Israel-Gaza war live: Hamas’ statement it accepts UN ceasefire resolution is ‘hopeful sign’, Blinken says

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Blinken: Hamas statement it accepts UN ceasefire resolution is a ‘hopeful sign’

Hamas accepts a UN security council ceasefire resolution and is ready to negotiate over the details, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri has told Reuters. US secretary of state Antony Blinken said the statement of support for a UN resolution backing the proposal was a “hopeful sign”, but that word coming from the Palestinian militant group’s leadership in Gaza is what counts.

Conversations on plans for Gaza after the ceasefire would continue on Tuesday afternoon and in the next couple of days, Blinken said. “It’s imperative that we have these plans.”

On his eighth visit to the region since 7 October Blinken spent Monday in Egypt and then travelled to Israel where he has met Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense minister Yoav Gallant. He has also met with families of those being held hostage in Gaza by Hamas.

Antony Blinken outside his hotel in Tel Aviv meeting family members and supporters who gathered to demand the immediate release of the hostages.
Antony Blinken outside his hotel in Tel Aviv meeting family members and supporters who gathered to demand the immediate release of the hostages. Photograph: Marko Đurica/Reuters

The US secretary of state also cautioned that the longer the military campaign in Gaza continues, the more the wider region risks a war.

The UN security council has adopted a resolution calling for Hamas to agree to a three-phase hostage-for-ceasefire proposal outlined by Joe Biden, the first time the body has endorsed a comprehensive peace deal to end the Gaza war.

The plan calls for an initial exchange of elderly, sick or female hostages for Palestinian detainees held by Israel during an initial six-week ceasefire. That would evolve into a permanent end to hostilities and the release of all hostages in a second phase that would be negotiated by the two parties and US, Qatari and Egyptian mediators.

A third phase would involve a major reconstruction effort. The UN has estimated that half of all buildings in Gaza have been destroyed by Israeli bombarment.

However, yesterday Israel’s finance minister, the far-right Bezalel Smotrich, said he would oppose any deal, calling it “collective suicide” and saying that releasing Palestinian detainees would lead to the murder of Jews.

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Hamas accepts a UN security council ceasefire resolution and is ready to negotiate over the details, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri has told Reuters. US secretary of state Antony Blinken said the statement of support for a UN resolution backing the proposal was a “hopeful sign”, but that word coming from the Palestinian militant group’s leadership in Gaza is what counts.

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Conversations on plans for Gaza after the ceasefire would continue on Tuesday afternoon and in the next couple of days, Blinken said. “It’s imperative that we have these plans.”

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On his eighth visit to the region since 7 October Blinken spent Monday in Egypt and then travelled to Israel where he has met Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense minister Yoav Gallant. He has also met with families of those being held hostage in Gaza by Hamas.

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Blinken outside his hotel in Tel Aviv meeting family members and supporters who gathered to demand the immediate release of the hostages.","caption":"Antony Blinken outside his hotel in Tel Aviv meeting family members and supporters who gathered to demand the immediate release of the hostages.","credit":"Photograph: Marko Đurica/Reuters"}},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

The US secretary of state also cautioned that the longer the military campaign in Gaza continues, the more the wider region risks a war.

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The UN security council has adopted a resolution calling for Hamas to agree to a three-phase hostage-for-ceasefire proposal outlined by Joe Biden, the first time the body has endorsed a comprehensive peace deal to end the Gaza war.

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The plan calls for an initial exchange of elderly, sick or female hostages for Palestinian detainees held by Israel during an initial six-week ceasefire. That would evolve into a permanent end to hostilities and the release of all hostages in a second phase that would be negotiated by the two parties and US, Qatari and Egyptian mediators.

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A third phase would involve a major reconstruction effort. The UN has estimated that half of all buildings in Gaza have been destroyed by Israeli bombarment.

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However, yesterday Israel’s finance minister, the far-right Bezalel Smotrich, said he would oppose any deal, calling it “collective suicide” and saying that releasing Palestinian detainees would lead to the murder of Jews.

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Reuters has a quick snap that a Hamas official has told the news agency that the group accepts the UN ceasefire resolution, and is ready to negotiate over the details.

