Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu says war against Hamas will not stop after cease-fire

JERUSALEM — Israel and Hamas on Tuesday appeared near a deal to quickly halt their devastating six-week warfare for dozens of hostages being held within the Gaza Strip to be freed in change for Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

However as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his Cupboard for a vote, he vowed to renew the Israeli offensive in opposition to Hamas as quickly because the truce ends.

“We’re at warfare, and we’ll proceed the warfare,” he mentioned. “We are going to proceed till we obtain all our targets.”

The Israeli Cupboard was anticipated to vote on a plan that will halt Israel’s offensive in Gaza for a number of days in change for the discharge of about 50 of the 240 hostages held by Hamas. Israel has vowed to proceed the warfare till it destroys Hamas’ navy capabilities and returns all hostages. The Cupboard assembly continued into the early hours of Wednesday.

Hamas predicted on Tuesday {that a} Qatari-mediated deal might be reached in “the approaching hours.”

Netanyahu acknowledged that the Cupboard confronted a tricky determination, however supporting the cease-fire was the correct factor to do. Netanyahu appeared to have sufficient assist to go the measure, regardless of opposition from some hard-line ministers.

Netanyahu mentioned that throughout the lull, intelligence efforts might be maintained, permitting the military to arrange for the subsequent levels of battle. He mentioned the battle would proceed till “Gaza won’t threaten Israel.”

The announcement got here as Israeli troops battled Palestinian militants in an city refugee camp in northern Gaza and round hospitals overcrowded with sufferers and sheltering households.

Particulars of the anticipated cease-fire deal weren’t launched. Israeli media reported that an settlement would come with a five-day halt in Israel’s offensive in Gaza and the discharge of fifty hostages held by Hamas in change for some 150 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Israel’s Channel 12 TV mentioned the primary releases would happen Thursday or Friday and proceed for a number of days.

Talks have repeatedly stalled. However even when a deal is reached, it could not imply an finish to the warfare, which erupted on Oct. 7 after Hamas militants stormed throughout the border into southern Israel and killed a minimum of 1,200 folks, most of them civilians, and kidnapped some 240 others.

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In weeks of Israeli airstrikes and a floor invasion, greater than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed, two-thirds of them girls and minors, and greater than 2,700 others are lacking and believed to be buried beneath rubble, in line with Gaza’s Well being Ministry. The ministry says it has been unable to replace its rely since Nov. 11 due to the well being sector’s collapse.

Gaza well being officers say the toll has risen sharply since, and hospitals proceed to report deaths from each day strikes, typically dozens at a time.

The Well being Ministry within the West Financial institution final reported a toll of 13,300 however stopped offering its personal rely Tuesday with out giving a purpose. Due to that, and since officers there declined to elucidate intimately how they tracked deaths after Nov. 11, the AP determined to cease reporting its rely.

The Well being Ministry toll doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants. Israel says it has killed 1000’s of Hamas militants however has not offered proof for its rely.

In southern Lebanon, an Israeli strike killed two journalists with Al-Mayadeen TV, in line with the Hezbollah-allied Pan-Arab community and Lebanese officers. There was no speedy remark from the Israeli navy. A separate Israeli drone strike in Lebanon killed 4 Hamas members, a Palestinian official and a Lebanon safety official mentioned.

The Israeli navy has been buying and selling fireplace virtually each day throughout the border with Lebanon’s Hezbollah group and Palestinian militants because the outbreak of the warfare.

Israel, america and Qatar, which mediates with Hamas, have negotiated for weeks over a hostage launch that will be paired with a short lived cease-fire and the entry of extra support.

In Washington, President Joe Biden mentioned Tuesday {that a} deal on releasing some hostages was “very shut.”

“We might deliver a few of these hostages residence very quickly,” he mentioned on the White Home.

Qatar’s Overseas Ministry spokesman, Majed al-Ansari expressed optimism, telling reporters that “we’re on the closest level we ever had been in reaching an settlement.” He added that negotiations have been at a “vital and remaining stage.”

