GAZA: Israel’s armed forces continued relentless bombardment in Gaza, but officials also said diplomatic efforts were expected to resume in the coming days towards a ceasefire and hostage release deal, AFP reported.

Overnight Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling struck various areas of the besieged Gaza Strip, northern, central and southern areas of Gaza. Intense Israeli bombardments were reported in the far-southern city of Rafah, despite a chorus of international opposition to a ground invasion of the city. However, international opposition has mounted against a ground invasion in Rafah.

At least 35,984 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed and 80,643 wounded in Israel’s military offensive on Gaza since October 7, Reuters quoted Gaza’s health ministry as saying.

The past 24 hours alone saw 58 Palestinian fatalities across Gaza, including the tragic deaths of six persons from the same family in Rafah, Al Jazeera reported citing a health official in the enclave. Additionally, six more Palestinians were killed in an attack on a women’s center in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

Meanwhile, mediator Egypt continued its efforts to reactivate ceasefire negotiations, according to reports from Al-Qahera News, which has links with Egyptian intelligence.

Israel has signaled its readiness to engage in new truce negotiations with Hamas. Despite ongoing bombardment from Israel’s armed forces, diplomatic efforts are expected to resume in the coming days in pursuit of a ceasefire and potential release of hostages.

Israeli media outlets have suggested progress in the negotiation framework for a ceasefire. Intelligence chief David Barnea reportedly agreed to this framework during a meeting with America’s CIA chief and Qatari mediators in Paris.

In a recorded message broadcast by Al Jazeera, Abu Ubaida, the spokesman for Al Qassam Brigades, said that their fighters had ambushed and captured Israeli soldiers inside a tunnel. “Our fighters lured a Zionist force into an ambush inside a tunnel … The fighters withdrew after they left all members of the force dead, injured, and captured,” Abu Ubaida, the spokesman for Al Qassam Brigades said.

However, the Israeli military refutes these allegations, stating that there has been no incident of soldiers being abducted.

Hamas released a video that appeared to show a bloodied person being dragged along the ground in a tunnel and photos of military fatigue and rifles.

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