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More details soon …

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Israel’s military has said it has intercepted some of a barrage of about 50 projectiles fired towards to Golan Heights from the direction of Lebanon. In a statement the IDF said:

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\n

Following the sirens that sounded in northern Israel a short while ago, approximately 50 projectiles were identified crossing from Lebanon into the area of the central Golan Heights. The IDF aerial defense array successfully intercepted a number of the projectiles. The rest of the launches fell in open areas. No injuries were reported.

\n

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Haaretz reports that Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for firing them.

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Welcome to our latest live coverage of the Israel-Gaza war. I am Martin Belam and I’ll be with you for the next few hours.

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The US president, Joe Biden, has called on Hamas to accept a ceasefire deal, in the wake of a successful UN security council vote on the proposal – the first time the body has endorsed a comprehensive peace deal to end the Gaza war.

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The security council adopted a resolution calling for Hamas to agree to a three-phase hostage-for-ceasefire deal, initially outlined by Joe Biden on 31 May.

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A Hamas statement said the group welcomed the resolution, though it was not immediately clear if that meant the leadership in Gaza accepted the ceasefire plan. The position of the Israeli government is also ambiguous.

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In a post on social media after the vote, Biden said:

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\n

The UN security council just adopted our resolution calling on Hamas to accept the deal to establish a ceasefire with the release of hostages.

\n

Hamas says it wants a ceasefire. This deal is an opportunity to prove they mean it.

\n

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The UN Security Council just adopted our resolution calling on Hamas to accept the deal to establish a ceasefire with the release of hostages.

Hamas says it wants a ceasefire. This deal is an opportunity to prove they mean it.

&mdash; President Biden (@POTUS) June 10, 2024

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Meanwhile, the US secretary of state Antony Blinken will hold talks with key Israeli opposition figures on Tuesday, a day after he arrived in the country to push a ceasefire plan, reports Agence France-Presse.

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Blinken will on Tuesday meet Benny Gantz, the former army chief who quit prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government on Sunday, in Tel Aviv, as well as opposition leader Yair Lapid.

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After a stopover in Egypt, where he called on regional governments to “press Hamas to say yes” to the ceasefire proposal, Blinken met Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday.

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The US secretary of state is on his eighth tour of the region since the start of the war, and is also expected to stop in Jordan and Qatar.

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More on that in a moment but first, a summary of the latest developments:

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    \n

  • Antony Blinken has said there is a “sense of urgency” around proposals for an immediate ceasefire, confirming that Egyptian mediators had spoken to Hamas earlier today. While he refused to be drawn on details of the conversations, the US secretary of state said his country greatly appreciated the role being played by Egypt, but also said that everybody in the region needed to apply pressure to Hamas to get them to accept the deal that was on the table. Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters Blinken’s comments were “biased to Israel” and that his stance is a real obstacle to reaching an agreement

  • \n

  • However the prospect of a hostage deal between Israel and Hamas appears to be rapidly receding after the far-right Israeli cabinet member Bezalel Smotrich – on whom Benjamin Netanyahu is now reliant after the resignations of more moderate ministers at the weekend – said he would oppose a deal. Smotrich’s comments, during a Knesset committee meeting, came amid the fallout from the resignation of the former army chief of staff Benny Gantz from the war cabinet. Gantz quit on the same weekend that Israel rescued four Israeli hostages held in Gaza in an operation that Gaza’s health ministry said killed more than 270 Palestinians and injured hundreds more

  • \n

  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday stressed the importance of international efforts to remove obstacles to delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip during his meeting with Blinken

  • \n

  • The Palestine Red Crescent Society has criticised Israel for continuing to keep the Rafah border closed, calling it “an enforcement of collective punishment” while Gaza suffers what it describes as “acute levels of famine”

  • \n

  • The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza has issued new casualty figures, claiming that 37,124 Palestinians have been killed during Israel’s military campaign in the territory, with 84,712 injured. It has not been possible for journalists to independently verify the casualty figures being issued during the conflict

  • \n

  • Humanitarian assistance has begun to come ashore in Gaza from a US-made pier once more, two weeks after the short-lived sea corridor was suspended due to storm damage, but security concerns after one of the bloodiest days of the war meant the aid was not distributed. The head of the World Food Programme (WFP), Cindy McCain, said the food distribution from the pier had been “paused” because she was “concerned about the safety of our people”. An Israeli military operation on Saturday freed four hostages but killed 274 Palestinians and left one Israeli commando dead.

