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Hamas says Israel’s Gaza actions jeopardise


Stranded Palestinian child after an Israeli attack on a refugee camp in Gaza

July 9—Hamas  has warned that Israel’s latest military operations in Gaza and non-negotiable positions of Israel’s prime minister could set ceasefire and hostage release talks “back to square one”.

Hopes of a breakthrough rose last week when the Palestinian armed group dropped a demand for Israel to accept a permanent ceasefire as a precondition.

But Hamas said Benjamin Netanyahu had created new “obstacles” ahead of the resumption of indirect talks in Qatar on Wednesday by setting out principles for any deal that included allowing Israel to resume the fighting.

There was no immediate Israeli response, while the US and a senior Palestinian official downplayed the significance of the public comments by both sides.

It came as Israeli tanks and troops reportedly pushed deeper into several central areas of Gaza City, sending thousands of Palestinian residents fleeing.

The Israeli military announced that its forces had killed “dozens of terrorists” in the operation, which it launched on Monday in response to what it said was intelligence indicating Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad infrastructure there.

It also said six underground tunnels about 6km (3.7 miles) long had been found and destroyed in Gaza City’s eastern Shejaiya district, where a similar operation began more than a week ago.

Palestinian health officials meanwhile reported that Israeli air strikes had killed at least 18 people across Gaza on Tuesday, including six in Gaza City.

The Israeli military launched a campaign in Gaza to destroy Hamas in response to an unprecedented attack on southern Israel on 7 October, during which about 1,200 people were killed and 251 others were taken hostage.

More than 38,240 people have been killed in Gaza since then, including 50 in the past day, according to the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry.

On Monday evening, Hamas put out a statement saying its Doha-based political leader Ismail Haniyeh had made “urgent contacts” with Egyptian and Qatari mediators over what it called continued “massacres, killing and displacement” of Palestinians by Israeli forces.

“Haniyeh warned of the disastrous repercussions of what is happening in Gaza City, Rafah and other areas across the Gaza Strip, noting that this could bring the negotiating process back to square one,” it added.

Another Hamas statement accused the Israeli prime minister of “placing additional obstacles in the way of the negotiations”.

Hamas says Israel’s Gaza actions jeopardise

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