Israel-Gaza : Hamas willing to agree to ceasefire
A senior Hamas official predicted a ceasefire within days even as Israel and Gaza militants pursued their cross-border attacks into an 11th day on Thursday with Israeli warplanes carrying out new airstrikes and Palestinians firing more rockets.
US President Joe Biden urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seek a “de-escalation” on Wednesday on the path to a ceasefire. An Egyptian security source said the sides had agreed in principle to a ceasefire after help from mediators but that details were still being negotiated in secret.
“We informed all parties that we would accept a mutual ceasefire between Israel and Hamas with two conditions,” Dr. Basem Naim, a former Palestinian health minister who is now head of Hamas’ international relations council, said on Tuesday evening. “One, Israeli forces must stop incursions into the Al-Asqa compound and respect the site. Two, Israel must stop the forced evacuation of the Palestinian residents in the Sheikh Jarah neighborhood. This condition is in accordance with international law, not only a condition expected by the Hamas authority.”
Israel, however, is not interested, according to an Israeli official with direct knowledge of the matter. “We say to stop prematurely is to give Hamas the victory it wants,” the Israeli official said. “Hamas has to come out of this defeated.”
Israel’s military said its aircraft early on Thursday struck what it said was a “weapons storage unit” located in the Gaza City home of a Hamas official, and “military infrastructure located in the residences” of other Hamas commanders, including in the Gaza City home of a Hamas official, and “military infrastructure located in the residences” of other Hamas commanders, including in Khan Younis.