AGL 23.81 Decreased By ▼ -0.54 (-2.22%)
AIRLINK 103.60 Increased By ▲ 0.60 (0.58%)
BOP 5.66 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.88%)
CNERGY 3.93 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-0.76%)
DCL 8.36 Decreased By ▼ -0.14 (-1.65%)
DFML 41.70 Decreased By ▼ -1.29 (-3%)
DGKC 88.30 Decreased By ▼ -0.60 (-0.67%)
FCCL 22.70 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
FFBL 40.88 Increased By ▲ 2.68 (7.02%)
FFL 8.96 Decreased By ▼ -0.15 (-1.65%)
HUBC 160.49 Decreased By ▼ -3.21 (-1.96%)
HUMNL 11.46 Decreased By ▼ -0.34 (-2.88%)
KEL 4.82 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-0.62%)
KOSM 4.09 Decreased By ▼ -0.04 (-0.97%)
MLCF 38.60 Increased By ▲ 0.19 (0.49%)
NBP 53.60 Increased By ▲ 0.75 (1.42%)
OGDC 130.60 Decreased By ▼ -2.29 (-1.72%)
PAEL 25.36 Decreased By ▼ -0.29 (-1.13%)
PIBTL 6.25 Decreased By ▼ -0.13 (-2.04%)
PPL 118.90 Decreased By ▼ -0.60 (-0.5%)
PRL 23.95 Decreased By ▼ -0.65 (-2.64%)
PTC 12.92 Increased By ▲ 0.28 (2.22%)
SEARL 59.11 Decreased By ▼ -0.49 (-0.82%)
TELE 7.43 Decreased By ▼ -0.06 (-0.8%)
TOMCL 34.99 Decreased By ▼ -0.16 (-0.46%)
TPLP 8.72 Decreased By ▼ -0.13 (-1.47%)
TREET 15.90 Increased By ▲ 0.10 (0.63%)
TRG 55.95 Decreased By ▼ -1.95 (-3.37%)
UNITY 34.95 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (0.17%)
WTL 1.20 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-1.64%)
BR100 8,536 Decreased By -8.5 (-0.1%)
BR30 27,187 Decreased By -204 (-0.74%)
KSE100 79,944 Decreased By -48.3 (-0.06%)
KSE30 25,500 Decreased By -43.9 (-0.17%)
World

US in Gaza ceasefire push with UN vote, Mideast tour

Published June 10, 2024
A Palestinian looks at the debris from fighting following the hostage rescue operation by Israeli special forces in Nuseirat camp, central Gaza, on June 8, 2024. Photo: AFP
A Palestinian looks at the debris from fighting following the hostage rescue operation by Israeli special forces in Nuseirat camp, central Gaza, on June 8, 2024. Photo: AFP

GAZA STRIP: The United States stepped up pressure Monday for a Gaza ceasefire with a call for a UN Security Council vote on a truce as it redeployed Washington’s top diplomat to the region scarred by eight months of war.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s regional tour was preceded by further bombardment of Gaza by Israeli forces, with witnesses reporting overnight strikes in the centre of the strip and helicopter gunfire on ravaged Gaza City.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meanwhile faced domestic dissent, with war cabinet member Benny Gantz quitting Sunday over the premier’s handling of the war.

Washington sought to bring a ceasefire closer by tabling a draft resolution at the United Nations, calling for an “immediate ceasefire with the release of hostages” between Israel and Hamas group.

A staunch ally of Israel, the United States has been widely criticised for having blocked several earlier UN draft resolutions calling for a halt to the fighting.

Thousands rally in London for Gaza ceasefire

A new push for a deal by President Joe Biden on May 31, separate from the UN, has so far failed to produce tangible results, while further doubts have been cast on a truce by an Israeli special forces raid to free hostages which killed scores of Palestinians on Saturday.

“People were screaming – young and old, women and men,” said Muhannad Thabet, 35, a resident of the crowded Nuseirat refugee camp area.

“Everyone wanted to flee the place, but the bombing was intense and anyone who moved was at risk of being killed due to the heavy bombardment and gunfire.”

The health ministry in the Hamas-run territory said 274 people were killed and 698 wounded, in what it labelled the “Nuseirat massacre”, figures that could not be independently verified.

Among those were at least 64 children, 57 women and 37 elderly people, the ministry said.

‘Abandon the battle’

Many Israelis shed tears of joy when they heard of the release of the four captives, all reported in good health.

Noa Argamani, 26, Almog Meir Jan, 22, Andrey Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 41, had been abducted from the Nova music festival during Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel that triggered the war.

 Palestinians inspect damage to buildings following the hostage rescue raid in the Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza Strip on June 8, 2024. Photo: AFP
Palestinians inspect damage to buildings following the hostage rescue raid in the Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza Strip on June 8, 2024. Photo: AFP

Pressure is mounting over Netanyahu’s failure to return remaining hostages and the departure of Gantz from the war cabinet marked a major political blow.

Gantz’s decision, which will not bring down the right-wing government, comes after he had issued an ultimatum to Netanyahu to present a post-war plan for Gaza by June 8.

Responding to the first major political blow to him during the conflict, Netanyahu told Gantz it was “not the time to abandon the battle”.

The four freed hostages are among only seven that Israeli forces have managed to rescue alive since Palestinian Hamas group seized 251 in their October 7 attack.

Hamas says 210 killed in Gaza camp where hostages rescued

Dozens were exchanged in a November truce for Palestinian prisoners. After Saturday’s rescue operation, 116 hostages remain in Gaza, although the army says 41 of them are dead.

Israel’s top diplomat rejected accusations “of war crimes” in the operation.

“We will continue to act with determination and strength, in accordance with our right to self-defence, until all of the hostages are freed and Hamas is defeated,” Foreign Minister Israel Katz said.

Devastation, displacement

With no breakthroughs on the horizon, Blinken is set to visit Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Qatar during his eighth regional tour since the war erupted.

“The only thing standing in the way of achieving this ceasefire is Hamas. It is time for them to accept the deal,” he said Saturday.

Hamas has insisted on a permanent truce and full Israeli withdrawal from all parts of Gaza – demands that Israel has firmly rejected.

 Israeli special forces swooped in to free the captives from two buildings. Photo: AFP
Israeli special forces swooped in to free the captives from two buildings. Photo: AFP

The bloodiest ever Gaza war broke out after the October 7 attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Israel’s retaliatory military offensive has killed at least 37,084 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to the territory’s health ministry.

Israel army says rescued 4 Israeli hostages alive in Gaza

The war has brought widespread devastation to Gaza and displaced most of its 2.4 million inhabitants, many whom are on the brink of starvation.

Aid has arrived only sporadically by truck, airdrops and sea.

The US military said a temporary pier that had suffered storm damage late last month had been rebuilt and used on Saturday to deliver about 492 tonnes of “much needed humanitarian assistance”.

Comments

200 characters
KU Jun 10, 2024 04:17pm
Ceasefire is between two waring armies, this genocide against children n civilians will be remembered as the worst cruelty ever, in support by Western democracies.
thumb_up Recommended (0) reply Reply