  • \n

  • Jordan will host a summit Tuesday on the urgent humanitarian response for Palestinians. The summit seeks to bring together leaders and aid officials to “determine means for enhancing the international community’s response to the humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip”, according to the Jordanian royal court, and is jointly organised by the UN, Jordan and Egypt on the Dead Sea coast. US secretary of state Antony Blinken will attend, as well as Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

  • \n

  • Israeli forces killed four Palestinians on Monday in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Authority said, one of whom the military said had started a fire at an Israeli outpost, reports Agence France-Presse (AFP). Hundreds of Palestinians and more than a dozen Israelis have been killed in violence across the West Bank since the outbreak of Israel-Gaza war.

  • \n

  • Israeli strikes targeting a convoy of tankers in northeastern Lebanon late Monday killed three members of Hezbollah, an NGO and a military source told AFP. “Three Hezbollah members were killed by nine Israeli missile strikes that targeted a convoy of tankers and a building” in a village in Hermel district on the border with Syria, the military source told AFP, adding that three people were also wounded. Two others were also killed in the attack, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor.

  • \n

  • Yemen’s Houthis said on Monday they had arrested an “American-Israeli spy cell”, a few days after the Iran-backed group detained about a dozen United Nations personnel. The alleged cell included former staff of the US embassy in Yemen, according to a television statement from Abdel Hakim Al Khaiwani, the Houthis’ intelligence chief. Israeli government officials had no immediate comment, and the UN declined to comment on the allegations. The US state department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

  • \n

  • Israel’s parliament voted Tuesday to revive a controversial law to conscript ultra-Orthodox Jews, which is backed by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Lawmakers voted 63 to 57 to press ahead with the legislation, which foresees the gradual and limited increase in ultra-Orthodox Jews doing military service. The majority of Israeli Jews must serve in the military, but the ultra-Orthodox community has been exempt in favour of religious study.

  • \n

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Key events

The UN human rights office said on Tuesday that the civilian deaths in Gaza during the Israeli operation to secure the release of four hostages and their holding by armed groups in densely populated areas could both amount to war crimes, Reuters reports.

“Hundreds of Palestinians, many of them civilians, were reportedly killed and injured,” said Jeremy Laurence, spokesperson for the UN human rights office.

“Furthermore, by holding hostages in such densely populated areas, the armed groups doing so are putting the lives of Palestinian civilians, as well as the hostages themselves, at added risk from the hostilities. All these actions, by both parties, may amount to war crimes.”

The Islamic Resistance group in Lebanon claims to have used an anti-aircraft missile to force an Israeli aircraft to leave Lebanese airspace. The statement, carried by Lebanon’s National news agency, it said:

In support of our steadfast Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and in solidarity with their brave and honourable resistance, the air defence unit of the Islamic Resistance intercepted a hostile Zionist aircraft that violated Lebanese airspace at midnight on Monday-Tuesday, 11 June 2024. An anti-aircraft missile was fired at the enemy aircraft, forcing it to retreat towards occupied Palestine and immediately leave Lebanese airspace.

The claims have not been independently verified.

NGOs who have been involved in humanitarian efforts to provide relief to the beseiged people of the Gaza Strip have also welcomed the passing of a UN security council resolution calling for a ceasefire and peace deal.

International Rescue Committee UK (IRC) said:

The IRC welcomes the passing of UN security council Resolution 2735, calling for the urgent implementation of a ceasefire proposal which would secure an immediate halt to the fighting, release of hostages and scale up of humanitarian aid. It would also set the path to a permanent ceasefire. We urge both parties to implement it immediately. This is crucial to ensuring the protection of Palestinian lives and securing the release of all hostages.

A statement from Oxfam’s regional director for the Middle East, Sally Abi Khalil, said:

After eight months of brutal war, it is a long overdue and promising step to see the council speak with one voice calling for an immediate, full and complete ceasefire, the release of hostages and unlawfully detained prisoners, and for humanitarian aid to reach people in Gaza urgently.

