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Israeli Airstrikes Continue in Rafah Amid Uncertainty Over Ceasefire

Israeli Airstrikes Continue in Rafah Amid Uncertainty Over Ceasefire

As pressure increases for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the city of Rafah is facing a delicate situation, with mixed messages from both sides leaving residents anxious and uncertain. Hamas announced on Monday that it accepted a ceasefire-for-hostage deal, initially sparking hope among Rafah’s population of over 1 million Palestinians. However, Israel’s response was lukewarm, and airstrikes on Gaza’s southernmost city continued throughout the night.

The Israeli military stated late Monday that it was targeting Hamas in Rafah, with reports of Israeli tanks near the Rafah crossing, a vital entry point for humanitarian aid into Gaza. While Israel expressed doubts about Hamas’s ceasefire acceptance, it also announced plans for further negotiations in Cairo, mediated by Egypt and Qatar.

Amidst the confusion, witnesses reported frightened families evacuating Rafah on foot or using any available means, responding to Israeli military leaflets instructing residents to leave eastern neighborhoods. The situation drew concern from international actors, with the United States stressing the need for a humanitarian plan for displaced Palestinians in Rafah during a call between President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Also Read: At Least Three Israeli Soldiers Killed as Airstrikes Pound Rafah

Hamas remained steadfast in its demands, reiterating its stance on a ceasefire and Israeli troop withdrawal. The group’s political leader, Ismail Haniyeh, discussed peace proposals with Ziyad al-Nakhalah, head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, highlighting the unwavering commitment of resistance factions to their demands. As tensions persist and uncertainty hangs over Rafah, the city remains a focal point in the ongoing conflict, with residents’ lives at stake amidst geopolitical interests and humanitarian considerations.