Israel-Gaza war live: US says it is ‘cautiously optimistic’ on Israel-Gaza ceasefire talks | Israel-Gaza war

Opening summary

Welcome to our latest live blog on the Israel-Gaza war and the wider crisis in the Middle East. I’m Tom Ambrose.

The White House national security spokesperson John Kirby has told CNN that the United States is “cautiously optimistic” about Gaza ceasefire talks,, adding that gaps between the two sides could be narrowed, according to Reuters. When asked if a ceasefire deal was close, Kirby said:

We are cautiously optimistic that things are moving in a good direction … There are still gaps remaining between the two sides. We believe those gaps can be narrowed, and that’s what Brett McGurk and CIA Director Bill Burns are trying to do right now.

President Joe Biden detailed a proposal of three phases in late May, aimed at achieving a ceasefire: the release of hostages in Gaza and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and the rebuilding of the coastal territory.

Burns and US Middle East envoy McGurk are in the Middle East meeting with regional counterparts to discuss a possible deal.

Meanwhile, the fighting rages on. Israel’s army Wednesday dropped thousands of leaflets over war-torn Gaza City urging all residents to flee a heavy offensive through the main city.

The leaflets, addressed to “everyone in Gaza City”, set out designated escape routes and warned that the urban area – where UN humanitarian agency OCHA said up to 350,000 people were staying – would “remain a dangerous combat zone”.

Here’s a summary of the latest developments:

  • The Israeli military told all Palestinian civilians to leave Gaza City and head south on Wednesday as it stepped up a military offensive in the territory that has killed dozens of people over the past 48 hours. The evacuation order, carried out by dropping leaflets urging “all those in Gaza City” to take two “safe routes” south to the area around the central town of Deir al-Balah, came after a series of deadly strikes over the past two days in other parts of Gaza.

  • An Israeli airstrike on the entrance of a school-turned-shelter in southern Gaza has killed at least 31 people as a stepped-up military offensive in the territory sent thousands fleeing in search of refuge. The airstrike on Tuesday afternoon hit the tents of displaced families outside a school in the town of Abassan, east of Khan Younis. Officials at the nearby Nasser hospital said on Wednesday that 31 people had been killed, including eight children, and more than 50 wounded. Footage broadcast by Al Jazeera showed children playing football in the school’s yard when a sudden boom shook the area, prompting shouts of “a strike, a strike!”

  • The Biden administration will resume shipping 500lb bombs to Israel but will continue to hold back on supplying 2,000lb bombs over concerns about their use in densely populated Gaza, according to a US official. The US in May paused a shipment of 2,000lb and 500lb bombs due to concern over the impact they could have in Gaza during the war that began with Hamas’ deadly 7 October cross-border raid.

  • The Israeli army said Wednesday that it has completed its mission in Shujaiya, a neighbourhood in the east of Gaza that has been the scene of violent fighting for two weeks. The military statement said the operations destroyed “eight tunnels” and “eliminated dozens of terrorists, destroyed combat compounds and booby-trapped buildings.” The offensive in Shujaiya, which involved elite Israeli units, expanded Monday into the centre of Gaza City. Mahmoud Bassal, a civil defence spokesperson in Gaza, said there was extensive damage to “infrastructure and residential area” in Shujaiya, which had become a “ghost town”.

  • Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said Wednesday his group would accept Palestinian ally Hamas’s decision on Gaza truce negotiations and would stop cross-border attacks on Israel if a ceasefire were reached. “Whatever Hamas accepts, everyone accepts and is satisfied with,” he said, adding: “We do not ask (Hamas) to coordinate with us because the battle in the first instance is theirs,” reports Agence France-Presse.

  • A suspected attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels targeted a Liberian-flagged tanker in the narrow Bab el-Mandeb Strait on Wednesday. The attacks come after an unexplained pause of a week and a half. The rebels may be regrouping ahead of the arrival of a new US aircraft carrier to the region after the USS Dwight D Eisenhower began heading home, reports Associated Press. The attack occurred south of Mocha, the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center said. The captain reported explosions off the vessel’s side. The “vessel and all crew are safe,” the UKMTO said. “The vessel is proceeding to its next port of call.”

Share

Key events

Several drones from Lebanon fell inside Israel on Thursday, the Israeli military said, while the head of the local municipality told Israel’s Channel 12 that one person was critically injured.

Share
An Israeli military vehicle manoeuvres near the Israel-Gaza border, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in Israel, July 10, 2024. Photograph: Amir Cohen/Reuters
Share

Residents of Gaza City were trapped in houses and bodies lay uncollected in the streets under an intense new Israeli assault on Thursday, even as Washington pushed for a peace deal at talks in Egypt and Qatar.

Hamas militants say a massive Israeli assault on Gaza City this week could wreck efforts to finally end the war just as negotiations have entered the home stretch, Reuters reported.

Home to more than a quarter of Gaza’s residents before the war, Gaza City was destroyed during the first weeks of fighting last year, but hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have returned to homes in the ruins. They have now once again been ordered out by the Israeli military.

The Gaza health ministry said it had reports of people trapped and others killed inside their houses in the Tel Al Hawa and Sabra districts of Gaza City, and rescuers could not reach them.

The Civil Emergency Service said it estimated that at least 30 people had been killed in the Tel Al-Hawa and Rimal areas and it could not recover bodies from the streets there.

Despite army instructions on Wednesday to residents of Gaza City that they can use two “safe routes” to head south, many residents refused to heed the order. Some posted a hashtag on social media: “We are not leaving”.