Member states must also make clear that Israel’s occupation of the whole of Gaza must come to an end under the proposed deal, as well as the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

It is critical that all military forces withdraw: this plan must not lead to permanent occupation or de facto annexation, which would kill any hope for a just and lasting peace.

We urge member states and the international community to ensure the swift and full implementation of this resolution; to uphold commitments to end the occupation and blockade; and support efforts for unrestricted humanitarian access and inclusive reconstruction in Gaza.

Blinken: Hamas statement it accepts UN ceasefire resolution is a ‘hopeful sign’

Hamas accepts a UN security council ceasefire resolution and is ready to negotiate over the details, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri has told Reuters. US secretary of state Antony Blinken said the statement of support for a UN resolution backing the proposal was a “hopeful sign”, but that word coming from the Palestinian militant group’s leadership in Gaza is what counts.

Conversations on plans for Gaza after the ceasefire would continue on Tuesday afternoon and in the next couple of days, Blinken said. “It’s imperative that we have these plans.”

On his eighth visit to the region since 7 October Blinken spent Monday in Egypt and then travelled to Israel where he has met Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense minister Yoav Gallant. He has also met with families of those being held hostage in Gaza by Hamas.

Antony Blinken outside his hotel in Tel Aviv meeting family members and supporters who gathered to demand the immediate release of the hostages. Photograph: Marko Đurica/Reuters

The US secretary of state also cautioned that the longer the military campaign in Gaza continues, the more the wider region risks a war.

The UN security council has adopted a resolution calling for Hamas to agree to a three-phase hostage-for-ceasefire proposal outlined by Joe Biden, the first time the body has endorsed a comprehensive peace deal to end the Gaza war.

The plan calls for an initial exchange of elderly, sick or female hostages for Palestinian detainees held by Israel during an initial six-week ceasefire. That would evolve into a permanent end to hostilities and the release of all hostages in a second phase that would be negotiated by the two parties and US, Qatari and Egyptian mediators.

A third phase would involve a major reconstruction effort. The UN has estimated that half of all buildings in Gaza have been destroyed by Israeli bombarment.

However, yesterday Israel’s finance minister, the far-right Bezalel Smotrich, said he would oppose any deal, calling it “collective suicide” and saying that releasing Palestinian detainees would lead to the murder of Jews.

Hamas says it accepts UN ceasefire resolution and is ready to negotiate details – reports

Reuters has a quick snap that a Hamas official has told the news agency that the group accepts the UN ceasefire resolution, and is ready to negotiate over the details.

More details soon …

Share

Updated at 09.22 BST

Hezbollah fires barrage of about 50 projectiles into Israel

Israel’s military has said it has intercepted some of a barrage of about 50 projectiles fired towards to Golan Heights from the direction of Lebanon. In a statement the IDF said:

Following the sirens that sounded in northern Israel a short while ago, approximately 50 projectiles were identified crossing from Lebanon into the area of the central Golan Heights. The IDF aerial defense array successfully intercepted a number of the projectiles. The rest of the launches fell in open areas. No injuries were reported.

Haaretz reports that Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for firing them.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken is meeting with the families of hostages outside his hotel in Tel Aviv. He is expected to make a statement to the media. We will bring you any key lines that emerge.

While US secretary of state Antony Blinken has been staying in Tel Aviv, families of those still held captive by Hamas in Gaza have been demonstrating outside his hotel. Here is a video clip of them.

Hostage families protest in Tel Aviv outside Blinken’s hotel – video

Israel’s military says that the sounding of warning sirens in Haifa appears to have been as a result of a false identification. In a statement the IDF said:

Following the sirens that sounded in the area of Haifa in northern Israel a short while ago, it appears to have been a false identification. The incident is under review. The sirens regarding rocket and missile launches were activated following the launch of an interceptor due to the danger of falling shrapnel from the interceptor.

Emanuel Fabian, military correspondent at the Times of Israel, has posted to social media a video which appears to show an interception above the skies of Haifa while warning sirens were sounding.

