The US announcement of a possible three-day truce in Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip has fallen on deaf ears, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again refused to halt the offensive if Hamas does not. free all the kidnapped people.
What Tel Aviv has accepted is to open a window of four hours a day so that civilians who remain in the northern part of the Strip can move to the south, as well as facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid to the area. “There is no ceasefire, I repeat, there is no ceasefire. What we are doing, that four-hour window, are tactical and local pauses for humanitarian aid,” said Israeli military spokesman Richard Hecht.
The announcement is nothing new, since the Israeli Army began carrying out these “tactical pauses” since last weekend, to allow civilians to leave the area as it advanced towards the center of Gaza City. The UN special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories, Francesca Albanese, described the Israeli announcement as “cynical and cruel.” “So four hours of ceasefire, yes, to let people breathe and remember what life is like without bombing before we start bombing them again,” she said at a news conference in Australia. And she warned: “There is no turning back after what Israel is doing in the Gaza Strip”. Thursday’s announcement of a possible three-day ceasefire, brokered by the United States, Qatar and Egypt, sought the release of about fifteen hostages. This Friday the Qatari emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will visit Cairo to continue the negotiation for the release of hostages.
Yesterday Qatar received a visit from the Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who warned that if the Israeli offensive in Gaza continues, the regional contagion of the conflict will not be stopped. “Due to the expanding intensity of the war against the civilian residents of Gaza, the expansion of the war has become inevitable,” he declared.
In the last 24 hours, the Israeli Army has bombed three hospitals in the Gaza Strip, further damaging the territory’s precarious health system, which is struggling with shortages of medicines and fuel under airstrikes. Late at night the Army bombed the courtyard of the Al Shifa hospital – where Israel believes that Hamas has underground tunnels – where cars and ambulances were parked providing shelter to dozens of refugees. At least 243 Palestinians have been killed in attacks by the Israeli Army in the last 24 hours. In central Gaza, the Al Nasr and Al Rantisi hospitals were also targeted by Israeli attacks, this time from tanks that surrounded the buildings and aimed projectiles directly at them.