Israel-Palestine conflict: Hamas rejects 'temporary' cease-fire with Israel, calls for permanent truce

Hamas has reiterated that it will not negotiate without a complete end to fighting with Israel. Both sides reacted coolly to an Egyptian plan to halt the conflict.

Representative image of Israel's forces (photo: DW)
Representative image of Israel's forces (photo: DW)


Hamas has rejected a proposal for a temporary cease-fire with Israel. The group called for a permanent truce instead.

The Hamas statement comes after reports that Egypt had proposed ending the conflict between Israel and Hamas with an ambitious plan to phase out fighting in stages. It included a 14-day ceasefire. 

"We emphasize that there will be no negotiations without a comprehensive end to the aggression," Hamas said.

The statement called for a "complete and not just temporary end to the massacre of our people."

Israel launched an offensive in the Gaza Strip after Hamas attacked southern Israel on October 7, in which over 1,100 people were killed.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza says more than 20,000 people have been killed by the Israeli military since then.

Hamas is designated a terrorist organisation by several countries, including the US and Germany.

What is Egypt's multistage peace plan?

Egypt's proposal for ending the conflict in the Gaza Strip  would unfold in several phases, various media reports and diplomats say.

The report says the first phase would be a cease-fire of at least 14 days during which 40 Israeli hostages held in Gaza would be swapped for 120 Palestinians in jail in Israel.

This would be followed by dialogue mediated by Egypt, a complete truce with a deal on the exchange of hostages and prisoners and, finally, Israel's withdrawal from the Palestinian territory, according to the report.

The proposal also calls for the administration of the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank to be taken over by a Palestinian government of technocrats, according to a senior Egyptian official and a European diplomat familiar with the proposal.

Israel has so far said it wants to maintain military control over Gaza after it finishes its offensive.

Hamas has said it will not accept negotiations without a permanent truce rather than a temporary cease-fire.

Neither Israel nor Hamas has rejected the proposal outright.

Dutch deputy prime minister appointed as new humanitarian coordinator for Gaza

Netherlands Deputy Prime Minister Sigrid Kaag will resign from her post to take on a new role as the United Nations' Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza, the UN said in a statement.

Kaag, also the outgoing Dutch finance minister, announced the news on X, formerly Twitter, saying she would begin work from 8 January .

The appointment comes after the Security Council passed a resolution last week to step-up the "safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale" to residents in Gaza.

"In this role, she will facilitate, coordinate, monitor, and verify humanitarian relief consignments to Gaza," the UN said in a statement.

Houthi rebels claim responsibility for Red Sea ship attack

Yemen's Houthi rebels said they were behind a missile attack on a container ship traveling in the Red Sea.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea blamed the crew of the vessel, saying it ignored three warnings.

The ship owners, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) confirmed in a statement that its ship, United VIII, was attacked earlier on Tuesday, 26 December as it headed from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan.

"Currently, all crew are safe with no reported injuries and a thorough assessment of the vessel is being conducted," the firm said.

The Iranian-backed Houthis, who control large parts of Yemen, have attacked several ships since the outbreak of Israel-Hamas conflict.

The rebel militia, who control most of Yemen, are demanding an end to Israel's bombardment of Gaza.

Several shipping lines have suspended operations through the Red Sea in response to the attacks, instead taking the longer journey around Africa.

Israel hints it has carried out retaliatory strikes in wider region

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant intimated on Tuesday, 26 December that his country had retaliated for aggression by some of its regional neighbors amid a widening war between it and the extremist Palestinian Hamas group in the Gaza Strip.

"We are in a multifront war and are coming under attack from seven theaters: Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Judea and Samaria (West Bank), Iraq, Yemen and Iran. We have already responded and taken action in six of these theaters," he told lawmakers.

The Israeli military has also said it had responded to knock-on attacks from Lebanon and Syria following the eruption of the Israel-Hamas conflict, which began after the Palestinian group carried out a devastating cross-border raid on October 7 in which more than 1,100 Israelis died.

Israeli air force hits more than 100 targets in Gaza: IDF

More than 100 targets in the Gaza Strip came under aerial attack by Israeli jets overnight, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Tuesday morning.

The IDF seeks to destroy the militant Hamas group, and said targets included tunnel shafts and military infrastructure used by the organization. 

The Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza said at least 52 people were killed in the attacks.

The Israeli army has stepped up its offensive against Hamas, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently vowing to "intensify the fight in the coming days."

Israel's offensive in the Palestinian territory comes in response to an attack by Hamas in Israel on October 7 in which over 1,100 people, were killed.

'Little space left' for displaced Palestinians in Gaza — UN official

Displaced people in the Gaza Strip are struggling to find places to evacuate to, a UN humanitarian team leader Gemma Connell was cited by the Reuters news agency as saying.

Connell said that thousands of people have been displaced many times over and have no guarantees that any destination is safe.

Around 1.9 million of Gaza's over 2.2 million residents have been displaced by fighting and over 40% of Gaza's housing has been destroyed, the UN reported recently. 

"There's so little space left here in Rafah that people just don't know where they will go," she said. "it really feels like people being moved around a human chessboard because there's an evacuation order somewhere."

"People flee that area into another area. But they're not safe there," she said.

In response, an Israeli army spokesperson said that the militant Hamas group prevents people from evacuating. The group denies the accusations.

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Published: 27 Dec 2023, 9:07 AM