Hamas Offered Ceasefire Deal as Israeli Airstrikes Kill 25 in Gaza

Israel and Hamas negotiate 40-day ceasefire and prisoner release deal to end devastating 6-month Gaza war, as violence continues and fears of humanitarian crisis loom.

Geeta Pillai
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Hamas Offered Ceasefire Deal as Israeli Airstrikes Kill 25 in Gaza

Hamas Offered Ceasefire Deal as Israeli Airstrikes Kill 25 in Gaza

On April 29, 2024, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron announced that Hamas has been presented with a 40-day ceasefire and the release of "potentially thousands" of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for freeing Israeli hostages. The proposal comes amid ongoing Egypt-hosted ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas, as Israeli airstrikes killed at least 25 Palestinians in Rafah, Gaza.

Cameron, who discussed the negotiations during his visit to Riyadh, stressed that the Israeli offer could lead to a "stop in the fighting that we all want to see so badly". He also noted that for a lasting two-state solution, "the Hamas leadership would have to leave Gaza and you've got to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza".

The ceasefire talks are part of efforts by Egypt, Qatar, and the US to mediate an agreement between Israel and Hamas to de-escalate the situation in Gaza. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Hamas to accept Israel's "extraordinarily generous" proposal, stating that the US could not support an Israeli ground assault on Rafah without a plan to ensure civilian protection.

Why this matters: The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has resulted in a devastating humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with over 34,000 Palestinians killed and most of the 2.3 million population displaced. The proposed ceasefire deal and prisoner exchange could potentially bring an end to the nearly seven-month-long war and alleviate the suffering of civilians in the region.

Despite the diplomatic efforts, violence continued in Gaza. Israeli airstrikes on three houses in Rafah killed at least 25 Palestinians, including women and children, and wounded many others. Israel has threatened to send ground troops to Rafah, which it considers the last major Hamas stronghold, while the US has urged Israel not to invade, fearing a humanitarian catastrophe.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the United States to stop Israel from attacking Rafah, warning that the assault could force much of the Palestinian population to flee the Gaza Strip. He expressed concern that Israel might attempt to force the Palestinian population out of the West Bank and into Jordan once its operations in Gaza are complete.

The Israel-Gaza war has been ongoing for six months, with tensions spilling into the surrounding region. The war began after Hamas militants launched an unprecedented cross-border attack on Israel that included taking civilian hostages. In response, Israel declared war on Hamas and launched a ground invasion, leading to one of the most destructive conflicts in the region since Israel's creation in 1948.

As the death toll in Gaza rises and calls for a deal intensify, Hamas and Israel are engaged in "decisive" indirect <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/live/

Key Takeaways

  • UK FM announces 40-day ceasefire offer to Hamas for hostage release
  • Ongoing Egypt-mediated talks aim to de-escalate Israel-Hamas conflict
  • Israeli airstrikes kill 25 Palestinians in Rafah, Gaza amid talks
  • Proposed ceasefire deal could end 7-month war, alleviate civilian suffering
  • Palestinian leader warns of potential humanitarian catastrophe in Rafah