Home west asia Israel Launches Airstrike On Gaza School Containing Hamas Compound Killing 27 People

Israel Launches Airstrike On Gaza School Containing Hamas Compound Killing 27 People

Israel, Gaza, Hamas compund, Airstrike

Israel targeted a Gaza school that it said contained a Hamas compound killing fighters involved in the Oct. 7 attack that sparked the eight-month war. However, Gaza media said the strike killed at least 27 people seeking shelter.

Director of the Hamas-run government media office, Ismail Al-Thawabta, rejected Israel’s claims that the UN school in Nuseirat, in central Gaza, had hidden a Hamas command post.

“The occupation uses lying to the public opinion through false fabricated stories to justify the brutal crime it conducted against dozens of displaced people.”

Israel says it took care to reduce harm to civilians

Israel’s military said that before the airstrike, the military took steps to reduce the risk of harm to civilians. Israel has said there will be no halt to fighting during ceasefire talks.

The leader of Hamas said on Wednesday said the group would demand a permanent end to the war in Gaza and Israeli withdrawal as part of a ceasefire plan. President Joe Biden’s peace plan has been dealt a blow as a result.

Hamas demands permanent ceasefire

The remarks by the Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh appeared to deliver the Palestinian militant group’s reply to the proposal that Biden unveiled last week. Washington had said it was waiting to hear an answer from Hamas to what Biden described as an Israeli initiative.

Haniyeh said. “The movement and factions of the resistance will deal seriously and positively with any agreement that is based on a comprehensive ending of the aggression and the complete withdrawal and prisoners swap.”

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Asked whether Haniyeh’s remarks amounted to the group’s reply to Biden, a senior Hamas official replied to a text message from Reuters with a “thumbs up” emoji.

US still pressing hard to reach an agreement

Washington is still pressing hard to reach an agreement. CIA director William Burns met senior officials from mediators Qatar and Egypt in Doha.

Since a brief week-long truce in November, all attempts to arrange a ceasefire have failed. Hamas is insisting on its demand for a permanent end to the conflict, while Israel says it is prepared to discuss only temporary pauses until the militant group is defeated.

Biden has repeatedly declared that ceasefires were close over the past several months.

Last week’s announcement came with far greater fanfare from the White House. It comes at a time when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under mounting domestic political pressure to chart a path to end the eight-month-old war.

With inputs from Reuters