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A senior Hamas political official told a Lebanese channel on Wednesday that he expected a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza within “a day or two.” In the meantime, hostilities continue.
A senior Hamas official on Wednesday (May 19) predicted a ceasefire in the coming days, as the clashes between Israel and Palestinian armed factions in Gaza have been raging since May 10.
US President Joe Biden urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seek “de-escalation” on the road to a ceasefire. An Egyptian security source said the parties had agreed to the principle of a ceasefire with the help of mediators, but details were still being negotiated in secret.
“We feel a certain impatience on the side of the White House”
“I think the ongoing ceasefire efforts will be successful,” Moussa Abou Marzouk said in an interview with Lebanese television station Al Mayadeen. “I expect a ceasefire to be concluded within a day or two, and that it will be based on mutual agreement,” added the senior Hamas political representative.
Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV station reported that UN envoy to the Middle East Tor Wennesland was meeting with Hamas chief Ishmael Haniyeh in Qatar.
After nine days of bloody violence, an Israeli military official said his country was considering the “opportune moment for a ceasefire”, adding that the army was ready for “several days” of further conflict. The army, he told reporters, wants to “reduce the military” capabilities of Hamas considered a “terrorist” organization by Israel and Western countries.
“What we are trying to do is precisely this: decrease their capacities, their terrorist means and decrease their determination,” added Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting with ambassadors. Later he added: “I am determined to continue this operation until its objective: to restore calm and peace.”
But clashes continue between Israel and Palestinian fighters. Israel carried out more than a dozen airstrikes on Gaza after midnight, including two that destroyed two homes in the southern enclave. According to doctors, four people were injured in an airstrike on the town of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.
“The quantity of rockets remains important”
The IDF said its planes struck early Thursday what it called a “weapons storage unit” located in the home of a Hamas official in Gaza City, along with “infrastructure. soldiers located in the residences “of other Hamas commanders, notably in Khan Younis.
Warning sirens sounded early Thursday in the city of Beer Sheva in southern Israel and in areas bordering Gaza. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
Since the beginning of the fighting, the Palestinian health authorities indicate that 228 people have been killed in the aerial bombardments which have exacerbated the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. Israeli authorities estimate the death toll in Israel at 12, where repeated rocket fire has caused panic and people to seek refuge in shelters.
With Reuters and AFP