Ismail Haniyahhead of the political wing of the Islamist group Hamasdeclared this Tuesday that he is on the verge of reaching a truce agreement with Israelafter a month and a half of a war which left more than 14,500 dead, the vast majority of them in the Gaza strip.
“The movement delivered its response to the brothers of Qatar and mediators, and we are close to reaching a truce agreement,” Haniyah, exiled for years in Qatar, said in a brief statement posted on Telegram.
Israel declared war on Hamas on October 7 following an attack by the Islamist group that included rocket fire and infiltration of around 3,000 militiamen who massacred around 1,200 people and kidnapped more than 240 people from Israeli villages near the Gaza strip.
Israeli air, naval and land forces have since counterattacked the Palestinian enclave, where There are now more than 13,300 dead, most of them children and women, as well as more than 6,500 missing. it could be under rubble, making the death toll even higher.
Added to this are tens of thousands of injured as well as more than 1.7 million displaced -more than two thirds of the total population- who live in the midst of a serious humanitarian crisis due to lack of water, food, electricity, medicine and fuel.
Against this backdrop, international pressure for a ceasefire has become more intense, and last week the UN Security Council approved a resolution to establish war pauses and humanitarian corridors in Gaza after four unsuccessful attempts since the start of the conflict.
Israel, which has promised to end Hamas – a group it considers terrorist like the United States and the European Union – has so far refused a ceasefire and even rejected the resolution of UN arguing that “it is disconnected from reality and meaningless”.
But pressure for a ceasefire is also being felt within Israeli borders, notably from relatives of hostages captured by Hamas, who are advocating a truce in exchange for the return of their loved ones.
Monday evening, in a military barracks in Tel Aviv, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahuand his war cabinet, met the families of the hostages.
The president assured that the two objectives of Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip were the destruction of Hamas and the rescue of the hostages and that both missions have the same importance.
This aroused the fury of many relatives, who believe that the priority should be the rescue of the hostages, even if it means negotiating with Hamas.