Hamas propose 135-day truce to exchange captives and end war – Mondoweiss

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Casualties

  • 27,708+ killed* and at least 67,147 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
  • 380+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
  • Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
  • 564 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**

*This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 35,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

Key Developments

  • A potential deal between Israel and Hamas could silence guns in the Gaza Strip for four and a half months, paving the way to a permanent ceasefire.
  • Israel and Hamas propose to release children, women, elderly, and sick captives from both sides in the first stage of the truce.
  • Hamas demands Israel to allow the entry of 500 aid trucks and fuel per day into the Gaza Strip, as well as 60,000 temporary homes and 200,000 tents for two million displaced Palestinians.
  • Hamas demands that Tel Aviv prevent Israeli settlers from storming Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. Hamas to name 500 Palestinian prisoners out of 1,500 Israel will release.
  • The Israeli cabinet is deliberating Hamas counter-proposal, which at this stage is still a discussion paper.
  • Israeli military spokesperson announces 31 out of 136 remaining Israeli captives have died inside the Gaza Strip.
  • OCHA says Israeli forces issued evacuation orders to Palestinians which covers two-thirds of the Gaza Strip, or 246 square kilometres.
  • Israeli bombing of a house in Jabalia refugee camp kills at least 20 members of the Al-Shanti family and injures 20 others.
  • The International Court of Justice (ICJ) elects Lebanon’s judge Nawaf Salam as president for a three-year term. ICJ elects as Vice President Ugandan judge Julia Sebutinde who voted against all measures to protect Palestinian lives in Gaza.
  • Itochu, Japan’s trading giant, announces ending collaboration with Israel’s Elbit Systems defense company, citing ICJ ruling.
  • Israeli forces kill Mohammad Saud Abdullah Al-Titi, 18, near the Beit Furik military checkpoint in Nablus.

Hamas submit counter-proposal for truce in Gaza

A potential deal between Israel and the Palestinian resistance movements could silence the guns in the Gaza Strip for a period of four and half months, paving the way to a permanent ceasefire.

On Tuesday evening, Hamas submitted a long-awaited response to an Israeli proposal brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the CIA in Paris last week, in which Tel Aviv suggested a 45-day pause of fighting in Gaza during which Hamas will release 35 Israeli captives in return for 4,000 Palestinian prisoners.

According to Al-Jazeera, Hamas’ answer to the truce framework affirmed the movement’s position to reach a permanent ceasefire and end the Israeli aggression in Gaza. 

Hamas agreed to the completion of a truce over three stages, each lasting for 45 days, which will total to four months and a half and will see the two parties exchange Israeli captives and Palestinian prisoners, ending the Gaza siege, the withdrawal of Israeli forces, and start reconstruction of the enclave.

In the first stage, Hamas agreed to free children, women, the elderly and the sick of Israeli captives captured in the Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7. Israel, in return, will release children, women, the sick and those above 50-year-old Palestinian prisoners inside the Israeli jails.

Hamas also demanded that Israel allow the entry of 500 aid trucks and fuel per day into the Gaza Strip, 60,000 temporary homes, and 200,000 tents be brought to help nearly two million displaced Palestinians, who will be granted free movement to go back to their towns and neighborhoods.

The second phase, lasting for another 45 days, will see the exchange of male captives and prisoners.

Hamas also demanded that Israeli settlers stop violating the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque at this stage and go back to the status quo before 2002 when Israeli settlers could not storm Al-Aqsa compound and perform silent Jewish prayers, which an Israeli court donned with a legal cover in 2021.

Israel would release 1,500 Palestinian prisoners, and Hamas could name 500 of them, including those who are serving long sentences, such as Marwan Al-Barghouti of Fatah, Ahmed Saadat of the PFLP, and Abdullah Al-Barghouti of Hamas.

