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Gaza :  no truce or release of hostages before Friday | Middle East, the eternal conflict

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A few hours before the start of a truce in hostilities in Gaza, the Israeli army continues to bombard the Gaza Strip.

Agence France-Presse

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The agreement of truce between Israel and Hamas providing for the release of 50 hostages in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners will not come into force before Friday, Israeli officials announced Thursday amid continued fighting in the Gaza Strip.

After the green light from the Israeli government and the Hamas agreement, Qatar announced on Wednesday the success of its mediation for a renewable four-day truce in the fighting, coupled with an exchange of hostages and of prisoners.

Media and officials had said the truce would come into effect, with a Hamas official saying he expected that day to a first exchange of 10 hostages for 30 prisoners.

But the head of the Israeli National Security Council, Tzachi Hanegbi, declared during the night that the release of the hostages will not take place before Friday and that the negotiations are continuing incessantly, without commenting on the latest negotiations in progress.

Therefore, there will be no break in the fighting on Thursday, an Israeli official immediately told AFP. During the night, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported Israeli strikes which left dozens dead in different sectors of the Gaza Strip.

Middle East, the eternal conflict

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US President Joe Biden spoke separately with Qatar Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, Washington was involved in mediation with Doha and Cairo .

According to the White House, MM. Biden and al-Thani pledged to remain in close contact until the agreement is fully implemented.

The Israeli government approved this agreement, despite internal dissensions, with National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir (far right) citing a historic error because the pause, according to him, will allow Hamas to strengthen.

Citizens of Israel, I often have to decide between a difficult choice and an even more difficult choice and this is particularly the case with the hostages, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said late Wednesday evening. x27;hostages declared herself happy with the announcement of an agreement for a partial release of 50 hostages, children and women, but said she did not know for the moment who would be released and when.

It gives me hope that my daughters will return, said Maayan Zin, mother of two children held in Gaza.

The agreement was announced on the 47th day of the war, triggered by an attack of unprecedented scale and violence in Israeli history carried out on October 7 by the Hamas on Israeli soil. According to the authorities, 1,200 people, the vast majority civilians, were killed.

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Funeral prayer for 15 members of the Hijazi family killed in an Israeli army raid in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip.

Approximately 240 people were kidnapped on the day of the attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement.

In retaliation for the October 7 attack, Israel, which promised to annihilate Hamas, relentlessly bombed the Gaza Strip, where more than 14,000 people were killed, including more than 5,800 children, according to the government of the Islamist movement in power since 2007 in this territory of some 360 ​​km2. The Gaza Strip has also been under siege since October 9 by Israel, which has cut off water, electricity and fuel supplies.

The bombings have devastated the territory and caused a serious humanitarian crisis according to the UN, including the displacement of more than 1.7 million of Gaza's 2.4 million inhabitants, where aid goes

Detailing the terms of the agreement, Qatar Foreign Affairs spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari said indicated that each day a certain number of hostages will be released, and this number is expected to reach 50 by the 4th day of the truce. The agreement does not provide for the release of kidnapped soldiers.

Israel has released a list of 300 Palestinian prisoners likely to be released (33 women, 123 teenagers under 18, and 144 young people under the age of 18). about 18 years old). Among them are 49 members of Hamas.

According to Israeli authorities, other exchanges could take place as part of an extension of truce, with a total of 100 hostages for 300 Palestinian prisoners.

At the Vatican, Pope Francis separately received relatives of hostages and Palestinians with family in Gaza. He warned of a mountain of deaths in this war.

In East Jerusalem, the part of the city occupied by Israel since 1967, Palestinian Samira Douayyat cannot contain her emotions as she talks about the possible release of her daughter Shourouk, 26, who will have served half of her 16-year prison sentence. prison. I cry, I laugh, I tremble, she told AFP.

The humanitarian break will also allow the entry of #x27;more humanitarian and aid convoys, including fuel, Qatar said.

Some 200 to 300 aid trucks will enter Gaza, including eight with fuel and gas, said Hamas official Taher al-Nounou.

This limited truce is insufficient to bring the necessary aid into Gaza, underlined several international NGOs, calling for a ceasefire.

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According to the Hamas government, 14,128 people have been killed in Israeli bombardments on the Gaza Strip since the start of war, including more than 5,840 children.

The territory has become the most dangerous place in the world for a child, also denounced the boss of Unicef, Catherine Russell, expressing alarm at the risks of epidemics and epidemics. massive increase in cases of malnutrition.

Despite the agreement, Israel claimed that the war would continue to eliminate Hamas and ensure that ;there is no longer any threat […] from Gaza.

We confirm that our hands will remain on the trigger, warned Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

They talk about a truce, but what truce? A truce with wounded, dead, destroyed houses? We don't want a truce if we can't return to our homes, we don't want a truce for a little food, said Maysara al-Sabbagh, 42, who took refuge in Khan Younes, in the south of the Gaza Strip.

What does the truce mean if I can't go home, added Saddam al-Sawafiri. We have been sleeping in the streets for 40 or 45 days.

The war has raised fears of a regional escalation between Israel and its allies on the one hand and the other the axis of resistance made up of groups supported by Iran including Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis.

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Palestinians mourn journalists Hassouna Sleem and Sary Mansour who were killed in an Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip in November 2023.

Hezbollah has announced early Thursday the death of Abbas Raad, son of the leader of the Shiite movement group in the Lebanese parliament Mohamed Raad, in an Israeli bombing that killed four other fighters in southern Lebanon on Wednesday.

A US warship patrolling the Red Sea on Thursday intercepted explosive drones launched from a region of Yemen controlled by Houthi rebels, the US Middle East Command (Centcom) announced ).

In his telephone interview with Benjamin Netanyahu, Joe Biden stressed the importance of maintaining calm on the border with Lebanon and in Occupied West Bank, scene of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces during the night.

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