Israel strikes Gaza as mediators push for truce deal

Heavy strikes rocked Gaza City on Monday as Hamas and Israel staked their claims ahead of truce talks, with Israeli protesters rallying for a hostage release deal.

Mediators Egypt and Qatar were due to host new talks this week, according to officials, as the bloodiest ever Gaza war raged on into its 10th month.

Israeli troops and tanks were engaged in heavy clashes with Palestinian militants in Gaza City as fighter jets and drones crossed the skies over the besieged territory.

Thousands of civilians were on the move again in northern Gaza, while clashes rocked the southern cities of Khan Yunis and Rafah in the conflict sparked by Hamas's Oct. 7 attack.

Cairo and Doha have resumed diplomatic efforts to halt the fighting, aiming for an initial six-week ceasefire that would see some hostages in Gaza freed in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails as talks would continue for a comprehensive deal to end the war.

Hamas has signalled it would drop its insistence on a "complete" ceasefire, a demand Israel has repeatedly rejected.

A top Hamas official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP on Sunday that mediators had offered assurances "that as long as the... negotiations continued, the ceasefire would continue".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office set out its aims for the talks, saying in a statement that "any deal will allow Israel to return and fight until all the goals of the war are achieved".

Israel also wants measures to stop weapons crossing the Egyptian border and to stop Hamas militants moving around Gaza, Netanyahu's office said.

Netanyahu has vowed to achieve the twin goals of bringing home the captives and destroying Hamas. His hard-right political allies have threatened to bolt the government if he agrees to stop the fighting before then.

Evacuation order 

The Israeli military on Monday reported more clashes in Gaza City and in the territory's south, saying its troops had killed dozens of enemy fighters and destroyed tunnels and rocket launch sites.

In Gaza City's Shujaiya district, where battles have raged for nearly two weeks, it said it had "eliminated dozens" of militants including in air strikes.

Thousands of Palestinians fled a new evacuation order for parts of Gaza City as Israeli troops and tanks again pushed into the Hamas-run territory's biggest city, according to witnesses and the civil defense agency.

The agency reported "dozens of martyrs and wounded" across Gaza, saying rescuers were unable to reach some areas due to the intense fighting.

An air strike on Sunday on a church-run school in Gaza City, used as a shelter by displaced Palestinians, killed at least four people, said the civil defense agency.

It came a day after a deadly attack on a U.N.-run school turned shelter in the central Nuseirat refugee camp.

A Hamas senior official on Monday accused the hawkish Israeli premier of stepping up combat and bombardment in Gaza in order to derail the latest truce effort.

"Whenever a round of negotiations begins and a breakthrough is within reach, he disrupts it all and escalates the aggression and massacres against civilians," the Hamas official charged, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In Israel, large demonstrations demanding a hostage release deal were held on Saturday and Sunday in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and were to continue this week.

"Our message to the government is very simple," said demonstrator Yehuda Cohen, the father of kidnapped soldier Nimrod Cohen. "There is a deal on the table. Take it."

Israel strikes Hezbollah 

Israel launched its war on Gaza in retaliation for the Hamas' Oct. 7 attacks that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,190 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli official figures.

Hamas seized 251 hostages. Of these 116 remain in Gaza, although the army says 42 of them are dead.

Israel's offensive has killed more than 38.100 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.

Israel has faced growing international outrage over the heavy toll on Gaza civilians brought by the war and a punishing siege declared on the coastal strip home to 2.4 million people.

Egypt's state-linked Al-Qahera News said Cairo would host Israeli and US delegations in a new push in a months-long effort toward a truce.

Mediators were in contact with Hamas amid "intensive Egyptian meetings this week with all parties", it added.

Israeli media said officials in Cairo talks will discuss humanitarian support for Gaza including the fate of a key aid crossing in Rafah, which has been shut since Israeli troops seized its Palestinian side in early May.

Israel said Friday it would also be sending negotiators to Qatar this week.

Washington has deployed CIA chief William Burns to Cairo and then to Doha, according to reports and an official with knowledge of the talks.

Amid the Gaza war, Israel has exchanged near daily cross-border fire with Hamas's Lebanese ally Hezbollah, raising fears of all-out war.

Israel on Saturday struck deep inside eastern Lebanon, killing a Hezbollah operative, an attack that sparked major rocket barrages by the Iran-backed movement.

On Monday, the Israeli army reported again striking multiple Hezbollah targets overnight including an arms depot and a flying object nearing Israel.

No comments

Thanks for viewing, your comments are appreciated.

Disclaimer: Comments on this blog are NOT posted by Olomoinfo, Readers are SOLELY responsible for their comments.

Need to contact us for gossips, news reports, adverts or anything?
Email us on;

Powered by Blogger.