Thursday, 22 February 2024

US Points Finger at Hamas for Ceasefire Collapse in Israel-Hamas Conflict

US Points Finger at Hamas for Ceasefire Collapse in Israel-Hamas Conflict
Saturday, 02 December 2023 06:34

"US Attributes Ceasefire Collapse to Hamas, Citing Violent Incidents and Hostage Commitments

Secretary of State Antony Blinken placed the blame on Hamas for the breakdown of the truce with Israel. He highlighted a fatal shooting at a Jerusalem bus stop, a rocket fired towards Israel before the ceasefire's end, and Hamas's failure to fulfill commitments related to the release of 'certain hostages.' Although unspecified, Blinken's reference to hostages was echoed by the IDF, claiming Hamas had agreed to release Shiri Bibas and her two sons under the truce, but later asserting their death in an Israeli air strike. American officials confirm the release of four US citizens by Hamas.

The White House expressed disappointment in Hamas for not providing a list of hostages to extend the pause. The seven-day truce resulted in the release of 110 hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners. However, the US supports Israel's claim that Hamas still holds women and children hostage, estimating around 17 individuals in Gaza. Tragically, Ofra Keidar became the sixth confirmed hostage death, abducted on October 7, with her husband previously murdered by Hamas. Her circumstances of death remain undisclosed, and her body is yet to be recovered from Gaza.

In a tragic turn of events, a protestor in Atlanta set themselves on fire outside the Israeli consulate, likely as an extreme act of political protest. The individual is in critical condition, and a security guard attempting to intervene was also injured. The US reiterates that the responsibility for the ceasefire's end lies with Hamas, emphasizing the need for the group to produce a list of hostages for any potential extension."

"Israel Permits Aid Trucks into Gaza Amid Ceasefire Tensions

Israel has agreed to allow aid trucks into Gaza, as confirmed by White House national security spokesman John Kirby. However, conflicting reports from the Red Crescent and UNRWA suggested that no aid deliveries had entered Gaza via the Rafah crossing with Egypt on the same day. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) accused Hamas of violating the truce by not releasing members of the Bibas family, specifically Shiri Bibas, 32, and her sons Ariel, 4, and Kfir, 10 months, despite agreeing to do so as part of the ceasefire.

Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, IDF spokesperson, stated that the Bibas family's situation had been closely monitored since the beginning of the conflict. He described Hamas's failure to release them as a violation of the ceasefire agreement. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported that Israel had prohibited the entry of aid trucks through the Rafah border crossing, a claim later supported by Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN's aid agency in Gaza and the West Bank (UNRWA). According to Lazzarini, no humanitarian aid, including fuel, was allowed into Gaza on the specified day.

Despite more than 1,000 aid trucks entering Gaza during the expired truce, tensions persist. The IDF confirmed the deaths of four hostages held by Hamas, in addition to the earlier announcement of Ofir Tzarfati's death. Furthermore, the United Nations accused Israel of not renewing the visa for Lynn Hastings, its top aid official in Gaza and the West Bank, who has served as the deputy special coordinator for the Middle East peace process and UN humanitarian coordinator for nearly three years."

"Israel Declines Visa Renewal for Top UN Aid Official Amid Accusations of Bias

Stephane Dujarric, a spokesperson, informed reporters that the Israeli authorities have indicated they won't renew the visa of Lynn Hastings later this month. Israel has yet to comment on this decision. In October, Israel's foreign ministry accused Hastings of lacking impartiality in her role. This development comes amid Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, accusing Israel of damaging truce prospects by continuously bombarding Gaza. The IDF reported over 200 targets hit in Gaza since the resumption of hostilities on Friday morning, with Hamas launching a second rocket barrage at central Israel, prompting Iron Dome interceptor missiles to be deployed. According to Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry, the conflict has resulted in 178 fatalities and 589 injuries.

Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu, acknowledged Israel's obligation to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza and expressed confidence in the effectiveness of IDF measures to protect civilians. He blamed Hamas for violating the ceasefire agreement and initiating the recent fighting. Additionally, news emerged of the death of Guy Iluz, a 26-year-old Israeli man taken hostage by Hamas on October 7. The circumstances of his death remain unconfirmed.

The IDF released footage of strikes on Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, employing fighter jets, helicopter gunships, and artillery against the Iran-backed terror group."

"Israel Considers Buffer Zone in Gaza Amid Post-War Plans

Reports from Reuters suggest that Israel has communicated its intention to establish a buffer zone within Gaza to safeguard its border against potential future terror attacks. The government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, has allegedly informed Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates of this demand, according to regional sources. Ophir Falk, a foreign policy advisor to Netanyahu, stated that a buffer zone might be part of Israel's post-war strategy for Gaza. The broader plan involves dismantling Hamas, demilitarizing Gaza, and deradicalizing its population.

