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Netanyahu says Gaza offensive delay possible amid ceasefire talks

Netanyahu says Gaza offensive delay possible amid ceasefire talks

Tel Aviv: Netanyahu: Gaza Offensive Delay Possible Amid Ceasefire TalksIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on Sunday that a potential military offensive in Rafah may be delayed if a ceasefire deal with Hamas is reached. But he claimed that victory in Gaza is imminent, mentioning it as only “weeks away” once the offensive begins.

According to Israeli media sources, talks for a ceasefire and the release of hostages in Gaza and Israel are underway, with mediation from Egypt and Qatar. Meanwhile, Israel is preparing to expand its offensive to Rafah, drawing concern from humanitarian groups about civilian casualties.

Egypt’s Al Qahera TV reported on Sunday that peace talks are progressing in Qatar and the follow-up discussion will be held in Cairo, targeting the ceasefire and hostage release.

Netanyahu schedules to present operational plans to his Cabinet, aiming for total victory.

“Once we begin the Rafah operation, the intense phase of the fighting is weeks away from completion. Not months,” Netanyahu told CBS.

Regarding the proposed ceasefire deal, Egypt and Qatar are mediating for the release of hostages and prisoners, with a tentative agreement for a six-week pause in fighting. This includes the release of 40 women and older Israeli hostages in return for up to 300 Palestinian prisoners. The proposed six-week pause will also include allowing hundreds of trucks to bring desperately needed aid into Gaza every day.

Hamas claims it hasn't participated in the latest proposal put forward by the United States, Egypt, and Qatar. However, it's noted that the general framework of the proposal closely resembles Hamas's earlier suggestion for the initial phase of a ceasefire. Hamas demands further conditions, including an end to the offensive and the release of more prisoners. Families of hostages anxiously await news, drawing parallels to historical tragedies.

The war has led to widespread destruction in Gaza, with reports of heavy fighting and humanitarian crises. The healthcare system is overwhelmed, with newborns in Rafah facing dire conditions. Despite efforts, many infants are dying due to inadequate facilities and harsh weather conditions. At the Emirates Hospital in Rafah, three to four newborns are placed in each of its 20 incubators, which are designed for just one.

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