Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas’ political office, was reportedly in Cairo, Egypt, on Wednesday, according to Al Jazeera. “His presence in Cairo could signal a new phase of possible truce negotiations.”
The Hamas leader is in Cairo to discuss potential truce talks. As of yet, neither Haniyeh’s presence in Cairo nor ceasefire negotiations had provided any additional details.
“Hamas has a clear vision; cease the aggression.”
Hamas official Ghazi Hamad stated earlier today in an interview with Al Jazeera that a cessation of hostilities was the organization’s “priority” during the ongoing negotiations.
He stated, “Our objective is crystal clear: to put an end to the aggression.” “The situation on the ground is a major catastrophe,” Hamad continued, alluding to the “mass destruction and mass killing” that the Israeli assaults on Gaza have instigated.
A member of Hamas’ political bureau stated that “some people” are seeking brief ceasefires lasting a few days or weeks, but that this is not in the best interests of Hamas or the Palestinian people.
“Israel will play the card of the hostages, and they will then launch another round of massacres and mass killings against our people,” he predicted. “This game will not be played by us.”
Hamad further stated that Hamas was “prepared to negotiate with all parties” and reach a “major compromise” regarding the Palestinian prisoners and captives in Gaza once the conflict ended.
Regarding reports that Hamas leaders were discussing Gaza’s post-conflict aspirations with leaders of the rival Palestinian faction Fatah, the Hamas official has refuted such claims.
Hamad disclosed to Al Jazeera that Hamas has “regularly convened” with Fatah and other Palestinian factions to “engage in dialogue” and “join forces in the making of decisions.”
“The issue remains with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, who continues to reject Hamas’s calls,” he argued. “We are extremely eager to meet with our Fatah brothers and Palestinian factions in order to discuss how we might approach the current situation in Gaza, whether from a humanitarian or political standpoint, or in response to the American efforts to alter the situation.”
US President Joe Biden has stated unequivocally since the beginning of the conflict that he intends for a reconstituted Palestinian Authority to assume control of Gaza once the hostilities conclude.
Hamad stated that “no good steps” have been taken thus far from Fatah “to approach Hamas.”
“We are prepared to engage in dialogue with him [Abbas] and all Palestinian factions,” he continued. “Our top priority is to put an end to the aggression, and only then can we consider how to address the situation in Gaza or the West Bank with the aim of restructuring the Palestinian homeland and establishing a unified political system and authority.”
“I believe this is in our best interest, but I expect and hope that our comrades in Fatah will demonstrate additional progress in this regard.”
One day, one hundred Palestinians are killed by Israel.
The health ministry of Gaza reported earlier on Wednesday that hundreds of Palestinians were injured and “around 100” were slain in a single day of Israeli attacks.
A vote by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on a draft resolution advocating for a cessation of hostilities was postponed by one day, while the attacks persisted. At this time, it is anticipated to occur today.
The coastal enclave is in ruins as a result of Israel’s campaign to eradicate Hamas, which has also caused widespread starvation and homelessness. In the conflict, a minimum of 19,667 Palestinians have lost their lives and 52,586 have been injured.
UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, reported that over 90% of Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants had been uprooted and that over 60% of the city’s infrastructure had been damaged or obliterated.
Amid international pressure to prevent the loss of life, Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, declares that the conflict will continue until Hamas unconditionally surrenders the 129 hostages it is holding in Gaza and the resistance organization is completely destroyed.
Tuesday saw an additional day of postponement for a United Nations Security Council vote on establishing aid deliveries, as negotiations continued in an effort to prevent a third veto of action by the United States regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict, which has lasted for the past two months.
On Monday, the 15-member council was originally scheduled to deliberate on a resolution that had been formulated by the United Arab Emirates. Diplomats claim that the UAE and the US are unable to reach a consensus on language, citing a cessation of hostilities and a proposal to establish UN aid monitoring. As a result, the project has been repeatedly postponed.
Tuesday, when asked by reporters whether the parties were approaching a consensus, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield responded, “We sincerely are attempting.”
The conflict has extended beyond Gaza and into the Red Sea, where Yemen-based Houthi forces have launched missile and drone assaults against commercial vessels, necessitating the formation of a multinational naval operation to safeguard trade routes.
Joint naval patrols will be conducted in the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, which encompass a key east-west global shipping route, according to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Bahrain.
“This is an international challenge that demands collective action,” Austin commented.
Ambrey, a British maritime security firm, disclosed information regarding an abortive attempt at boarding on Tuesday, located to the west of the Yemeni port city of Aden.
A number of carriers are rerouting around Africa.
The Houthis declared their intention to continue targeting commercial vessels along the crucial commerce route, potentially conducting a maritime operation every 12 hours.
Houthi official Mohammed Abdulsalam told Reuters, “Our position in support of Palestine and the Gaza Strip will remain unchanged until the end of the siege, the entry of food and medicine, and our support for the oppressed Palestinian people will continue indefinitely.” Abdulsalam added that only Israeli ships or those bound for Israel would be targeted.
Wednesday, inhabitants of Khan Younis in the southern region of Gaza reported that gunfights between Hamas combatants and invading Israeli forces had intensified in the city’s central and eastern districts.
Twelve Palestinians, according to Gazan health officials, were slain when Israel struck a house in the city.
Since the Israeli invasion of Gaza, 132 soldiers have been killed in combat within the territory. Presumably, the actual number of Israeli casualties is greater.
Al Quds Brigades, the armed branch of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, published a video purporting to feature Gadi Moses and Elad Katzir, two male Israeli hostages.
Tuesday’s Israeli missile strike targeted the southern Rafah region, where hundreds of thousands of refugees have gathered in recent weeks, according to Gazan health officials. At least twenty people were killed and dozens were injured while they slept at home.
Residents reported having to use their bare hands to excavate the debris. “This is a barbaric act,” Mohammed Zurub, whose family was killed in the attack, exclaimed.
Approximately seventy-five people were injured and thirteen were slain in a second strike that occurred in the Jabalia refugee camp in the north, according to the health ministry. Palestinians reported that Israeli tank and aircraft bombardment of Jabalia intensified as Tuesday night descended into darkness.
Israeli military officials informed reporters on Tuesday during a briefing that the campaign to dismantle Hamas and the urban warfare strategy employed by the movement has resulted in significant civilian casualties, notwithstanding the worldwide outcry over the enormous human toll.
Discussions regarding aid and captives
Tuesday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog signaled the nation’s preparedness to engage in another “humanitarian pause” facilitated by a foreign power in an effort to recapture additional Hamas captives and allow additional aid to reach Gaza.
During its one-week duration, a ceasefire facilitated by diplomats from Qatar and the United States concluded in late November. Under this accord, 240 Palestinian women and children were exchanged for 110 detainees that had been held captive in Israeli prisons.
A senior Hamas official based outside of Gaza, Basem Naem, ruled out the possibility of further prisoner exchange negotiations so long as the conflict persisted.
Tuesday, a source with knowledge of diplomatic efforts informed Reuters that “positive” discussions had taken place in Warsaw between the prime minister of Qatar and the chiefs of intelligence for the United States and Israel in an effort to determine how to restart negotiations. However, no imminent agreement was anticipated, the source added.