Lastly, Hamas asked Turkey, Qatar, Russia, Egypt, and the U.S. to ensure the implementation of the agreement. Hamas asked for an approved plan to reconstruct Gaza homes and infrastructure, which was bombed by Israel, in a period of three years.

The Israeli cabinet is deliberating Hamas’s response to a truce framework, which at this stage is still a discussion paper. There are high expectations for it to go through and end the Israeli aggression on Gaza, which has killed nearly 30,000 Palestinians since October.

Qatar said the Hamas counter-proposal was “positive”, while U.S. President Joe Biden said it was “a little over the top” on Tuesday evening. 

Hamas spent a week working on its response to the proposal before submitting it via Qatar and Egypt on Tuesday.

Talks about a possible truce have been going on since December. Still, Israel’s assassination of Saleh Al-Arouri, the deputy political leader of Hamas in Beirut, in early January had hindered these efforts.

On Tuesday evening, the Israeli military spokesperson announced that at least 31 out of the 136 remaining captives inside the Gaza Strip had died during Israeli military operations in the enclave.

Palestinians inspect a bombed out vehicle that was targeted in an Israeli attack in Rafah in southern Gaza.
Palestinians inspect a police vehicle that was destroyed in an Israeli attack in Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on February 06, 2024. More than 27,000 Palestinians and over 1,300 Israelis have been killed since October 7th, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. (Haitham Imad/EFE via ZUMA Press APAimages)

UN OCHA says Israel ordered Palestinians to evacuate two-thirds of Gaza

Today marks the fourth month of the Israeli war launched on the Gaza Strip.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that Israeli forces issued evacuation orders over an area that covers two-thirds of the Gaza Strip, or 246 square kilometers.

Almost 1.4 million Palestinians are now displaced in Rafah, the southern town on the border with Egypt.

“Intense fighting around Khan Younis continues to drive thousands of people into the southern town of Rafah. Most are living in makeshift structures, tents, or out in the open,” OCHA reported.

Israeli forces bombed several areas of the Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours, but focused gun fire on Rafah and Khan Younis.

An Israeli bombing on a house in Rafah killed three Palestinians on Tuesday evening. Another airstrike killed the journalist Zakaria Fathi Abu Ghali, his mother and sister, Maha Dhaifullah Abu Ghali, and Haneen, while they were in their home in Rafah. 

Israeli forces also bombed the Shaboura refugee camp in Rafah, areas near the Palestinian-Egyptian border and the Brazil neighborhood, while Israeli military drones flew over tents of displaced Palestinians west of Rafah. Several Palestinian fishermen were also injured during an Israeli navy bombing near Rafah shore. 

In Khan Younis, an Israeli air raid killed three Palestinians, while an Israeli sniper killed a young Palestinian near the entrance of Al-Maqdis school, which houses hundreds of displaced Palestinians and is located near the Al-Nasser Hospital, Wafa reported.

Israel commits 16 massacres in Gaza in 24 hours

Gaza’s Ministry of Health said that Israel killed 123 Palestinian martyrs and injured 169 others in 16 massacres in the past 24 hours in the Gaza Strip.

In Al-Batn Al-Samin, east of Khan Younis, Israeli forces blew up a residential block. Palestinian paramedics transferred eight Palestinians injured in an Israeli bombing of a house in Al-Baraka area of Deir Al-Balah, in central Gaza, to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital.

Israel launched an airstrike on a warehouse in Deir Al-Balah, which housed displaced Palestinians near Salah Al-Din Street. Israeli forces also bombed Al-Nuseirat refugee camp and the Tal Al-Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City.

Israeli bombing on a house in Jabalia refugee camp killed at least 20 members of the Al-Shanti family and injured 20 others. 

Israel also targeted the Khirbet Al-Adas neighborhood in Rafah, Al-Hanawi and Hayat schools in Khan Younis, reportedly killing tens of Palestinians.

Since October, Israel has killed at least 27,708 Palestinians and injured 67,147 others; the majority are women and children, while thousands remain missing and buried under the rubble caused by Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling.

