Israeli attacks not helping Gaza talks, Netanyahu creating obstacles: Hamas

Israeli attacks not helping Gaza talks, Netanyahu creating obstacles: Hamas

Hamas accuses the Israeli leader of obstructing negotiations for a truce and hostage release as mediators again push for a deal.

Hamas says escalating Israeli attacks across the Gaza Strip are not helping negotiations to end the war and has accused Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of creating obstacles to the talks.

In a statement on Monday, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh warned that the “catastrophic consequences of what is happening in Gaza” could “reset the negotiation process to square one”.

Netanyahu and his army will bear “full responsibility for the collapse of this path”, Hamas quoted Haniyeh as saying.

The statement said Haniyeh made “urgent contact” with mediators Qatar and Egypt over the expanding actions of the Israeli military, which issued further evacuation orders for areas in the neighbourhoods of Gaza City, displacing thousands of Palestinians, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times.

On Sunday, Israel’s military ordered “immediate” evacuation for the Tuffah, Daraj and the Old City neighbourhoods of Gaza City in the north.

In a separate statement, Hamas accused Netanyahu of escalating “his aggression and crimes against our people” in what it said were “attempts to forcibly displace them in order to thwart all efforts to reach an agreement”.

Al Jazeera’s Hind Khoudary, reporting from Deir el-Balah in central Gaza, said the Palestinians had been ordered to evacuate to the centre of the Gaza Strip despite the area already being “overwhelmed” with large numbers of displaced Palestinians from all over the enclave.

Most of the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza have been displaced, with hundreds of thousands packed into sweltering tent camps.

Evacuation orders Gaza
Displaced Palestinians ride past the rubble of destroyed buildings in Khan Younis in Gaza [Bashar Taleb/AFP]

Khoudary said she had spoken to Palestinians who decided not to evacuate, as there was “no safe place to go”. She said they did not “want to lose their dignity being displaced in makeshift camps and not being able to get access to food [and] water”.

The Israeli forces have also attacked tent camps housing displaced Palestinians. On June 8, Israeli forces raided Nuseirat refugee camp, killing at least 274 Palestinians to free four Israeli captives held there.

Israel has killed at least 38,193 Palestinians and wounded 87,903 others since October 7, Gaza’s health ministry said on Monday. A total of 40 Palestinians were killed in the past 24 hours, the ministry said.

Israel expands military operations

Israeli tanks have pressed into the heart of Gaza City as its military ordered the residents out after a night of massive bombardment in areas it said had been largely cleared months ago.

Residents said the air strikes and artillery barrages were among the heaviest in nine months of what many rights experts and governments have termed a genocide.

The Israeli military said it had intelligence showing that fighters from Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) were in the Gaza City area and called on the residents to head south to the city of Deir el-Balah.

In Shujayea, a Gaza City neighbourhood that has seen weeks of fighting, the Israeli military said troops had raided and destroyed schools and a clinic.

Khoudary said the Israeli military had expanded ground operations around Shujayea.

“Some people tried to evacuate. Some people fled under extensive artillery shelling and air strikes; other people were trapped, were unable to leave,” she said.

On Monday, Al Jazeera Arabic’s correspondent reported that further evacuation orders had been issued for the Rimal neighbourhood in central Gaza City.

The new Israeli offensive comes as Egypt, Qatar and the United States step up efforts to mediate a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas.

Hamas has dropped a demand that Israel first commit to a permanent ceasefire before the Palestinian movement would sign an agreement.

But Netanyahu’s office reiterated in a statement on Sunday that “any deal will allow Israel to return [to Gaza] and fight until all the goals of the war are achieved”.

As talks repeatedly flounder over differences between the parties, mediators Egypt and Qatar were due to host new meetings this week, according to officials.



Al Jazeera and news agencies

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