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Reports of an interception over Haifa pic.twitter.com/lqthBJ40Sl

&mdash; Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) June 11, 2024

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Hours earlier, Israel’s military said it had intercepted “a suspicious aerial target off the coast of Haifa”, and had also taken action against a target approaching Israel from the east. In that instance, the IDF said:

IAF fighter jets successfully intercepted a suspicious aerial target that approached Israeli territory from the east. The suspicious aerial target was monitored by IDF soldiers, did not cross into Israeli territory and no sirens were sounded according to protocol. No injuries or damage were reported.

The claims have not been independently verified.

Hamas has said that one of its commanders in the Israeli-occupied West Bank was killed in a clash with Israeli forces yesterday.

Associated Press reports that in a statement released late on Monday, Hamas said Mohammed Jaber Abdo was killed along with three other fighters in a village near Ramallah.

A joint statement by the Israeli army and police earlier on Monday said undercover forces had tracked down a suspect wanted in an attack on a nearby Jewish settlement.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken has posted to social media images of him meeting Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense minister Yoav Gallant.

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Met with @IsraeliPM Netanyahu and Defense Minister @yoavgallant to reiterate the U.S. commitment to the deal on the table that would achieve a ceasefire in Gaza, secure the release of all hostages, and surge humanitarian aid. pic.twitter.com/Qthqxkv2FU

&mdash; Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) June 11, 2024

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Met with @IsraeliPM Netanyahu and Defense Minister @yoavgallant to reiterate the U.S. commitment to the deal on the table that would achieve a ceasefire in Gaza, secure the release of all hostages, and surge humanitarian aid. pic.twitter.com/Qthqxkv2FU

— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) June 11, 2024

Palestinian news agency Wafa reports that civil defence crews have recovered “scores” of bodies from under the rubble of homes targeted by Israeli warplanes in Gaza City in the north of the territory.

It also reports that a number of civilians were killed and others were injured overnight by Israeli strikes targeting Nuseirat refugee camp.

The claims have not been independently verified.

Overnight Israel’s military has announced that four of its troops have been killed in southern Gaza.

That takes the total number killed since Israel began its ground offensive in the territory to 298. Including those killed during the surprise Hamas attack inside Israel on 7 October, the war has in total seen 650 Israeli troops killed.

Over 3,750 troops have been wounded during the conflict, with 252 wounded troops currently hospitalised. It has not been possible for journalists to independently verify the casualty figures being issued during the conflict.

Welcome and opening summary …

Welcome to our latest live coverage of the Israel-Gaza war. I am Martin Belam and I’ll be with you for the next few hours.

The US president, Joe Biden, has called on Hamas to accept a ceasefire deal, in the wake of a successful UN security council vote on the proposal – the first time the body has endorsed a comprehensive peace deal to end the Gaza war.

The security council adopted a resolution calling for Hamas to agree to a three-phase hostage-for-ceasefire deal, initially outlined by Joe Biden on 31 May.

A Hamas statement said the group welcomed the resolution, though it was not immediately clear if that meant the leadership in Gaza accepted the ceasefire plan. The position of the Israeli government is also ambiguous.

In a post on social media after the vote, Biden said:

The UN security council just adopted our resolution calling on Hamas to accept the deal to establish a ceasefire with the release of hostages.

Hamas says it wants a ceasefire. This deal is an opportunity to prove they mean it.

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The UN Security Council just adopted our resolution calling on Hamas to accept the deal to establish a ceasefire with the release of hostages.

Hamas says it wants a ceasefire. This deal is an opportunity to prove they mean it.

&mdash; President Biden (@POTUS) June 10, 2024

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The UN Security Council just adopted our resolution calling on Hamas to accept the deal to establish a ceasefire with the release of hostages.

Hamas says it wants a ceasefire. This deal is an opportunity to prove they mean it.

— President Biden (@POTUS) June 10, 2024

Meanwhile, the US secretary of state Antony Blinken will hold talks with key Israeli opposition figures on Tuesday, a day after he arrived in the country to push a ceasefire plan, reports Agence France-Presse.

Blinken will on Tuesday meet Benny Gantz, the former army chief who quit prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government on Sunday, in Tel Aviv, as well as opposition leader Yair Lapid.

