Written by Lalitha H, Vaishnavi K and Isha Rajgopalan
Egypt, Israel and the US could have agreed to a ceasefire in Southern Gaza beginning O600 GMT, said a recent Reuters report. This coincides with the re-opening of the Rafah border crossing, the report added. The Reuter’s report said the ceasefire would last for several hours and it also said that the three countries agreed that the Rafah would be open until 1400 GMT on Monday. Rafah is on the border between Egypt Sinai Peninsula and Gaza. It is the only crossing into the territory not controlled by Israel.
But, according to a report from Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has denied any claims of ceasefire and humanitarian aid in the Gaza strip. Israel has warned the roughly 1.1 million Gazans who reside in the northern parts of the enclave to go to the south as the military gets ready to launch a ground invasion. The upcoming operation is anticipated to concentrate on Gaza City, the Islamist group Hamas's headquarters.
According to a tweet from the Israel Defense Forces, Israel offers Gaza three hours to flee south. The Israeli army is awaiting a "political decision" on the timing of a massive ground attack in Gaza, military spokesman said on Sunday.
In separate press conferences, military spokesman Lieutenant Richard Hecht and Daniel Hagari stated that "a political decision" will initiate any action against Hamas.
This comes even when Gaza experiences tremendous violence, widespread evacuations, and a precarious humanitarian situation as the Israel-Hamas conflict worsens. The world observes this with growing worry.
According to the Gazan authorities, around 2,200 people have died, with children accounting for almost 25% of the fatalities. Additionally, one million people are thought to have been displaced from their homes, and there have been close to 10,000 injuries. Medical professionals estimated that 35,000 men, women, and children were jammed into Gaza City's major hospital, Al-Shifa, and its grounds in the hopes that the building would be spared from the impending bombardment. Expulsion from Gaza "could be equivalent to a death sentence" for more than 2,000 patients in hospitals in the north, including infants in incubators and people in intensive care.
In the United States, the government has organized a ship to evacuate American citizens from Israel to Cyprus. This decision comes as Israel appears to be moving towards a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. The ship is set to depart from the Israeli port of Haifa and will carry U.S. nationals and their immediate family members.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau voiced deep concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. He emphasized the necessity of unimpeded humanitarian access to address the urgent needs of civilians and called for the respect of international law and human rights.
The conflict has spurred protests in various parts of the world. Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered in Washington, D.C. last Sunday, marching past the White House, chanting "Free Palestine." Demonstrations both in support of Israel and Palestine have been ongoing, underscoring the global impact of this regional crisis.
A humanitarian corridor or escape route for Palestinians fleeing Gaza has been called for in the midst of these events. Jordan and Egypt, two nearby Arab nations, have issued statements cautioning against ejecting Palestinians violently from their homeland. There are widespread worries that the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas may result in the permanent eviction of Palestinians.
Any attempt to evict Palestinians from the Gaza Strip violently has been explicitly opposed by Qatar. The nation's foreign affairs ministry expressed resistance to such initiatives in a statement.
The international community is still very worried about the welfare of civilians caught in the crossfire of this ongoing conflict as the situation continues to change.