Netanyahu, Gaza militants vow to fight on as Biden urges "de-escalation"

Netanyahu, Gaza militants vow to fight on as Biden urges "de-escalation"

Shafaq News/ Israel and Gaza militants vowed to keep fighting after U.S. President Joe Biden urged on Wednesday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seek a “de-escalation” on the path to a ceasefire in the 10-day conflict.

An Egyptian security source said the two sides had agreed in principle to a ceasefire after help from mediators, although details are negotiating in secret amid public denials of a deal to prevent it from collapsing.

Palestinian health officials said that since fighting began on May 10, 228 people had killed in aerial bombardments that have worsened an already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Israeli authorities put the death toll at 12 in Israel, where repeated rocket attacks have caused panic and sent people rushing into shelters.

Regional and U.S.-led diplomatic efforts to secure a ceasefire have intensified but so far failed. Cross-border fire continued unabated after Biden's latest call for calm, and Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas and others vowed defiance.

Netanyahu has repeatedly hailed what he has described as support from the United States, Israel's main ally, for a right to self-defense in battling attacks from Gaza, home to two million Palestinians.

However, Biden put the Israeli leader on notice in a telephone call that it was time to lower the intensity of the conflict.

Netanyahu had earlier told a meeting with foreign envoys to Israel "it is not possible to set a timeframe" for the operations, Israeli media reported.

In response to Biden's de-escalation call, Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassam said those who sought to restore calm must "compel Israel to end its aggression in Jerusalem and its bombardment of Gaza".

Once that happened, Qassam said, "There can be room to talk about arrangements to restore calm".

A leader of Islamic Jihad, another Gaza militant group, said political talks "remain at a standstill".

Another leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, Ziad Nakhaleh says militant factions in Gaza went into the latest battle with Israel knowing it will be “costly but also knowing that it is the only road to freedom and to protect Jerusalem.”

Nearly 450 buildings in densely populated Gaza destroyed or badly damaged, including 6 hospitals and 9 primary-care health centers, and more than 52,000 Palestinians are now displaced, the U.N. humanitarian agency said.

Source: Reuters + AP

Shafaq Live
Shafaq Live
Radio radio icon