After a stopover in Egypt, where he called on regional governments to “press Hamas to say yes” to the ceasefire proposal, Blinken met Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday.

The US secretary of state is on his eighth tour of the region since the start of the war, and is also expected to stop in Jordan and Qatar.

More on that in a moment but first, a summary of the latest developments:

  • Antony Blinken has said there is a “sense of urgency” around proposals for an immediate ceasefire, confirming that Egyptian mediators had spoken to Hamas earlier today. While he refused to be drawn on details of the conversations, the US secretary of state said his country greatly appreciated the role being played by Egypt, but also said that everybody in the region needed to apply pressure to Hamas to get them to accept the deal that was on the table. Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters Blinken’s comments were “biased to Israel” and that his stance is a real obstacle to reaching an agreement

  • However the prospect of a hostage deal between Israel and Hamas appears to be rapidly receding after the far-right Israeli cabinet member Bezalel Smotrich – on whom Benjamin Netanyahu is now reliant after the resignations of more moderate ministers at the weekend – said he would oppose a deal. Smotrich’s comments, during a Knesset committee meeting, came amid the fallout from the resignation of the former army chief of staff Benny Gantz from the war cabinet. Gantz quit on the same weekend that Israel rescued four Israeli hostages held in Gaza in an operation that Gaza’s health ministry said killed more than 270 Palestinians and injured hundreds more

  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday stressed the importance of international efforts to remove obstacles to delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip during his meeting with Blinken

  • The Palestine Red Crescent Society has criticised Israel for continuing to keep the Rafah border closed, calling it “an enforcement of collective punishment” while Gaza suffers what it describes as “acute levels of famine”

  • The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza has issued new casualty figures, claiming that 37,124 Palestinians have been killed during Israel’s military campaign in the territory, with 84,712 injured. It has not been possible for journalists to independently verify the casualty figures being issued during the conflict

  • Humanitarian assistance has begun to come ashore in Gaza from a US-made pier once more, two weeks after the short-lived sea corridor was suspended due to storm damage, but security concerns after one of the bloodiest days of the war meant the aid was not distributed. The head of the World Food Programme (WFP), Cindy McCain, said the food distribution from the pier had been “paused” because she was “concerned about the safety of our people”. An Israeli military operation on Saturday freed four hostages but killed 274 Palestinians and left one Israeli commando dead.

  • Jordan will host a summit Tuesday on the urgent humanitarian response for Palestinians. The summit seeks to bring together leaders and aid officials to “determine means for enhancing the international community’s response to the humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip”, according to the Jordanian royal court, and is jointly organised by the UN, Jordan and Egypt on the Dead Sea coast. US secretary of state Antony Blinken will attend, as well as Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

  • Israeli forces killed four Palestinians on Monday in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Authority said, one of whom the military said had started a fire at an Israeli outpost, reports Agence France-Presse (AFP). Hundreds of Palestinians and more than a dozen Israelis have been killed in violence across the West Bank since the outbreak of Israel-Gaza war.

  • Israeli strikes targeting a convoy of tankers in northeastern Lebanon late Monday killed three members of Hezbollah, an NGO and a military source told AFP. “Three Hezbollah members were killed by nine Israeli missile strikes that targeted a convoy of tankers and a building” in a village in Hermel district on the border with Syria, the military source told AFP, adding that three people were also wounded. Two others were also killed in the attack, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor.

  • Yemen’s Houthis said on Monday they had arrested an “American-Israeli spy cell”, a few days after the Iran-backed group detained about a dozen United Nations personnel. The alleged cell included former staff of the US embassy in Yemen, according to a television statement from Abdel Hakim Al Khaiwani, the Houthis’ intelligence chief. Israeli government officials had no immediate comment, and the UN declined to comment on the allegations. The US state department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

  • Israel’s parliament voted Tuesday to revive a controversial law to conscript ultra-Orthodox Jews, which is backed by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Lawmakers voted 63 to 57 to press ahead with the legislation, which foresees the gradual and limited increase in ultra-Orthodox Jews doing military service. The majority of Israeli Jews must serve in the military, but the ultra-Orthodox community has been exempt in favour of religious study.

The Guardian

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