“We will die but not leave to the south. We have tolerated starvation and bombs for nine months and we are ready to die as martyrs here,” said Mohammad Ali, 30, reached by text message.

Ali, whose family has relocated several times within the city, said they had been running short of food, water and medicine.

“The occupation bombs Gaza City as if the war was restarting. We hope there will be a ceasefire soon, but if not then is God’s will.”

Share
Lorenzo Tondo

Lorenzo Tondo

In case you missed it, the Israeli military has told all Palestinian civilians to leave Gaza City and head south after stepping up a military offensive in the territory that has killed dozens of people over the past 48 hours.

The evacuation order, carried out by dropping leaflets urging “all those in Gaza City” to take two “safe routes” south to the area around the central town of Deir al-Balah, came after a series of deadly strikes over the past two days in other parts of Gaza.

On Tuesday, an airstrike on the entrance of a school turned shelter in southern Gaza killed at least 31 people, including eight children, according to officials at the nearby Nasser hospital. Footage broadcast by Al Jazeera showed children playing football in the school’s yard when a sudden boom shook the area, prompting shouts of “a strike, a strike!”

The Israeli military said it was reviewing reports that civilians were harmed. It said the incident occurred when it struck with “precise munition” a Hamas fighter who had taken part in the 7 October raid on Israel that precipitated the Israeli assault on Gaza.

Share

Opening summary

Welcome to our latest live blog on the Israel-Gaza war and the wider crisis in the Middle East. I’m Tom Ambrose.

The White House national security spokesperson John Kirby has told CNN that the United States is “cautiously optimistic” about Gaza ceasefire talks,, adding that gaps between the two sides could be narrowed, according to Reuters. When asked if a ceasefire deal was close, Kirby said:

We are cautiously optimistic that things are moving in a good direction … There are still gaps remaining between the two sides. We believe those gaps can be narrowed, and that’s what Brett McGurk and CIA Director Bill Burns are trying to do right now.

President Joe Biden detailed a proposal of three phases in late May, aimed at achieving a ceasefire: the release of hostages in Gaza and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and the rebuilding of the coastal territory.

Burns and US Middle East envoy McGurk are in the Middle East meeting with regional counterparts to discuss a possible deal.

Meanwhile, the fighting rages on. Israel’s army Wednesday dropped thousands of leaflets over war-torn Gaza City urging all residents to flee a heavy offensive through the main city.

The leaflets, addressed to “everyone in Gaza City”, set out designated escape routes and warned that the urban area – where UN humanitarian agency OCHA said up to 350,000 people were staying – would “remain a dangerous combat zone”.

Here’s a summary of the latest developments:

  • The Israeli military told all Palestinian civilians to leave Gaza City and head south on Wednesday as it stepped up a military offensive in the territory that has killed dozens of people over the past 48 hours. The evacuation order, carried out by dropping leaflets urging “all those in Gaza City” to take two “safe routes” south to the area around the central town of Deir al-Balah, came after a series of deadly strikes over the past two days in other parts of Gaza.

  • An Israeli airstrike on the entrance of a school-turned-shelter in southern Gaza has killed at least 31 people as a stepped-up military offensive in the territory sent thousands fleeing in search of refuge. The airstrike on Tuesday afternoon hit the tents of displaced families outside a school in the town of Abassan, east of Khan Younis. Officials at the nearby Nasser hospital said on Wednesday that 31 people had been killed, including eight children, and more than 50 wounded. Footage broadcast by Al Jazeera showed children playing football in the school’s yard when a sudden boom shook the area, prompting shouts of “a strike, a strike!”

  • The Biden administration will resume shipping 500lb bombs to Israel but will continue to hold back on supplying 2,000lb bombs over concerns about their use in densely populated Gaza, according to a US official. The US in May paused a shipment of 2,000lb and 500lb bombs due to concern over the impact they could have in Gaza during the war that began with Hamas’ deadly 7 October cross-border raid.

  • The Israeli army said Wednesday that it has completed its mission in Shujaiya, a neighbourhood in the east of Gaza that has been the scene of violent fighting for two weeks. The military statement said the operations destroyed “eight tunnels” and “eliminated dozens of terrorists, destroyed combat compounds and booby-trapped buildings.” The offensive in Shujaiya, which involved elite Israeli units, expanded Monday into the centre of Gaza City. Mahmoud Bassal, a civil defence spokesperson in Gaza, said there was extensive damage to “infrastructure and residential area” in Shujaiya, which had become a “ghost town”.

  • Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said Wednesday his group would accept Palestinian ally Hamas’s decision on Gaza truce negotiations and would stop cross-border attacks on Israel if a ceasefire were reached. “Whatever Hamas accepts, everyone accepts and is satisfied with,” he said, adding: “We do not ask (Hamas) to coordinate with us because the battle in the first instance is theirs,” reports Agence France-Presse.

  • A suspected attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels targeted a Liberian-flagged tanker in the narrow Bab el-Mandeb Strait on Wednesday. The attacks come after an unexplained pause of a week and a half. The rebels may be regrouping ahead of the arrival of a new US aircraft carrier to the region after the USS Dwight D Eisenhower began heading home, reports Associated Press. The attack occurred south of Mocha, the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center said. The captain reported explosions off the vessel’s side. The “vessel and all crew are safe,” the UKMTO said. “The vessel is proceeding to its next port of call.”

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *