Gaza, ceasefire and hostages: US pressing for agreement, CIA chief in Cairo

William Burns in Egypt today to meet with Mossad chief David Barnea. Gaza Health Ministry: “133 deaths in Israeli raids in 24 hours, 28,473 since the start of the war”. Jewish State replies to Borrell

A temporary ceasefire in exchange for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian detainees from Israeli prisons. This is the objective aimed at by CIA director William Burns, today in Cairo to reach an agreement that will bring a truce in the fighting in the Gaza Strip. In the Egyptian capital, Burns is scheduled to meet with Mossad chief David Barnea. The mediation role is entrusted to Egypt and Qatar, whose intelligence officials will participate in the negotiations.

The whole while the United States and the United Nations are pressuring Israel to avoid the announced military operation on Rafahin the southern Gaza Strip, where millions of displaced Palestinians have found refuge.

The Financial Times reads the Burns’ visit to Egypt as a positive sign of Israel’s willingness to negotiate a possible deal with Hamas. A diplomatic source well informed on the negotiations told the Financial Times that previous talks had been ”constructive” and had highlighted the desire to ”reach a compromise”. The most controversial points remain the duration of the ceasefire, the possibility that it will be permanent, and the withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from the Gaza Strip.

Israel responds to Borrell

Israel responds to Josep Borrell. “Dear High Representative of the EU, Israel strictly respects the international laws of war, guaranteeing the safe movement of civilians in Gaza”, writes the Israeli Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, in a post on X. “In stark contrast, Hamas prevents their safe passage – he insists -. Our commitment to the lives of Gaza’s civilians is greater than that of Hamas. Calls to limit Israel’s defense only serve to strengthen Hamas”. “Rest assured – he reiterates – that Israel is determined in its mission to dismantle Hamas” after the October 7 attack in the country.

Yesterday at a press conference in Brussels, Borrell accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “not listening to anyone”. “If a national community thinks that this is a massacre, that too many people are being killed, then perhaps we need to think about supplying weapons” to Israel, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said.

China also calls for a stop to the operation in Rafah

Meanwhile, China is also asking Israel to stop the military operation in Rafah “as soon as possible”, warning that there is a risk of “a serious humanitarian disaster”. In a note, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson says: “China opposes and condemns actions that harm civilians and violate international law”, Israel must “stop military operations as soon as possible and make every effort to avoid civilian casualties innocents… to prevent a more serious humanitarian disaster in the Rafah area.”

Gaza Health Ministry: “28,473 deaths since October 7”

Meanwhile, 133 Palestinians have been killed and 162 have been injured in Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip in the last 24 hours. This was announced by the Ministry of Health of Gaza City, governed by Hamas, updating the number of deaths since the start of the Israeli retaliation on October 7 to 28,473 and the number of wounded to 68,146.

Three more Israeli reservists died in Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported that three more reservists have lost their lives in the southern Gaza Strip in the last few hours. This brings the number of Israeli soldiers killed in the war against Hamas that began last October 7 to 232. The latest three victims are Colonel Netanel Yaacov Elkouby, 36, from Haifa, Major Yair Cohen, 30, from Ramat Gan and Sergeant Ziv Chen, 27, from Kfar Saba. Two other soldiers from the 360th battalion were seriously injured in the clashes, adds the IDF.

Attempts to run over Israeli soldiers, Palestinian stopped

A Palestinian was stopped after he attempted to hit some Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers with his car at the Gush Etzion intersection, near Tel Aviv. The Jerusalem Post reports this, explaining that the man fled towards Elazar before being stopped by security men. The ramming attempt caused no casualties.

Russia awaits PNA leader in Moscow

The Kremlin hopes that the President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Mahmoud Abbas will visit Russia at a profitable time for the parties. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said this as quoted by the Ria Novosti news agency. ”Abbas has an open invitation. We hope that the visit will take place at a convenient time for both sides,” Peskov said.

Abbas’ visit to Russia was scheduled for November last year, but was postponed at the request of the PNA, explains RIA Novosti.