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Israel continue to strike Gaza and kill scores despite ceasefire talks



Israel continue to strike Gaza and kill scores despite ceasefire talks

In a surge of violence amidst ongoing ceasefire negotiations, Israeli airstrikes pounded Gaza on Monday, claiming the lives of dozens of Palestinians. The strikes targeted residential areas, including the southern city of Rafah, where over half of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have sought shelter from relentless Israeli bombardment in recent months.

As Hamas leaders engaged in talks in Cairo for a potential truce, the strikes underscored the fragile nature of the negotiations. Egypt’s state-affiliated television reported that the Hamas delegation departed for Doha, Qatar, intending to return with a written response to the ceasefire proposal at a later, unspecified date.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Hamas to swiftly accept what he termed an “extraordinarily generous” Israeli proposal for a truce and the release of Israeli hostages held by the Palestinian militant group. U.S. President Joe Biden and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi held discussions over the phone regarding the ceasefire negotiations and the dangers posed by escalating military actions.

The airstrikes on Monday targeted residential areas in Rafah and Gaza City, resulting in multiple casualties. Health officials reported at least six people killed and several others wounded in Gaza City alone. The strikes also claimed lives in the Al-Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, including that of a journalist, according to Hamas media and medics.

In response to the airstrikes, the armed wing of the Hamas-allied Islamic Jihad launched rockets into Israel, signaling their capability to retaliate despite months of Israeli military operations.

Israeli military spokespersons defended the strikes, stating that they targeted “terror targets” within civilian areas in southern Gaza, without providing further details.

The strikes elicited scenes of grief and anguish at hospitals in Rafah, where relatives mourned the loss of loved ones and prepared for burials. The bodies of the deceased, wrapped in white and black shrouds, were bid farewell amidst tears and sorrow.

The escalating violence in Gaza threatens to derail the fragile ceasefire negotiations, plunging the region into further turmoil and uncertainty.