PalestineMiddle East

Ceasefire offer must take account of Holy al-Quds as well, Hamas says

Hamas has reacted to Egyptian and Russian calls for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, saying it must also include the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, where Israeli forces have violently attacked Palestinian worshipers in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Palestine’s al-Quds TV, citing a report by Israel’s Channel 12 television channel, said Tel Aviv had rejected Russia’s offer of a ceasefire under Egypt’s supervision after Hamas insisted on the inclusion of the holy city in the initiative.

Saleh Aruri, an exiled Hamas leader, told London-based al-Araby channel early Friday that his group has turned down a proposal for a three-hour lull to allow for more negotiations toward a full ceasefire.

He said Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations were leading the truce efforts.

The daily Haaretz, citing military sources, reported that the Israeli army seeks to limit operations in Gaza to focus on the equally grave internal situation in Lod, Bat Yam, Acre and other Israeli cities.

Citing military sources, Haaretz reports Israeli army seeks to limit operations in Gaza to focus on equally grave internal situation in Lod, Bat Yam, Acre and other Israeli cities. State of panic. 

Hamas leader calls for demonstrations  

Head of the political bureau of Hamas movement, Ismail Haniyeh, urged Arab and Muslim nations as well as all freedom-loving people across the world to participate in mass demonstrations in support of the Gaza Strip, al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestinians living inside territories occupied by Israel in 1948.

Haniyeh called for marches in protest at the recent Israeli aggression against Muslim worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque and continuing bombardment of Gaza that has left nearly 120 people dead.

“We thank all Palestinians, Muslims, Arabs and free people of the world for their heroic and courageous stance against Zionists’ occupation,” the Hamas chief pointed out.

Israel continued on Friday to bombard Gaza Strip with airstrikes and artillery shells, ignoring international calls for calm.

Palestinian Safa news agency reported that several air raids were launched in the eastern and northern parts of Gaza City in the early hours of the day.

Violent artillery shelling hit east of Deir al-Balah city, which lies in the central Gaza Strip and is located over 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) south of Gaza City.

Artillery fired also reportedly struck the homes of civilians east of Maghazi refugee camp.

Shelling and artillery fire were reported in the town of al-Fakhari, east of Khan Yunis in Gaza, as well.

Tensions have escalated in Jerusalem al-Quds, the occupied West Bank and Gaza amid the planned forced expulsions of dozens of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where illegal Israeli settlers are looking to take over the properties of Palestinian families.

Since Israel launched air raids on the besieged Gaza Strip late on Monday, Gaza’s Health Ministry says at least 119 people, including 31 children, have been killed, and 600 others have been wounded.

Israel’s military says more than 1,600 rockets have been fired by Palestinian resistance groups from Gaza towards various locations in Israeli occupied territories since Monday.

Israel’s so-called security cabinet on Wednesday night approved a plan to intensify military attacks on Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army also said that it was going to present a plan for a ground operation in the besieged Palestinian coastal enclave.

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