Israel Says Ceasefire Proposal Is 'Far From' Its Demands

IDF says it is striking targets in Rafah
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 6, 2024 5:52 PM CDT
Israel Approves Rafah Military Operation
Palestinians flee from the eastern side of Rafah, Monday, May 6, 2024.   (AP Photo/Ismael Abu Dayyah)

Israeli leaders have approved a military operation into the Gaza Strip city of Rafah, and Israeli forces are now striking targets in the area, officials announced Monday. The move came hours after Hamas announced it had accepted an Egyptian-Qatari ceasefire proposal, which could end seven months of war in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, however, said that the proposal was "far from Israel's essential demands," but that it would nonetheless send negotiators to continue talks on a ceasefire agreement, the AP reports.

  • President Biden spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and reiterated US concerns about an invasion of Rafah. US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said American officials were reviewing the Hamas response "and discussing it with our partners in the region." An American official said the US was examining whether what Hamas agreed to was the version signed off to by Israel and international negotiators or something else.
  • Egyptian officials said that proposal called for a ceasefire of multiple stages starting with a limited hostage release and partial Israeli troop pullbacks within Gaza. The two sides would also negotiate a "permanent calm" that would lead to a full hostage release and greater Israeli withdrawal out of the territory, they said.
  • Thousands of Israelis rallied around the country Monday night calling for an immediate agreement. About a thousand protesters swelled near the defense headquarters in Tel Aviv, where police tried to clear the road. In Jerusalem, about a hundred protesters marched toward Netanyahu's residence with a banner reading, "The blood is on your hands."

(More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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