Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Hamas agrees to a cease-fire; Israel says it will continue talks and presses on with Rafah assault

Hamas agrees to a cease-fire; Israel says it will continue talks and presses on with Rafah assault
Israeli protesters block a Tel Aviv highway during a demonstration calling on the government to reach a deal with Hamas to bring home hostages, May 6, 2024.   -  
Copyright © africanews
Ariel Schalit/Copyright 2024 The AP All rights reserved

Talks / negotiations

The Hamas militant group announced Monday (May. 6) it had accepted a cease-fire proposal brought forward by mediators Egypt and Qatar.

A cease-fire could end seven months of war in Gaza — however it’s uncertain whether a deal will be sealed, as Israel responded by saying the proposal did not meet its “core demands.”

Later in the day, Israel's military said it was launching what it called "targeted strikes against Hamas" in the southern Gaza city of Rafah after the country's War Cabinet approved a military operation there.

Still, Israel said it would continue negotiations.

More than a million people are huddled in tents and overcrowded apartments in Rafah after fleeing Israel’s military offensive in other parts of the Gaza Strip. 

Israel claims Rafah is Hamas' last stronghold, but many in the international community have opposed or condemned a full-scale invasion of the city bordering Egypt.

The United States asks from Israel a “credible” plan for protecting civilians there; was the invasion plan to go ahead.

READ MORE: Gaza war: HRW, Oxfam urge the US to suspend arms sales to Israel

Israel's Iron Swords offensive has driven around 80% of the Gaza's population of 2.3 million from their homes.

Entire bloodlines have been decimated, apartments razed, hospitals bombed, mosques, churches, schools and archaeological sites flattened across several cities.

The unprecedented destruction of housing in Gaza hasn’t been seen since World War II, the UN has said.

The death toll in one of the world’s most densely populate areas now stands at 34,500 people, according to local health officials.

The latest war in the decades long Israeli-Palestinian conflict began on Oct. 7 when Hamas attacked southern Israel, killing around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducting about 250 others. 

Israel says militants still hold around 100 hostages and the remains of more than 30 others.

An Israeli tank brigade seized control Tuesday of the Gaza Strip side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, authorities said, moving forward with an offensive in the southern city even as cease-fire negotiations with Hamas remain on a knife’s edge.

The Rafah border crossing is a critical entry point for humanitarian aid into Gaza.