Diplomatic efforts to ‘pause’ war continue as Israeli troops advance toward Gaza City « Khabarhub
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Diplomatic efforts to ‘pause’ war continue as Israeli troops advance toward Gaza City

03 November 2023  

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TEL AVIV: Israeli ground troops pushed toward Gaza City amid continued diplomatic efforts to bring about a brief stop in the fighting and a worsening humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian enclave.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday urged a “humanitarian pause” in the war between Israel and Hamas militants. “A pause means give time to get the prisoners out. Give time,” he said.

Hamas radicals took more than 240 hostages during its attack on Israel October 7 that killed 1,400 people.

Israel declared war on Hamas after the attack and the constant bombardment on Gaza has killed thousands of Palestinians. The Hamas-run Palestinian health ministry says the death toll has surpassed 9,000.

The first group of foreign nationals, who have been trapped in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war, began entering Egypt on Wednesday. More left on Thursday.

Biden said during an Oval Office meeting with the Dominican Republic’s president that 74 Americans with dual nationalities were evacuated from Gaza on Thursday.

His National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby, told reporters that five other Americans had crossed through Rafah on Wednesday.

He said he hoped more could still enter Egypt on Thursday, adding the situation is fluid.

“That’s a good sign that the trajectory is going in the right direction,” Kirby said. “We want to get them all out as soon as possible.”

He estimates there are between 1,000 to 1,200 dual U.S. nationals, legal permanent residents, and their families in Gaza.

The reopening of the Rafah border crossing to allow foreign passport holders to leave was part of a Qatari-brokered deal between Israel, Egypt and Hamas.

At least 81 injured Palestinians have also been transported by ambulance from Gaza to Egyptian hospitals as part of the deal.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was headed Thursday to Israel and Jordan for meetings with officials, with no letup in hostilities in the region, as Israeli troops fought with Hamas militants on the edges of Gaza City.

“We’re at the height of the battle. We’ve had impressive successes and have passed the outskirts of Gaza City. We are advancing,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement Thursday.


Publish Date : 03 November 2023 07:42 AM

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