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Izzat Rishq, a senior Hamas official, mentioned Tuesday that an settlement might be reached “within the coming hours,” through which Hamas would launch captives and Israel would launch Palestinian prisoners. Hamas’ leader-in-exile, Ismail Haniyeh, additionally mentioned they have been near a deal.

Israel’s Channel 12 TV, citing nameless Israeli officers, mentioned a truce might be prolonged and extra Palestinian prisoners launched if there have been extra hostages freed.

Inside Gaza, the entrance line of the warfare shifted to the Jabaliya refugee camp, a densely constructed district of concrete buildings close to Gaza Metropolis that homes households displaced within the 1948 warfare surrounding Israel’s creation. Israel has bombarded the realm for weeks, and the navy mentioned Hamas fighters have regrouped there and in different japanese districts after being pushed out of a lot of Gaza Metropolis.

The combating in Jabaliya additionally affected two close by hospitals, trapping lots of of sufferers and displaced folks sheltering inside. A strike Tuesday hit inside one of many services, al-Awda, killing 4 folks, together with three docs, the hospital director instructed Al-Jazeera TV. The director, Ahmed Mahna, blamed the strike on Israel, a declare that AP couldn’t independently verify. The medical support group Docs With out Borders confirmed that two of the docs killed labored for it.

Residents of Jabaliya mentioned there was heavy combating as Israeli forces tried to advance beneath the duvet of airstrikes. “They’re going through stiff resistance,” mentioned Hamza Abu Mansour, a college pupil.

The Israeli navy mentioned strikes hit three tunnel shafts the place fighters have been hiding and destroyed rocket launchers. Footage launched by the navy confirmed Israeli troopers patrolling on foot as gunfire echoed round them.

It was not doable to independently verify particulars of the combating.

It’s unclear what number of Palestinian civilians stay in northern Gaza, however the U.N. company for Palestinian refugees estimates that some 160,000 individuals are nonetheless in its shelters there, although it could possibly not present companies. 1000’s extra nonetheless shelter in a number of hospitals within the north even after many fled south in latest weeks.

Most hospitals are not operational. The hospital scenario in Gaza is “catastrophic,” Michael Ryan, a senior World Well being Group official, mentioned Monday.

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With Israeli troops surrounding the Indonesia Hospital, additionally close to Jabaliya, workers needed to bury 50 useless within the facility’s courtyard, a senior Well being Ministry official within the hospital, Munir al-Boursh, instructed Al-Jazeera TV.

As much as 600 wounded folks and a few 2,000 displaced Palestinians stay stranded on the hospital, in line with Gaza’s Well being Ministry.

The same standoff performed out in latest days at Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest, the place over 250 sufferers and medical employees are stranded after the evacuation of 31 untimely infants.

Israel has offered proof in latest days of a militant presence at Shifa. But it surely has but to substantiate its claims that Hamas had a significant command heart beneath the ability, allegations denied by Hamas and hospital workers.

Most of Gaza’s inhabitants of two.3 million have crowded into the southern part of the Gaza Strip, the place Israeli strikes have continued and the place the navy says it intends to increase its floor invasion. Many are packed into U.N.-run colleges and different services throughout the territory’s south or sleeping on the streets exterior, at the same time as winter rains have pelted the coastal enclave in latest days.

There are shortages of meals, water and gasoline for turbines throughout all of Gaza, which has had no central electrical energy for over a month.

Strikes in a single day crushed residential buildings within the Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, killing a minimum of 20 folks, in line with hospital officers. Footage from the scene confirmed the legs of 5 younger boys protruding from beneath a collapsed concrete slab of 1 residence.

Israel continues to strike what it says are militant targets all through Gaza, typically killing girls and youngsters. Israel accuses Hamas of utilizing civilians as human shields.


Jeffery reported from Cairo. Related Press writers Wafaa Shurafa in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip; Samy Magdy in Cairo; and Melanie Lidman in Jerusalem contributed.


Full AP protection at

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