Israel-Hamas War: Latest News – New York Times

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant arrived in Washington on Monday and held several meetings with U.S. officials as relations between Israel and the Biden administration deteriorate over the high civilian death toll in the Gaza Strip. I plan to.

President Biden has expressed “deep concern” about Israel’s plans for a ground invasion of Rafah, a city in the southern Gaza Strip where more than 1 million Palestinians have fled, and other senior administration officials have urged Israel to consider alternatives. We encourage you to explore.

Israeli leaders have said that even if a temporary ceasefire is reached, they will ultimately press ahead with a military offensive to root out Hamas remnants in Rafah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that in the event of an Israeli operation in a combat zone, civilians will be evacuated from the combat zone. However, Palestinians who have followed previous Israeli evacuation orders often find themselves caught up in fighting or targeted by airstrikes.

Gallant said the visit will focus specifically on maintaining Israel’s military superiority in the air. The United States provides Israel with billions of dollars in military aid and direct arms transfers annually.

On Monday, Gallant met with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to discuss the need for more humanitarian aid to reach Gaza and the “safety of the more than 1 million people sheltered in Rafah.” They plan to discuss a plan to ensure security while ensuring security. “Hamas can no longer pose a threat to Israel,” a National Security Council spokesperson said.

A delegation of Israeli officials is expected to meet with U.S. officials in the coming days to further discuss Israel’s operational plans in Rafah. A spokesperson for the National Security Council said the meeting was different from the one between Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Gallant.

Gallant’s office said he will also meet with Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. He will also meet with CIA Director William J. Burns, who was in Doha, Qatar, last week to participate in ongoing ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas.

In recent weeks, international mediators have redoubled their efforts to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas. Qatar, the main mediator, has expressed cautious optimism, but says it has not yet seen a breakthrough. Other officials familiar with the negotiations expressed similar sentiments.

Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official, said last week that the militants had softened their demands to some extent. He said Hamas had agreed to a gradual rather than immediate Israeli withdrawal, and he was discussing the release of some hostages before declaring a permanent ceasefire.

Two U.S. officials and an Israeli official who spoke on the terms said the biggest stalemate in ceasefire talks in recent days was the number of Palestinian prisoners to be released, particularly those serving extended sentences for violence against Israelis. It is said to be the number of prisoners of war. Please discuss confidential matters anonymously.

During the talks in Doha, the U.S. delegation led by Burns proposed a compromise to bridge the gap between Israel and Hamas, according to Israeli officials and another person familiar with the negotiations.

Israel has accepted the U.S. compromise but is still waiting for Hamas’s response, both officials said. Hamas’s political leadership is based in Doha, but talks will also need to be held with Yahya Sinwar, who heads the organization in Gaza. This could cause a delay of several days.

The slow pace of negotiations and continued fighting in the Gaza Strip have left many people in Gaza without hope. Mohammad Ikhtifan, 36, a taxi driver from Gaza City who has taken refuge in Rafah with his wife and three children, said his savings had dwindled and he was desperate to leave the enclave.

“They are putting us in a cage of death,” Ikhtifan said, referring to Israeli military operations and the growing number of civilian casualties.

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