Israeli troops carry out attacks throughout Gaza Strip

by Admin
Israeli troops carry out attacks throughout Gaza Strip

Israel’s military carried out airstrikes Monday throughout the Gaza Strip and against Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon.

Residents also reported Israeli tank operations in Gaza City, in northern Gaza, where the Israeli military said it was carrying out counterterrorism activities.

In southern Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces reported killing more than 30 militants.

The latest violence came a day after Israeli protesters blocked highways across the country as they called for a cease-fire and for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign.

Sunday’s “Day of Disruption” started at 6:29 a.m. local time, noting the moment that Hamas militants launched the first rockets toward Israel last Oct. 7, an attack that killed 1,200 people and led to the capture of about 250 hostages.

Anti-government protesters mark nine months since the deadly October 7 attack, under the slogan “Israel comes to a standstill”, outside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s private residence in Jerusalem, July 7, 2024.

Protesters blocked main roads and demonstrated outside of the homes of members of Israel’s parliament. Near the border with Gaza, Israeli protesters released 1,500 black and yellow balloons to symbolize those who were killed and abducted.

Israel’s subsequent ground and air counteroffensive in Gaza after Hamas’ shock October attack has killed more than 38,000 Palestinians according to the health ministry in Gaza. Israel says it believes Hamas is still holding 116 hostages, including 42 the military says are dead.

Israel and Hamas may be inching closer to an elusive cease-fire after Hamas dropped its demand that any deal include a complete end to the war, although both sides said significant gaps remain.

Talks to end the fighting have stalemated for weeks, but two Hamas officials said Sunday the Palestinian group is waiting for a response from Israel on its cease-fire proposal, five days after it accepted a key part of a U.S. plan aimed at ending the war.

“We have left our response with the mediators and are waiting to hear the occupation’s response,” one of the two Hamas officials, speaking anonymously, told the Reuters news agency.

The three-phase cease-fire plan for Gaza was offered in late May by U.S. President Joe Biden and is being mediated by Qatar and Egypt. It aims to end the war and free the remaining hostages. About 100 hostages were freed in a weeklong cease-fire last November in exchange for hundreds of Palestinians jailed by Israel.

Biden’s plan calls for a “full and complete” six-week cease-fire during which older, sick and female hostages would be released in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. During those 42 days, Israeli forces would withdraw from densely populated areas of Gaza and allow the return of displaced people to their homes in northern Gaza, officials have said.

Israel was discussing a halt to the fighting with the Qataris, according to another Palestinian official with knowledge of the cease-fire deliberations.

“They have discussed with them Hamas’s response and they promised to give them Israel’s response within days,” one official told Reuters.

Netanyahu has said that negotiations would continue this week but has not given any detailed timeline.

His office said Sunday that Netanyahu’s opposition to those calling on Israel to halt its offensive in Rafah pushed Hamas to enter negotiations. The office reiterated Israeli demands in a cease-fire deal, including that Israel be allowed to resume fighting to meet its war goals, that armed terrorists not be allowed to return to northern Gaza and maximizing the number of living hostages who are released.

Hamas says it would allow negotiations to achieve an end to the war but during the talks some of the hostages would be returned to Israel in exchange for more Palestinians jailed by Israel.

A Palestinian official close to the peace efforts has said the proposal could lead to a framework agreement, if embraced by Israel, that would end the war.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns is set to travel to Qatar this week for further negotiations, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Some information for this story was provided by The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters

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