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Israel gives Hamas until Ramadan to release all hostages

Israel threatened to invade Rafa for the Ramadan holiday in March, if Hamas does not release the hostages it holds sooner, despite international pressure to protect more than 1.4 million Palestinian refugees in that city in the south of the Gaza Strip. “The world must know, and Hamas leaders must know: if our hostages are not home by Ramadan, fighting will continue everywhere, including in the Rafah area,” declared Israeli minister without portfolio, Benny Gantz , at a conference of American Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. .

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan starts at March 10th.

LOOK: Israel prepares for new offensive on Rafah, last refuge for Palestinians in Gaza

Hamas you have the option. They can surrender, release the hostages and the civilians of Gaza will be able to celebrate the holiday of Ramadan” he added Gantzone of three members of the Israeli war cabinet.

This is the first time that the Israeli government has set a deadline for its attack on Rafah, the city where most of the 1.7 million Palestinians displaced by the war take refuge.

Foreign governments, fearing massacre, urged Israel to avoid attack on Rafahthe last city of Gaza strip which was not invaded by ground troops in the four-month war.

Despite international pressure, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, insists that the war cannot end without entering Rafah.

At the same Jerusalem conference, Netanyahu He reaffirmed on Sunday his promise to “finish the job until we achieve total victory” over the Islamist movement, with or without a hostage deal.

Gantz added that the offensive will be carried out in coordination with the United States and Egypt. to facilitate evacuation and “minimize civilian casualties to the extent possible.”

But it was unclear where civilians would be relocated in the besieged regions. Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, international mediators have been trying for weeks to negotiate a truce agreement in Cairo, although Qatar – a key mediator – admitted over the weekend that prospects for such a deal had dimmed.

The United States, Israel’s main ally, pushed for a six-week truce in exchange for the release of 130 hostages Israel believes are still in Gaza.including 30 who reportedly died.

Around 250 people were taken hostage on October 7, when Hamas fighters launched an unprecedented attack on Israel that left 1,160 people dead, according to an AFP report based on Israeli figures.

Israel’s military response left more than 29,000 deadmostly women, teenagers and children, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, a territory governed by Hamas.

He United Nations Security Council was scheduled to discuss a new resolution this week to demand a ceasefire in Gaza, but The United States announced that it could veto it considering a truce agreement negotiated with an exchange of hostages more convenient.

While, Israel concentrated its attacks on southern Gaza, especially Jan Yunisand Netanyahu rejected calls not to attack Rafa pointing out that this would mean “losing the war”.

Lula denounces “genocide”

The attacks against these southern cities left 127 people dead in 24 hours, the country’s Ministry of Health reported. Linkunder the control of Hamas.

In a hospital morgue Rafamourners said goodbye to a loved one wrapped in a white body bag.

“He is my cousin, he was martyred in Al Mawasi, in the ‘safe zone’”, declared Ahmad Mohamed Aburizq. “My mother was martyred the day before.”

Given this, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Sunday accused Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza and compared its actions to Adolf Hitler’s campaign against the Jews. a statement that generated strong rejection in Israel.

Netanyahu called Lula’s comments “shameful and serious” and announced that his government had convened the ambassador in Brazil in Israel.

In turn, the American ruler Joe Biden made “several calls” to Netanyahu and the rulers of Egypt and Qatar to promote the truce agreement.

However, the last few days of negotiations were “not very promising”, Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani admitted on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference.

And while humanitarian aid is slowly arriving in the Gaza Strip, Israeli protesters have blocked the passage of aid trucks heading from Egypt to Rafah, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Source: Elcomercio

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