Besieged Gaza in blood, fire as rumors of tripartite agreement for temporary ceasefire spread

In recent days, the Gaza Strip is facing a “catastrophic humanitarian crisis” due to lack of water, electricity, food, fuel and medicine in the wake of the complete Israeli blockade of the region.

The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, the only remaining outlet for supplies, has been closed for the past week, with shipments of humanitarian aids piling up on the Egyptian side of the crossing.

But now, there are rumors of possible agreement on a “temporary ceasefire” in southern Gaza and the temporary reopening of the “Rafah” crossing.

As the raging conflict between Israel and Hamas deepens the Gaza crisis, the United Nations has warned that the Middle East is on the verge of a dangerous abyss.

Thousands of people have reportedly been killed on both sides and hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee as the situation in the Gaza Strip rapidly worsened after Israel warned of an imminent attack.

In a statement, Antonio Guterres said: “At this dramatic moment, as we stand on the brink of a precipice in the Middle East, it is my duty as Secretary-General of the United Nations to make two strong humanitarian appeals to both sides.”

His demand is for Hamas to immediately release the hostages unconditionally, and for Israel to give Gazan civilians quick and unhindered access to humanitarian aid.

Speaking to journalists in East Jerusalem, the head of the UN agency dealing with Palestinian refugees, warned that his colleagues in Gaza were no longer able to provide humanitarian assistance.

And soon, Lazzarini added, there would be no food or medicine. Thousands of people have been killed, including children and women. Gaza is now even running out of body bags, the UNRWA chief lamented.

“In fact, Gaza is being strangled and it seems that the world right now has lost its humanity,” he stressed.
The head of the UN agency also emphasized that at least one million people were forced to flee their homes in just one week, and “a river of people continues to flow south”.

UNIFIL, the United Nations peacekeeping force based in Lebanon, also announced that heavy exchange of fire continued in several areas along the Blue Line between Lebanese territory and Israel.

The increased tensions on the border between Israel and south Lebanon prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to increase its capacity to provide immediate access to lifesaving medical care to civilians there.

In a statement, the UN agency explained that Lebanon’s health system has been crippled because of an ongoing economic crisis, the Beirut port blast of 2020, and the additional burden of the Syrian refugee crisis.

In the meantime, the Reuters news agency, citing two Egyptian security sources, reported that an agreement between Egypt, Israel and the United States regarding the “temporary ceasefire” in southern Gaza might be implemented.

However, the Al Jazeera channel, citing the state media of Gaza, announced that the Palestinian side in the Gaza Strip has not yet received a confirmation from the Egyptian authorities regarding the reopening of the Rafah crossing.

An Israeli army spokesman said he was unaware of any ceasefire in southern Gaza. “There is no ceasefire agreement that I am aware of,” he said, “I see reports, but there is nothing to confirm.”

An hour after the announcement of Reuters about the tripartite agreement between Israel, the United States and Egypt, regarding “ceasefire in southern Gaza”, Hamas also confirmed it has no information about the ceasefire agreement in southern Gaza.

The purpose of this agreement was the entry of humanitarian aid and the exit of foreign citizens.

In a telephone conversation with Venezuelan President Nicolás Madur, Abbas stressed that the actions and policies of Hamas do not represent the Palestinian people.

According to Wafa news agency, Mahmoud Abbas condemned the killing of civilians on both sides and demanded the release of civilians, prisoners and detainees on both sides.

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