December 10, 2023, 5:57 p.m. GMT
Updated 1 hour ago
Israeli bombardment of Gaza “shrinks the window” for a new truce, the Qatari prime minister said.
Speaking at the Doha Forum, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said Qatar would continue its efforts to pressure both sides for a ceasefire.
The Gulf state played a key role in negotiating the week-long pause in the violence in late November, which allowed the hostages to be released.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that “the war is in full swing.”
He said that in recent days, “dozens of Hamas terrorists” had surrendered and were “laying down their weapons and surrendering to our heroic fighters.”
“This is the beginning of the end for Hamas,” he said.
The comments come as the humanitarian crisis in Gaza continues to worsen.
On Sunday afternoon, the Hamas-run health agency in Gaza said nearly 18,000 Palestinians had been killed.
In an audio message to Al Jazeera, Hamas’ military wing said the temporary ceasefire had “proven its credibility” and that no more hostages would be released until Israel begins talks.
In the message, spokesman Abu Ubaida also said that Hamas fighters had totally or partially destroyed 180 military vehicles and killed “a large number” of Israeli soldiers, and that Hamas continued to deal blows to Israel and that “what is coming is even greater.”
At the Doha conference, Philippe Lazzarini, director of UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, said the region had become “hell on earth” and was “certainly the worst situation I have ever seen.” ‘ever seen’.
Also speaking at the conference, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Israel “should not be allowed to continue violating international humanitarian law” and called for international sanctions.
Mr. Shtayyeh represents the Palestinian Authority, the organization that operates in the West Bank and is separate from the Hamas government operating in Gaza.
While the meeting took place in Doha, fighting continued to rage in southern Gaza.
The town of Khan Younis, where people had to go to escape fighting in the north, is now the target of heavy bombing, with Israel asking civilians to leave its center.
Speaking to BBC News, senior Israeli adviser Mark Regev said there would be “difficult fighting” in Khan Younis and urged civilians to “move to safe areas” – with Israeli tanks reaching the center of the city Sunday evening.
Civilians in the town were photographed collecting the bodies and mourning family members killed in the fighting.
Asked about the situation in what Israel calls the safe zones, Mr. Regev said his country had made maximum efforts to try to safeguard the lives of civilians.
Civilians in Gaza were advised to head to a “safe zone” in al-Mawasi. Measuring just 8.5 km² (3.3 square miles), the area is smaller than London’s Heathrow Airport, has few buildings and consists largely of sand dunes and farmland.
Meanwhile, Israel has also engaged in international diplomacy – denouncing its allies for their inconsistent approach.
“You cannot, on the one hand, support the elimination of Hamas and, on the other hand, pressure us to end the war, which would prevent the elimination of Hamas,” Mr. Netanyahu said during a briefing with his office.
He was speaking two days after 13 members of the UN Security Council backed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire, with the US vetoing and the UK abstaining.
The World Health Organization also took the unusual step of passing a resolution calling for immediate medical access to Gaza, with its director-general previously describing the situation in the region as “catastrophic”.
Learn more about the Israel-Gaza war
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