US: "Very Serious" Negotiations Are Underway For A New Ceasefire In Gaza

The US has said "very serious" talks are underway for a new ceasefire in Gaza and the release of more Israeli hostages. However, prospects for a deal remain uncertain as the Palestinian group Hamas insists it will only discuss an end to the Israeli offensive in the Palestinian enclave. Talks in Cairo on a new cease-fire failed to produce a deal. According to a Palestinian source, Hamas has rejected offers of any kind of temporary truce in exchange for the release of hostages held in Gaza. Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would fight until the group was eliminated. US President Joe Biden said he does not expect a new hostage deal between Israel and Hamas to be concluded soon. Efforts are underway to negotiate the release of more hostages, with the heads of the CIA, Mossad and the Qatari prime minister expected to meet and discuss the matter.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called on Israel to shift its focus to a lower-intensity phase and conduct "more targeted" military operations amid rising civilian casualties in fighting in the Gaza Strip. According to Blinken, Israeli operations should be directed more against Hamas leaders and their infrastructure.

Against the background of diplomatic efforts, Israeli airstrikes and clashes with Hamas in the Strip continue. Bombing was reported in the southern city of Rafah, near the border with Egypt. Many Palestinians from the northern part of the enclave sought refuge there after the start of the Israeli offensive. The Israeli army has released new data on the Palestinian Islamist movement's extensive tunnel system in the northern part of the territory. The square in the center of Gaza City played a crucial role. From there, the offices and apartments...

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