Israeli forces escalate attacks on Rafah amid ceasefire negotiations

According to reports from the Reuters news agency, a senior Israeli official has deemed the current ceasefire offer unacceptable to Israel, necessitating a thorough evaluation by the delegation heading to Cairo.

As tensions escalate in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli occupation army has intensified its assault on the city of Rafah, launching further fire belts while advancing armoured tanks into the eastern and southern regions. This aggressive move comes in the midst of ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas, with a team of mid-ranking Israeli officials preparing to travel to Cairo to assess the terms of the latest ceasefire proposal.

According to reports from the Reuters news agency, a senior Israeli official has deemed the current ceasefire offer unacceptable to Israel, necessitating a thorough evaluation by the delegation heading to Cairo. Despite diplomatic efforts and Hamas’s acceptance of a ceasefire proposal brokered by Qatar and Egypt, Israel’s military operations in Rafah have continued unabated.

Israeli tanks have seized control of the Rafah crossing on the Gaza-Egypt border, following overnight advancements and airstrikes targeting residential areas. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has expressed reservations about the proposal’s alignment with Israel’s demands but has confirmed the dispatch of a delegation to Cairo for negotiations.

Growing concerns have emerged over an Israeli military offensive targeting Rafah, sparking alarm among UN agencies and aid groups. The evacuation of tens of thousands of Palestinians underscores the pressing need for diplomatic interventions to avert further civilian casualties.

The death toll in Gaza from Israeli airstrikes since October 7 has risen to 34,789, with 78,204 people injured, while Israel has reported 1,139 fatalities from initial attacks by Hamas, along with individuals still held captive. Amidst escalating violence and humanitarian crises, both sides are engaged in delicate negotiations, maintaining a tense situation in the region.