xi's moments
Home | Middle East

Israel, Hamas urged to accept truce plan

Updated: 2024-06-03 09:29

University of Chicago students walk out of the convocation ceremony in Chicago in support of Palestinians on Saturday. VINCENT ALBAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS

RAFAH/JERUSALEM — Qatari, Egyptian and US mediators called on Israel and Hamas on Saturday to "finalize" a truce deal as Israeli forces pounded Rafah in southern Gaza.

Fighting has raged in the besieged Gaza Strip since US President Joe Biden said Israel was offering a new road map toward a full cease-fire.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has since insisted his country would pursue the war until it has achieved all its aims.

An aide to Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel had accepted the proposal, though he called it flawed.

In an interview with Britain's Sunday Times, Ophir Falk, chief foreign policy adviser to Netanyahu, said Biden's proposal was "a deal we agreed to — it's not a good deal but we dearly want the hostages released, all of them".

Hamas said it "views positively" the plan.

In a joint statement, Qatar, the United States and Egypt said that "as mediators in the ongoing discussions to secure a cease-fire in Gaza and the release of hostages and detainees", they "call on both Hamas and Israel to finalize the agreement" based on the principles of the US proposal.

Biden delivered a speech on Friday, in which he revealed a three-phase Israeli proposal that would lead to an end to the Gaza conflict and the release of all hostages.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "strongly hopes" the latest development "will lead to an agreement by the parties for lasting peace", a spokesman said.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, leaders of the two extreme-right parties in parliament, said they would leave the government if it endorses the truce proposal.

Israel sent tanks and troops into Rafah in early May, ignoring concerns for displaced Palestinian civilians sheltering in the city on the Egyptian border.

On Saturday, residents reported tank fire in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in west Rafah, while witnesses in the east and center described intense shelling.

Netanyahu has faced growing domestic and international pressure over the fate of hostages and the dealings in the conflict, with Israelis rallying again on Saturday near military headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Chile's President Gabriel Boric said on Saturday the country was joining South Africa in its case at the International Court of Justice, accusing Israel of "genocide" in the Gaza conflict.

Speaking to the National Congress, Boric decried the "catastrophic humanitarian situation" in Gaza and called for "a firm response from the international community".

Growing protests

Dozens of students protesting the conflict walked out of the University of Chicago's commencement on Saturday as the school withheld the diplomas of four seniors over their involvement with a pro-Palestinian encampment.

US students have walked out of commencements at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other schools as protest camps have sprung up across the US and in Europe in recent weeks.

The students have demanded their universities stop doing business with Israel or companies they say support the conflict in Gaza.

Israel has launched a large-scale offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, killing at least 36,379 people, in retaliation to Hamas' attack on Oct 7, during which about 1,200 people were killed.

The Palestinian leadership emphasized on Saturday the necessity for the Israeli army to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and to open and hand over all Gaza border crossings to the Palestinian Authority.

It said that opening and handing over the crossings would enable the regular arrival of relief aid and all necessities for the people of Gaza.

Yemen's Houthi group said on Saturday night it had launched fresh attacks on the US aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, another US warship and four commercial cargo vessels in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea.

That marks the group's second strike against Dwight D. Eisenhower in less than 24 hours, Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said.

There was no immediate comment from the US Navy or the targeted shipping companies.

Sarea vowed further attacks until "Israel stops its war and blockade against the Palestinians in Gaza".


Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349