Israel-Hamas war: Hamas leaves Cairo talks without deal

Both Hamas and Israel have blamed each other after ceasefire talks in Cairo ended without a deal. But the US insists talks have not broken down

Five months after Hamas' attack on Israel, cease-fire talks are still faltering and the humanitarian situation in Gaza is deteriorating. (photo: DW)
Five months after Hamas' attack on Israel, cease-fire talks are still faltering and the humanitarian situation in Gaza is deteriorating. (photo: DW)


  • ​​​​​​Hamas delegation leaves Cairo cease-fire talks with no deal, accusing Israel of 'thwarting' negotiations

  • US insists talks have not broken down

  • Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says will press ahead with offensive on Rafah

Netanyahu says he will push ahead with planned offensive on Rafah

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he will push ahead with a ground offensive in the southern city of Rafah, acknowledging international calls against it but saying it was important to "close ranks."

"There is international pressure, and it's growing, but particularly when the international pressure rises, we must close ranks. We need to stand together against the attempts to stop the war," Netanyahu said.

He described Rafah as "the last Hamas stronghold."

"Whoever tells us not to act in Rafah is telling us to lose the war, and that will not happen," he said.

Netanyahu also told graduating Israeli army officer cadets that Israel must push back against a "calculated attempt" to blame it for Hamas' crimes.

Rafah has become home to the majority of displaced Palestinians who moved to the south of the enclave amid the war in Gaza. It lies next to the shuttered border with Egypt.

US reportedly planning 'port' for aid in Gaza with partners

President Joe Biden will announce during his State of the Union speech on Thursday plans to set up a temporary "port" on Gaza's coast, administration officials told multiple news outlets on condition of anonymity a few hours before the speech.

They said the operation would not require US personnel inside Gaza because it would cooperate with partners on the ground there. The US troops would assist with the construction of a pier that is intended to allow more shipments of food, medicine and other essential items.

They did not immediately say how the pier would be built or provide any details, but one said the US military had "unique capabilities" to do things from "just offshore."

The US had been calling on Israel to allow more aid into Gaza. In recent days, it started delivering goods via airdrops after the deaths of around 100 Palestinians who were trying to access aid from a convoy stewarded by the Israeli military last week.

Biden would say during his speech on Thursday that he had ordered the US military "to undertake an emergency mission to establish a port in Gaza, working with like-minded countries and humanitarian partners."

Biden had first raised the idea of securing some kind of "marine corridor" for aid last week for the coastal enclave.

It's not clear how large the facility might be, how long construction would last, or what sort of a dent it might put in Gaza's humanitarian requirements and shortfalls.

Hamas delegation leaves Cairo talks, blaming Israel

Palestinian militant group Hamas said its representatives left cease-fire talks in Cairo, Egypt, on Thursday with no deal reached, accusing Israel of "thwarting" negotiations and leaving for Doha.

After four days of talks mediated by Qatar and Egypt to secure a 40-day cease-fire ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, there has been no sign of progress on key sticking points, with both sides blaming the other.

Hamas, which the US, EU and others deem a terrorist organization, claimed that Israeli responses did not meet their "minimum requirements related to the permanent cessation of hostilities."

Israel has repeatedly ruled out committing to a permanent halt in fighting at this point. It has also requested a list of hostages still alive and still being held by militants in Gaza.

"We've made very, very clear, and this has been reiterated by the US that, unfortunately, it is Hamas who is the stumbling block right now by not telling us who is alive and who they have in their custody," Israeli government spokesman David Mencer said on Thursday.

Hamas has said it can't provide a list of the hostages who are still alive without a cease-fire as the hostages have been held across the war zone.

Jack Lew, the US ambassador to Israel, told a press conference in Tel Aviv that the talks had "not broken down," saying: "The differences are being narrowed. It's not yet an agreement. Everyone's looking towards Ramadan, which is coming close. I can't tell you that it will be successful, but it is not yet the case that it is broken down."

Ramadan fasting will likely start next week, either Monday or Tuesday. The crescent moon that marks the start will first be visible on the evening of Sunday, March 10, but it may not be visible with the naked eye from Mecca that evening.

Gaza health ministry says 83 killed in past day, IDF says 17 militants killed

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) military said that it had killed 17 Palestinian militants in the southern and central part of the Gaza Strip on Thursday.

Ground troops initially identified the targets during fighting before airstrikes took them out, the military said, adding that Hamas command centers and tunnel entrances were also attacked.

Israel also claimed its troops had discovered workshops for the production of weapons and warehouses with military equipment.

Meanwhile, the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said that 83 people had died in the area on the previous day, updating its death toll to 30,800 since Hamas's October 7 attack and Israel's retaliation.

US strikes UAVs in Houthi area

US Central Command (CENTCOM) said American forces carried out strikes against two unmanned aerial vehicles in a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen.

The UAVs presented an "imminent threat to merchant vessels and US Navy ships in the region," the military said online.

The US action comes a day after Iran-baked Houthi rebels attacked a bulk carrier in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday, leading to the deaths of at least three crew members.

The Barbados-flagged, Liberian-owned "True Confidence" was struck about 50 nautical miles southwest of the Aden port, setting it ablaze and adrift, its Greek operator said.

Houthi military spokesman Yahia Saree claimed the attack, saying the rebel group would only stop its ongoing attacks on vessels passing through the Red Sea when the "siege on the Palestinian people in Gaza is lifted."

The Iran-backed Houthis have been trying to launch attacks on vessels transiting through the vital route since November. However, Wednesday's attack is considered the first fatal one.

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Published: 08 Mar 2024, 8:46 AM