Gaza war to stop? Hamas gives ‘positive’ reply to truce deal; Israel says ‘studying it intensely’

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Israel-Hamas war: After 4 months of incessant bombing and ground offensive by Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel Defense Forces on the densely populated Gaza Strip, that has killed over 30,000 Palestinians, Mediator Qatar has said that Hamas has provided a ‘generally positive’ reply to a truce deal. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken toured the war-torn region for the fifth time in 4 months seeking an enduring end to Israel’s nearly four-month war upon Gaza.

“We have received a reply from Hamas with regards to the general framework of the agreement with regards to hostages,” Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said after meeting Blinken in Doha.

“The reply includes some comments, but in general it is positive.”

Anthony Blinken said Hamas’s reply had been “shared” with Israel and he would discuss it there on Wednesday. “We’re studying it intensely… and we will be working as hard as we possibly can to try to get an agreement,” Israel said.

Hamas confirmed it delivered its response to proposals hammered out a week ago in Paris between Qatar and other mediators, according to AFP report.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has yet to comment on the response but said on Tuesday, “We are on the way to the total victory and we will not stop. This position represents the overwhelming majority of the people.”

Israel-Hamas war: Recap

The war that started with an unprecedented multi-pronged Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October, killed about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

According to AFP report, Hamas militants also seized around 250 hostages. Israel says 132 remain in Gaza, including 29 who are believed to have been killed.

Vowing to eliminate Hamas, Israel launched retaliatory air strikes and a land offensive that have killed over 30,000 people in Gaza.

The United Nations, rights groups and charities have deplored the “catastrophic” humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s campaign has devastated swathes of Gaza, destroyed all major hospitals, and displaced half of its population of 2.4 million, while food, water, fuel and medicine are in dire shortage.

Heavy strikes and fighting continued on Tuesday, with Gaza’s health ministry saying at least 107 people were killed in 24 hours, including six policemen securing an aid truck.

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Published: 07 Feb 2024, 07:56 AM IST

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