GAZA CITY: Egyptian and Qatari negotiators are pressing for a new two-day extension to the pause in fighting between Hamas and Israel.
Palestinians who fled northern Gaza to the south say the temporary halt in Israeli bombing is not enough and a permanent end of the war must happen immediately. “Regarding the truce, we displaced people do not benefit from it at all. We are unable to obtain even basic materials, for example, flour,” says Samir Yaghi from Gaza City. “All people here want the war to stop so we can return to our homes, to see what happened to our families. We have relatives who did not leave Gaza, they were under bombardment. And there is no communication and the networks are down. Are they dead or still alive? Are our homes still standing?”
Suha Lubbad, another displaced person, said, “We demand there be a complete ceasefire and a complete stop of war so everyone can return to his place, to his work and to our normal life that we have lost.”
Salem Abu Qumbuz agreed that temporary “pauses” in Israel’s bombardment are not enough. “We do not want a truce for one or two days. We want to return to our homes in northern Gaza. We do not want to stay in the south displaced, sitting in schools. We have no clothes or blankets, sitting in the rain.”
Hamas member Mohammad Nazzal has told media that Israeli authorities refused to take back three bodies of captives who were killed in Israeli air raids.
“We are ready to deliver the bodies of Israeli prisoners but the Israeli authorities refused to take their bodies,” he said.
He added that Hamas has been trying to reach a permanent ceasefire, but Israeli authorities have so far refused.
“I think there are divisions inside the leadership of Israel – political and military establishments. Until this moment, they haven’t decided whether they are ready to stop the war or continue the war,” Nazzal added.
A young Palestinian man succumbed to injuries this evening inflicted by Israeli occupation forces’ gunfire near the village of Atuf in the northern Jordan Valley, according to medical sources.
The Ministry of Health confirmed the murder of Karam Bani Odeh, a 25-year-old youth from the town of Tammoun, who was shot by Israeli occupation forces near the said village, located in the northern Jordan Valley region in the occupied west Bank.
Earlier in the day, the forces opened fire on Bani Odeh, preventing ambulance teams from approaching and providing medical assistance. The young man was later announced dead of his wounds.
Meanwhile, Colonial Israeli settlers and soldiers launched an assault on the homes of Palestinian citizens in Masafer Yatta region, located in the southern region of Hebron in the farthest south of the occupied West Bank, according to local sources.
Mohammad Rabai, the head of the Al-Tuwanah village council in the region, told WAFA that a group of Israeli settlers and soldiers stormed the village and embarked on attacking homes of local Palestinian residents.
During the attack, Rabai added, the Israeli soldiers apprehended Amjad Musa Rabai, a local resident, after raiding his home, along with the homes of his two brothers, Musab and Kamal Rabai.
The assailants reportedly subjected the families to physical violence, insults, and threatened to kill one of them in the near future, Rabai explained.
It is worth noting that these daily and systematic assaults on Palestinians and their property in rural areas of the West Bank aim to forcibly displace them from their lands as part of the ongoing Israeli settlement expansion plan.
More than 1,300 artists have signed a letter accusing cultural institutions in Western countries of “repressing, silencing and stigmatising Palestinian voices and perspectives”.
Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman and Olivier Award winners Harriet Walter and Juliet Stevenson are among the signatories.
The letter reads: “We find it deeply troubling and, frankly, indicative of a disturbing double standard that expressions of solidarity, which have been readily offered to other peoples facing brutal oppression, have not been extended to Palestinians.”
The artists called on the arts and culture sector to call for a ceasefire, stand up for artists who voice support for Palestinian rights and amplify the work of Palestinian artists.
“The struggle for freedom from racism for Palestinians and Jews is one of collective liberation. We refuse to pit one community against the other and stand firmly against all forms of racism, including Islamophobia and antisemitism,” the letter added.