Israeli Tanks Enter Gaza City Amid Renewed Cease-Fire Efforts

World | July 8, 2024, Monday // 12:19|  views

Israeli tank columns have entered Gaza City from multiple directions, marking one of the fiercest attacks since October 7, according to local residents and Reuters reports.

Gaza's Civil Emergency Management Agency reported likely dozens of casualties in the eastern neighborhoods, although emergency teams could not reach them due to ongoing fighting in the suburbs of Daraj and Tufa in the east, and Tell Al-Hawa, Sabra, and Rimal in the west.

Currently, Israeli tanks have been deployed in some areas of Tell Al-Hawa and Sabra, but have not penetrated deeply into the other three areas. Residents noted that these areas were heavily bombarded throughout the night and into the early morning, resulting in the destruction of several high-rise buildings.

The Israeli military announced an operation targeting extremist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, stating that more than 30 fighters who posed a threat to Israeli troops were neutralized.

This new offensive by Israel follows renewed efforts by Egypt, Qatar, and the United States to broker a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas. Hopes among Gazans for a pause in fighting have risen after Hamas accepted a key part of a US ceasefire proposal. This prompted an Israeli negotiator to indicate a real chance of reaching a deal.

Hamas has agreed to engage in US-brokered talks on the release of Israeli hostages, including men and soldiers, 16 days after the initial phase of a proposed deal to end the conflict in Gaza. The organization will permit talks aimed at achieving this within the first six-week phase, according to a source who spoke anonymously due to the confidentiality of the talks.

A Palestinian official involved in the internationally brokered peace effort suggested that the proposal could lead to a framework agreement if Israel accepts it, potentially ending the nine-month conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized that any deal should not prevent Israel from continuing its military objectives. These objectives, outlined at the war's outset, include dismantling Hamas' military and governance capabilities and securing the return of Israeli hostages.

US Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns is set to meet Qatar's prime minister and Israeli and Egyptian intelligence chiefs in Doha on Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the matter.

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Tags: Israeli, Gaza, offensive, US

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