Falk added that the specifics of the buffer zone, such as its depth (one or two kilometers or even shorter distances), remain unclear at this point. A senior Israeli security source mentioned that the idea of a buffer zone had been 'floated' with the U.S. expressing opposition to any reduction in the size of Palestinian territory. The proposed plan reflects a three-tier process aimed at shaping Gaza's landscape in the aftermath of dealing with the Hamas threat."

"Red Cross Urged to Act on Behalf of Hostages in Gaza

Families of American hostages still in Hamas captivity have called on the Red Cross to demand immediate, unrestricted access to the nearly 150 hostages. They accuse the Red Cross of neglecting sick, critically wounded, and disabled individuals during this critical period. The families emphasize the urgency of action to save lives, while the Red Cross has yet to respond to these allegations.

The situation in Gaza remains dire, with over 100 reported deaths and hundreds wounded since the war resumed. Secretary of State Antony Blinken attributes the end of the truce between Israel and Hamas to Hamas, citing the group's reneging on commitments, including a terrorist attack in Jerusalem and the failure to release certain hostages.

Rocket sirens in Israel, sounding for the first time since the war resumed, indicate increased tensions. The Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's armed wing, claims responsibility for launching rockets at Tel Aviv. Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in a call with Israeli Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz, expressed concern about civilian casualties in Gaza, emphasizing that Israel must comply with international humanitarian law. Gantz reiterated the need to dismantle Hamas for the sake of regional stability. The White House aligns with the perspective that Hamas is responsible for the resumption of hostilities in Gaza."

"Hamas Fails to Provide Hostage List, Stalling Truce Extension Efforts

The National Security Council has stated that Hamas' failure to produce a list of hostages is hindering the extension of the truce. The U.S. is actively collaborating with Israel, Egypt, and Qatar to restart the truce, with its terms allowing an extension for every 10 additional released hostages. Meanwhile, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have implemented safe zones across Gaza, a move praised by analysts for its potential to prevent civilian harm. The IDF plans to use grid reference graphics (GRGs) to inform Palestinian civilians about planned operations in designated safe zones.

In a somber development, the IDF has recovered the body of hostage Ofir Tzarfati from Gaza, who was abducted in October and died in captivity. Tragically, an Israeli civilian, Yuval Doron Castleman, who bravely intervened during a recent attack, was fatally wounded in a case of mistaken identity by an IDF soldier. Meanwhile, Hamas has offered to hand over the bodies of an Israeli woman and her two young sons allegedly killed in an Israeli strike. The family, including the youngest hostage, 10-month-old Kfir, was taken by Hamas on October 7."

Israel is currently investigating accusations related to the resumption of hostilities, and no confirmation or denial has been provided by the military. Rishi Sunak, the UK Prime Minister, expressed disappointment over the breakdown of the truce in Gaza, calling for the release of all women and child hostages. He emphasized the need for Israel to exercise maximum care to prevent civilian casualties and opposed mass displacement. Jordan condemned the Israeli aggression, calling for an immediate ceasefire and urging the international community to uphold international law. Iran warned of severe consequences, holding Israel and the United States responsible for the end of the truce. Meanwhile, a strike near the southern community of Nirim wounded five IDF soldiers.

The Hamas movement is designated as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States, the European Union, Israel, and others.

Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States, the European Union, Israel, and others.

The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, is designated as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States, the European Union, Israel, and others.

Qatar has been actively involved in mediating negotiations to extend truces in Gaza. The Qatari foreign ministry has urged swift international action to stop the violence, condemning all forms of targeting civilians and calling for an immediate ceasefire. The country has been engaged in intense negotiations, with support from Egypt and the United States, to repeatedly prolong truces in the region.

Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States, the European Union, and Israel.

Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States, the European Union, and Israel.

As the tenuous ceasefire crumbled, unleashing a renewed wave of violence between Israel and Hamas, the region is once again plunged into uncertainty and peril. The collapse of diplomatic efforts and the resumption of hostilities underscore the complexity of the conflict, with both sides accusing each other of violating the truce. The consequences are felt deeply, as the death toll rises and civilians bear the brunt of the escalating violence. The international community, including mediators like Qatar and Egypt, faces an urgent call to intervene and broker a lasting ceasefire. The situation remains fluid, with fears of further escalation and the imperative need for diplomatic initiatives to bring stability to the troubled region.

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