Israel-Hamas war: New attempts underway to reach cease-fire

Israeli Minister Benny Gantz sees signs of new cease-fire talks that could bring a halt to the war in Gaza

The only cease-fire so far in the current fighting in the Gaza Strip took place in November. (photo: DW)
The only cease-fire so far in the current fighting in the Gaza Strip took place in November. (photo: DW)


  • There are signs of renewed cease-fire talks, says Israeli Minister Benny Gantz

  • United Airlines is set to resume flights to Israel

Israeli minister sees first signs for a hostage deal

New attempts are underway to reach a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas that could pause the war in Gaza, a member of Israel's war cabinet said.

"Initial signs indicate a possibility of moving forward," said Benny Gantz, a former military chief and defense minister who is a minister without portfolio in the Israeli government. It's the first Israeli indication of renewed cease-fire talks since negotiations stalled a week ago.

But Gantz repeated his vow that Israel will launch a ground offensive on the crowded southern town of Rafah during the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan unless Hamas agrees to release the remaining Israeli hostages in Gaza.

According to Israeli sources, at most 100 of the remaining hostages are still alive.

Egypt, Qatar and the US are again trying to negotiate an extended cease-fire in the Gaza war. Under an agreement, hostages still held in Gaza would be exchanged in stages for Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

Negotiations with Hamas are currently underway in Cairo. According to Israeli media, senior mediators will also meet in Paris on Friday.

During a week-long cease-fire last November, 105 hostages were released in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners under an agreement between Israel and Hamas.

First US air carrier to resume flights to Israel in March

United Airlines announced that it will resume flights to Israel next month. The airline will be the first US carrier to resume flights since they were suspended last fall with the outbreak of war in Gaza.

United plans initial flights to Tel Aviv from its New York-area hub in Newark, New Jersey, on March 2 and 4. The goal is to restore daily nonstop service by March 6.

"United conducted a detailed safety analysis in making this decision, including close work with security experts and government officials in the United States and Israel," the US carrier said in a press release.

United and US rivals Delta Air Lines and American Airlines suspended service to Israel after the October 7 attack by Hamas, which was followed by an ongoing Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip.

Other airlines that have resumed service to Israel include British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France and Ryanair.

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Published: 22 Feb 2024, 12:51 PM