CNN reports that Hamas officials have told the network a ceasefire seems “imminent, possibly within 24 hours.”
Hopes are growing in the Middle East that a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas will be reached soon as the death toll rose to 220 Palestinians and 12 Israelis following the tenth day of fighting yesterday,
The time frame seems uncertain however, as Hamas officials and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued to make conflicting comments last night despite the efforts of Egypt and Qatar to negotiate a truce.
Whereas Netanyahu claimed Israel was “determined to carry on” until it had restored “calm and security” to Israeli citizens, another Hamas representative predicted an agreement being reached as early as today.
“I think that the ongoing efforts regarding the ceasefire will succeed,” Hamas representative Moussa Abu Marzouk told the Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV.
“I expect a ceasefire to be reached within a day or two, and the ceasefire will be on the basis of mutual agreement.”
Israel claims to have killed 150 militants with their ongoing airstrikes, although the Gazan militants refuse to confirm whether the figures are accurate.
The health ministry in Gaza say at least 100 women and children have been killed thus far.
Israel estimates that over 4,000 rockets have been fired by Hamas and Islamic JIhad, killing 12 Israelis, with two children among the dead, whilst Hamas estimates the IDF have conducted over 1,800 airstrikes.
Speaking with the Israeli prime minister yesterday, US president Joe Biden called for a “significant de-escalation” between the two sides, despite his administration’s decision to block another UN resolution calling for peace.
“The president conveyed to the prime minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire,” a White House statement read.
Netanyahu however told Israelis that he “especially appreciate(s) the support of our friend US President Joe Biden, for the State of Israel’s right to self-defence.”
The Norwegian Refugee Council condemned what it called “a maddening, crazy exchange of rockets and missiles”, and that both sides should be held accountable.
“What they’re doing is killing children,” NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland told CNN.