The health ministry added that it managed to operate some wards in hospitals of north Gaza, but that hospitals are still in need of medical supplies, fuel, and the return of doctors and nurses who had fled to south Gaza.

“11,000 injured [people] and patients are in urgent need, and should be prioritised, to leave the Gaza Strip to [receive medical treatment and] to save their lives,” Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, the spokesperson for Gaza’s Ministry of Health, said on Telegram channel.

ICJ elects Ugandan judge who voted against South Africa as Vice President 

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) elected a new president and vice president, a move that could have an impact on the ongoing deliberations over South Africa’s case against Israel and the crime of genocide in Gaza. 

The court elected Lebanon’s judge Nawaf Salam as president for a three-year term. Salam has been a member of the ICJ since 2018, and is the first Lebanese and second Arab national to occupy the presidency of the ICJ.

His election comes when the ICJ is looking into the South Africa case accusing Israel of committing genocidal acts in the Gaza Strip. In January, the ICJ order Israel to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza.

Salam said that he feels “a major responsibility in achieving international justice and upholding international law.”

The ICJ also elected Julia Sebutinde, the Ugandan judge, as vice-president.

Sebutinde had voted against all of the ICJ measures to protect Palestinian lives in Gaza. For comparison, the judge appointed by Israel voted in favor of two out of the six measures.

Although Israel disregarded the ICJ ruling and killed more than 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza since late January, Tel Aviv is starting to feel the consequences of such a case.

Itochu, Japan’s trading giant, announced on Tuesday that it would sever ties and end collaboration with Israel’s Elbit Systems, a defence company, by the end of February following the ICJ ruling.

“Taking into consideration the International Court of Justice’s order on January 26, and that the Japanese government supports the role of the Court, we have already suspended new activities related to the [Memorandum of Understanding], and plan to end the MOU by the end of February,” the CEO of Itochu said, in reference to an MOU signed with Elbit in March 2023.

Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen near Nablus, storm Ain Shams refugee camp

Overnight, Israeli forces arrested 35 Palestinians from Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tubas, Tulkarem, and Jerusalem, Wafa reported. 

On Tuesday afternoon, Israeli forces killed Mohammad Saud Abdullah al-Titi, 18, near the Beit Furik military checkpoint in Nablus.

Mohammed’s father, Saud al-Titi, was killed by Israeli forces last November in the Deir Al-Hatab area, east of Nablus, Wafa reported.

According to Wafa, Israeli soldiers opened fire on 18-year-old al-Titi, claiming that he had tried to carry out an attack. He was reportedly wounded and left to bleed on the ground while Israeli forces prevented ambulances from reaching him.  

Meanwhile, during overnight raids in the West Bank, Israeli forces stormed the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem and the Nur Shams refugee camp, arresting several Palestinians and causing damage to the roads.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club said Israel forces arrested Saher Ibrahim Ahmed Al-Basha, 42, Ahmed Muhammad Bashir Al-Jayousi, and Ihab Salim Ahmed Tayeh, 28, all are ex-prisoners. 

Wafa reported that Israeli forces stormed Tulkarem for six hours, destroyed water and sewage pipes, and vandalized commercial properties. 

Israeli forces also stormed Beit Anan and Beit Duqu, northwest of Jerusalem, and arrested three Palestinians. In Jericho, Israeli forces stormed the Aqabat Jabr refugee camp and raided the home of Fakhr Awadat Al-Muqiti, father of four prisoners, Islam, Said, Saddam, and Hassan Awadat, according to Wafa.

In Al-Khader, a town south of Bethlehem, Palestinians confronted Israeli forces stationed near Umm Al-Samen area and Road 60, used by Israeli illegal settlers traveling between Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron. No injuries were reported. 

Since October, Israel has arrested nearly 6,900 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. Though some have since been released, thousands still remain in Israeli prisons. 



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