War in the Middle East: Hope for a new ceasefire in the Gaza war

While Israel's army increasingly takes action against the Islamist Hamas in southern Gaza, mediators in the war are trying to find a new ceasefire.

War in the Middle East: Hope for a new ceasefire in the Gaza war

While Israel's army increasingly takes action against the Islamist Hamas in southern Gaza, mediators in the war are trying to find a new ceasefire. Hopes for a possible new agreement to free Israeli hostages from Hamas in return for a longer break in fighting have increased, the newspaper "The Times of Israel" reported last night. Meanwhile, there was renewed mutual shelling between Israel's army and the Iran-backed Hezbollah militia on Israel's border with Lebanon. The US military, in turn, responded to an attack by pro-Iranian militias in Iraq with a counterstrike.

Hamas reportedly open to hostage release talks

According to a media report, Hamas is said to have shown itself open to negotiating the release of some Israeli hostages. The Islamists have told mediators they are willing to talk about the release of the female civilians and children in return for a "significant" ceasefire, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing Egyptian officials. During a week-long ceasefire at the end of November last year, Hamas released 105 hostages. In return, Israel released 240 Palestinian prisoners from its prisons.

Hamas has so far linked any further release of hostages to an end to the war. According to Israeli government information, terrorists are still holding around 130 people who they kidnapped from Israel into the Gaza Strip during their attack on October 7th. Among them are Israeli soldiers, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Israeli government believes that 105 hostages are still alive and many of them are being held in Hamas' underground tunnel network.

According to information from the news portal Axios, Israel is said to have proposed a two-month ceasefire in return for the release of all hostages. The offer was handed over to mediators from Egypt and Qatar, who are currently trying to bridge the gap between the different demands. Although the latest development is positive, it does not mean that an agreement is imminent, wrote the Wall Street Journal. The talks could still fail, according to Egyptian officials.

Guterres criticizes Netanyahu

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General António Guterres criticized the rejection of a two-state solution by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other government members before the UN Security Council. "This rejection and denial of the Palestinian people's right to their own state would indefinitely prolong this conflict, which has become a major threat to world peace and security," he said. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also spoke out in New York in favor of a two-state solution and also criticized Netanyahu's negative stance on this issue. At the same time, he called for the release of all hostages and a ceasefire.

Israel's army: more than 100 terrorists killed in Khan Yunis

Meanwhile, Israel's army says it has killed dozens more terrorists in the Khan Yunis area in the south of the Gaza Strip. Army spokesman Daniel Hagari said in the evening that more than 100 terrorists were "eliminated" in the west of the city on Tuesday. The information cannot yet be independently verified. The army said it had surrounded the city, which is considered a Hamas stronghold, the day before. Israel suspects that Hamas leaders and Israeli hostages are in underground tunnels there.

The war was triggered by the worst massacre in Israel's history, which terrorists from Hamas and other extremist groups carried out in southern Israel on October 7th. They murdered 1,200 people. Israel responded with massive air strikes and a ground offensive. According to the Hamas-controlled health authority, more than 25,000 people have been killed so far. The number can hardly be verified independently.

US military responds to attack in Iraq with counterstrike

Meanwhile, the U.S. military in Iraq launched air strikes at three facilities used by the Kataib Hezbollah militia and other Iran-linked groups in Iraq, according to the U.S. military's regional command on Platform X, formerly Twitter. communicated at night. A few days ago, fighters fired rockets at the Ain Al-Assad base.

Because of the Gaza war, the security situation in the entire region is tense. The troops of the USA - Israel's most important ally - are also in the sights of pro-Iranian militias. Iran wants to use them to create an “axis of resistance” against Israel. In recent weeks they have increased their attacks on US bases in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Another exchange of fire on Israel's border with Lebanon

Meanwhile, fighting broke out again on the border between Israel and Lebanon. Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said in the evening that Israeli fighter jets had "attacked terrorist targets and destroyed an important military facility that was used by the terrorist organization Hezbollah and also operated by Iranian forces" in the northern neighboring country. The army spokesman did not provide any further details.

What is important today

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron is expected for talks in Israel. He wanted to express his concern about the high number of Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip and work for a permanent ceasefire, the Jerusalem Post newspaper reported. Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani also wants to hold talks in the Middle East. Meetings are planned in Beirut, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Ramallah.