War in the Middle East: Security circles: Talks about a ceasefire continue

According to Egyptian security circles, talks in Cairo about a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza war have not failed and are continuing.

War in the Middle East: Security circles: Talks about a ceasefire continue

According to Egyptian security circles, talks in Cairo about a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza war have not failed and are continuing. The German Press Agency found out. According to the source, there was no withdrawal by Hamas or other parties involved. There had previously been media reports that the Islamist Palestinian movement had declared the negotiations to have failed. However, Hamas representatives did not confirm this when asked by the dpa.

According to the dpa information, the talks are said to be at an advanced stage. They could bring a ceasefire with an exchange of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners within days, it said. According to the report, it is due to an “internal Israeli dispute” that there has not yet been a breakthrough. However, the remaining obstacles are “marginal”.

In the past two days, Hamas has dealt positively with the proposals from Qatar and Egypt, a senior Hamas official said on Tuesday evening at a press conference in the Lebanese capital Beirut. He reiterated Hamas' position: "The security of our people can only be achieved through an end to the aggression, a ceasefire and the withdrawal of the occupying forces from Gaza."

Israel has so far rejected a comprehensive ceasefire and continues to strive for the destruction of Hamas. From Israel's perspective, only a temporary ceasefire is conceivable within the framework of an agreement.

UN: Rape in Hamas terror credible

Five months after the terrorist attack by the Islamist Hamas and other extremists from the Gaza Strip in Israel, the United Nations has classified allegations of sexual violence during the massacre as credible in a report.

There is "reasonable reason to believe" that rapes and gang rapes occurred in at least three locations, said the paper, published in New York. There is also convincing information that sexualized violence has also been perpetrated against kidnapped hostages and that this could currently continue in the Gaza Strip.

Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz accused the UN of wanting to "sweep Hamas' crimes "under the carpet." A UN spokesman rejected this. The Israeli army is now seeing clear signs that the terrorists also kidnapped women as "slaves" during their attack.

UN paper: Ex-prisoners report abuse by Israel

In a previously unpublished report by the UN Palestinian relief agency UNRWA, former prisoners accuse Israel of ill-treatment in prisons. Hundreds of released people had reported “systematic humiliation” to UNRWA, UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said the evening before in New York. According to the New York Times, it is about abuses that Gaza residents of "all ages" were subjected to in detention centers in Israel. The abuse served to "extort information or confessions, to intimidate and humiliate and to punish."

Israeli Minister Gantz holds talks in Washington

Meanwhile, US Vice President Kamala Harris expressed her "deep concern" about humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip during a meeting with Israeli Minister Benny Gantz in Washington. She also spoke about the urgency of a hostage agreement and welcomed Israel's "constructive approach" in the negotiations, the White House said afterwards. Harris called on Hamas to accept these conditions. The USA, with Egypt and Qatar as mediators, is working hard to achieve a temporary ceasefire and the release of the hostages. So far there has been no breakthrough in the indirect negotiations.

Gantz, who is a member of Israel's war cabinet, and Harris also discussed the situation in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, which is overcrowded with hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees. They discussed the need for a viable plan to protect civilians before considering a major military operation in Rafah. In Rafah on the border with Egypt, around 1.5 million people currently live in a very small space. Israel is planning a ground offensive in the area. In view of the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, the US government has been toughening its tone towards the Israeli government for weeks - and is calling on Israel to allow significantly more aid into the coastal area and to open new border crossings.

The UN is also considering air deliveries of aid

The United Nations is now also considering supplying the Gaza Strip with food by air. This was said by the spokesman for the UN emergency relief office OCHA, Jens Laerke, in Geneva. Only a limited amount can be transported during such operations. This is not the most efficient way to get food to hungry people. That is why the United Nations continues to insist that the supply of trucks via land access be expanded.

However, by far not enough trucks are being handled. The United Nations has been complaining for weeks that Israel is not issuing enough truck permits to import into the Gaza Strip. On the first three days of March there were between 100 and 130 per day, said Laerke. Before the current conflict, more than 500 trucks carrying material drove into the Gaza Strip every day.

UN report: Victim killed after rape

The war was triggered by the massacre by Hamas and other extremist groups in Israel on October 7th, in which around 1,200 people were killed and around 250 hostages were kidnapped in the Gaza Strip. Israel had long accused the United Nations of failing to respond adequately to the horrific crimes.

In the report prepared by the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, after a visit to Israel, the world body now concludes that in most incidents on the day of the massacre, victims of rape were subsequently killed. The report also listed cases of sexual abuse of women's corpses, it said. The UN agency did not have the mandate to name culprits for the report. A “comprehensive investigation” was needed, it said.

Viewed more than 5,000 photos and 50 hours of video

Patten's team's investigation took place from late January to mid-February. There were dozens of meetings with representatives of Israeli authorities and organizations, and more than 5,000 photos and 50 hours of video were viewed. The United Nations conducted 34 interviews with witnesses. However, the team did not speak to surviving victims. On the one hand, the reason is their ongoing trauma. Added to this is the victims' "lack of trust" in international organizations such as the UN, it was said.

Israel's army: terrorists kidnapped women as "slaves"

Israel's military has now released audio recordings that are intended to prove that women were also abducted as "slaves" during the attack on Israel. The voices of men can be heard in the recordings, which are said to be from the day of the invasion. According to Israeli reports, these were also employees of the UN Palestinian relief agency UNRWA. For example, the teacher at a UNRWA school is said to have said that he had captured a "slave," said army spokesman Daniel Hagari. The authenticity of the recordings has not yet been independently verified. UNWRA has yet to respond to the allegations.

Israel praises UN report on sexual violence in Hamas terrorism

Israeli President Izchak Herzog has praised the UN report on sexual violence in the Islamist Hamas massacre on October 7th. The report is of immense importance, wrote Herzog on the platform X (formerly Twitter). "It substantiates with moral clarity and integrity the systematic, premeditated and persistent sexual crimes committed by Hamas terrorists against Israeli women." The world must now react decisively and condemn and punish Hamas, demanded Herzog.