US says Hamas 'offered amendments' to truce deal as Israel chokes Rafah

The US has said that Hamas has "offered amendments" to an Israeli deal for a ceasefire in Gaza as the Jewish state continues its military offensive in Rafah.
US says Hamas 'offered amendments' to truce deal as Israel chokes Rafah
Jaano Junction

The US has said that Hamas has "offered amendments" to an Israeli deal for a ceasefire in Gaza as the Jewish state continues its military offensive in Rafah. Meanwhile, Israel on Wednesday reopened the crucial Kerem Shalom border crossing with Gaza, four days after a Hamas rocket attack in the area killed four Israeli soldiers.

The Rafah assault, which had been a part of Israel's plans for months to retake the last Hamas stronghold in the war-torn enclave, commenced on Tuesday hours after the Palestinian militant group accepted an Egypt-Qatar brokered agreement aimed at ending the seven-month war.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, White House spokesperson John Kirby said Hamas's "amendments" to the Israeli truce proposal suggested that the "remaining gaps absolutely be closed", Reuters news agency reported.

Kirby, however, did not emphasise what the "remaining gaps" were

Also Read
Man makes Lord Hanuman party in property case, Delhi court slaps Rs 1 lakh fine
US says Hamas 'offered amendments' to truce deal as Israel chokes Rafah

Meanwhile, a senior Biden administration official said the US halted a weapons shipment to Israel last week in opposition to the planned atatck in Rafah. However, his claim has not been verified, neither by the administration nor the Pentagon.

On Monday, Hamas announced that it had accepted the ceasefire deal. However, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the agreement fell short of the country's demands.

The Israeli military had issued evacuation orders to some 1 lakh residents of eastern Rafah after it struck the city on Monday in retaliation for a Hamas rocket attack on the Kerem Shalom border crossing.

White House spokesperson John Kirby also said that the Rafah assault was "not a full-on Israeli invasion". He said Israel described it as “an operation of limited scale and duration” aimed at cutting off Hamas arms smuggling, The Associated Press reported.

Kirby also said mediators from the US, Egypt and Qatar were meeting in Cairo to continue discussions to achieve a truce agreement. A Hamas delegation is also in the Egyptian capital city.

The US weapons shipment to Israel, which have been delayed for at least two weeks, consisted of 1,800 2,000-lb bombs and 1,700 500-lb bombs, as well as Boeing-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions that convert dumb bombs into precision-guided ones, and Small Diameter Bombs, Reuters news agency reported.

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Israel had agreed to what Secretary of State Antony Blinken described as a “generous hostage deal proposal late last month". “That’s the offer that was on the table," The Times of Israel quoted Miller as saying.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday evening that capturing the Rafah crossing was an “important step” toward dismantling Hamas’ military and governing capabilities.

On Wednesday morning, the Israel Defense Forces said 18 projectiles were fired from the Rafah area toward the areas of the Kerem Shalom Crossing and Re’im in southern Israel.

Due to heavy overnight bombardment in Rafah, Palestinian health officials said that Abu Yousef Al-Najar, the town's main hospital, closed on Tuesday, while some 200 patients and medical staff fled the building.

Israeli strikes and bombardment across Rafah killed at least 23 Palestinians, including at least six women and five children, The Associated Press reported, citing hospital records.

Israel’s 401st Brigade took “operational control” of the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing early Tuesday. Military footage showed Israeli flags flying from tanks in the area.

The White House said it had been told the Kerem Shalom crossing would re-open on Wednesday and fuel deliveries through Rafah would resume then too.

The Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings are critical entry points for food, medicine and other supplies for Gaza’s 2.3 million people.

The US, Egypt and Qatar have spent months trying to broker a ceasefire agreement and the release of the estimated 100 hostages and remains of 30 others still held by Hamas.

Source: India Today

Stay connected to Jaano Junction on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Koo. Listen to our Podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Jaano Junction