Israeli officials to meet on a proposed pause in Gaza while the Cabinet is set to OK a Rafah plan

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli officials will meet Saturday night time on the subsequent steps after the newest talks with the United States, Egypt and Qatar in search of a deal on pausing the preventing in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned.

But Netanyahu introduced that he’ll convene the Cabinet early subsequent week to “approve the operational plans for action in Rafah,” together with the evacuation of civilians, regardless of widespread warnings from the worldwide neighborhood about a navy floor operation in the southern metropolis the place greater than half of Gaza’s inhabitants shelters. “Only a combination of military pressure and firm negotiations” would obtain Israel’s goals in the struggle, he mentioned.

A senior official from Egypt, which together with Qatar is a mediator between Israel and the Hamas militant group, mentioned mediators had been ready for Israel’s official response to a draft deal that features the launch of up to 40 ladies and older hostages held in Gaza in return for up to 300 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, largely ladies, minors and older folks.

The Egyptian official, talking on situation of anonymity to talk about the negotiations, mentioned the proposed six-week pause in preventing would come with permitting a whole bunch of support vans to enter Gaza on daily basis, together with the northern half of the besieged territory. He mentioned that either side agreed to proceed negotiations throughout the pause for additional releases and a everlasting cease-fire.

Negotiators face an unofficial deadline of the begin of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan round March 10.

Hamas political official Osama Hamdan famous that the group wasn’t at the talks, however asserted to reporters in Beirut on Friday that Israel had refused its essential calls for, together with stopping the “aggression” and withdrawing from Gaza.

The Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza mentioned Saturday that the our bodies of 92 Palestinians killed in Israeli bombardments had been introduced to hospitals over the previous 24 hours, elevating the general toll in practically 5 months of struggle to 29,606. The complete variety of wounded rose to practically 70,000.

The ministry’s dying toll doesn’t distinguish between civilians and combatants, nevertheless it has mentioned that two-thirds of these killed had been kids and ladies. Israel says its troops have killed greater than 10,000 Hamas fighters, however hasn’t offered particulars.

An Israeli airstrike hit a home in Rafah, killing at the least eight folks. together with 4 ladies and a youngster, well being authorities mentioned. An Associated Press journalist noticed the our bodies at Abu Youssef al-Najjar hospital.

“Enough, enough. Either the Israelis or us should stop. There should be a truce,” mentioned neighbor Abdul-Qader Shubeir, who described feeling misplaced at not being instantly ready to put out the fireplace burning the our bodies.


Brazil’s president alleged Saturday that Israel is committing genocide in opposition to Palestinians, doubling down on harsh rhetoric after stirring controversy a week in the past by evaluating Israel’s navy offensive in Gaza to the Nazi Holocaust in which 6 million Jews and others perished throughout World War II.

Israel has pushed again in opposition to genocide claims made at the U.N.’s prime courtroom and elsewhere, saying its struggle targets the militant group Hamas, not the Palestinian folks. It has held Hamas accountable for civilian deaths, arguing that the group operates from civilian areas.

“What the Israeli government is doing is not war, it is genocide,” Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva wrote on X, previously Twitter. “Children and women are being murdered.”

In response to Lula’s preliminary feedback, Israel declared him a persona non grata, summoned Brazil’s ambassador and demanded an apology. Lula recalled Brazil’s ambassador to Israel for consultations.

Last month, South Africa filed a landmark case with the International Court of Justice, accusing Israel of genocide in opposition to Palestinians. The courtroom issued a preliminary order ordering Israel to do all it might probably to forestall dying, destruction and any acts of genocide in Gaza.

Israel, created in half as a refuge for survivors of the Holocaust, has accused South Africa of hypocrisy. South Africa has in contrast Israel’s remedy of Palestinians in Gaza with the remedy of Black South Africans throughout apartheid, framing the points as basically about folks oppressed in their homeland.


Israel declared struggle after the lethal Oct. 7 Hamas assault on southern Israel in which militants killed about 1,200 folks and took round 250 hostages. More than 100 hostages stay in captivity in Gaza.

The rising civilian dying toll and worsening humanitarian disaster in Gaza have amplified requires a cease-fire. Hunger and infectious ailments are spreading and about 80% of Gaza’s 2.3 million folks have been displaced, with about 1.4 million crowded into Rafah on the border with Egypt.

“There are choking, skyrocketing prices. It’s terrifying. There is no source of income. The area is very overcrowded,” mentioned Hassan Attwa, a displaced man from Gaza City who now shelters in a tent on the sand in Mawasi in the south. “The garbage, may God bless you, is not collected at all. It stays piled up. It turns into a mess and clay when it rains. The situation is disastrous in every sense of the word.”

In Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, kids banged on pots as a part of a protest outdoors a closed hospital demanding extra support to the north.

Netanyahu has vowed to struggle till “total victory,” however is below stress at dwelling. Police used a water cannon to disperse anti-government protesters in Tel Aviv on Saturday night time, and 18 folks had been arrested. Others protested in Jerusalem.


Samy Magdy reported from Cairo. Julia Frankel contributed to this report from Jerusalem.


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