Israel and Hamas at war, day 213 | Hamas accepts ceasefire proposal

(Rafah) Hamas said on Monday that it had informed Egypt and Qatar that it accepted their proposal for a ceasefire with Israel.

“Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas political bureau, spoke by telephone with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdelrahmane Al Thani and Egyptian Intelligence Minister Abbas Kamel and informed them that Hamas had approved their proposal for “ceasefire agreement,” according to a statement published on the Palestinian movement’s website.

People rushed to the streets of the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, which is in the crosshairs of a possible Israeli military offensive. Men climbed on each other’s shoulders, whistling and shouting, while children ran around them.

However, it is not certain that an agreement has been sealed. An Israeli official warned that the plan approved by Hamas “is not the framework proposed by Israel.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Israel is still formulating a response, and did not provide further details.

The announcement came hours after the Israeli military ordered around 100,000 people to evacuate Rafah, signaling that the long-promised ground invasion could be imminent. Israel says Rafah is Hamas’ last bastion.

Despite international condemnations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to launch this offensive, with the army saying on Monday that it was essential to “destroy the last four battalions” of the Islamist movement in the Palestinian territory.

“Residents are evacuating in terror and panic,” said Ossama al-Kahlout, a Palestinian Red Crescent official in eastern Rafah, adding that the designated areas were home to around 250,000 people.

“Thousands” of people are leaving eastern Rafah after Israeli airstrikes on the area that the Israeli army ordered to evacuate hours earlier, he later added.


Palestinians in Rafah prepare to leave the city to follow an evacuation notice issued by the Israeli army.

The army confirmed that it had “begun a limited-scale operation to temporarily evacuate people residing in eastern Rafah”, estimating the number of people concerned at “around 100,000”.

Residents said they learned the news when they woke up, after a night punctuated by Israeli strikes. Some were preparing their belongings, in their tents flooded by heavy rain, or piling them into trailers.

Prevent a “massacre”


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