A Ceasefire May Be "Imminent" in Gaza According to Hamas Officials
On Wednesday, Hamas officials said that a ceasefire between Israelis and Palestinians may be "imminent" and could possibly be settled within "24 hours." CNN was the first to report this news. So far, Israel has not commented on the possibility of reaching a ceasefire, however, many international nations have been putting pressure on the countries to reach a ceasefire and end the conflict. If the ceasefire comes to fruition, it will mark the end of the worst violence the region has seen since the 2014 war.
The Gaza Strip has been under heavy artillery fire for over a week as Hamas militants and Israeli forces exchange multiple rocket attacks and airstrikes. The death toll has continued to climb for both countries as well. According to the Israeli military, Hamas has fired more than 3,400 rocket attacks since last Monday and Israel has retaliated with hundreds of airstrikes, including targeting several high rise buildings they say housed Hamas intelligence offices. Israel warned civilians to evacuate the buildings before destroying them.
The United Nations and Egyptian officials have been trying to negotiate a cease-fire for several days. Egyptian officials expressed hope on Tuesday that international pressure from Israeli allies, such as the US, would convince Israel to come to the table for negotiations. Many countries are concerned that the continued escalation of violence will lead to war.
The violence began a month ago when Israeli police forces were criticized for using heavy-handed tactics and dozens of Palestinian families were threatened with eviction. This resulted in multiple protests and clashes including a major confrontation Monday between Israeli police and Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa mosque, one of Jerusalem’s holiest sites.
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