Hamas quits Gaza ceasefire talks in Cairo as Ramadan looms | EUROtoday

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BEIRUT — The Hamas delegation has left talks in Cairo geared toward a cease-fire with Israel to seek the advice of with leaders in Qatar, the militant group mentioned Thursday, dimming hopes that the edges will attain a deal earlier than the Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins subsequent week.

The rising must get extra meals, medication and provides into Gaza has elevated strain on Hamas and Israel to cease hostilities within the besieged enclave earlier than the month of fasting begins on Sunday or Monday.

At least 20 folks in Gaza have died on account of malnutrition and dehydration, the Gaza well being ministry mentioned Thursday. But that quantity, which included a 15-year-old and a 72-year-old in a single day, displays solely deaths in hospitals, the ministry mentioned; the precise toll is probably going far greater.

“We believe that dozens of people die silently as a result of starvation without reaching hospitals,” ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra mentioned.

Hamas mentioned unresolved points the delegation will talk about with its political bureau embody humanitarian assist, the tip of preventing and the return of displaced Gazans. Egyptian state media reported talks would resume subsequent week. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller informed reporters on Wednesday that he was nonetheless optimistic a deal might be reached.

A Hamas official informed The Washington Post that the group has rejected Israel’s supply of a six-week truce whereas it retains troops within the strip and will get all remaining hostages again. “We want a permanent cease-fire, and we want the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Gaza Strip,” mentioned the official, who spoke on the situation of anonymity as a result of he was not approved to debate ongoing negotiations. A cease-fire that lasts solely by Ramadan and the discharge of the hostages, he mentioned, would go away Gazans with out a assure for defense after it ended.

The want for extra assist has grow to be more and more pressing. Social media this week has been flooded with photos of an emaciated baby, Yazan al-Kafarna, who journalists in Gaza say died of malnutrition. Gazans say in movies that they paid cash for assist airdropped by the United States, now apparently accessible on a black market that has emerged within the absence of a physique to watch distribution.

Gaza has lengthy relied on assist. Before Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing round 1,200 folks and taking 253 hostage, Israeli authorities say, a median of round 500 vans entered the enclave each day. Israel and Egypt tightened entry after the assault, and the quantity fell to 170 in January and 98 in February.

The more and more scarce deliveries have come beneath Israeli hearth and been overrun by ravenous Gazans.

The U.N. World Food Program mentioned this week it was searching for new routes to ship assist into northern Gaza. The company deemed its most up-to-date try “largely unsuccessful.”

The WFP mentioned a 14-truck convoy headed to the north on Feb. 20 was stopped for 3 hours at an Israel Defense Forces checkpoint, then rerouted to a distinct highway the place it was “stopped by a large crowd of desperate people who looted the food” earlier than its arrival to its vacation spot.

Aid teams say convoys have been attacked and looted within the north, and accused Israeli forces of stopping vans and concentrating on cops who guard the convoys. More than 100 folks have been killed final week when a crowd descended on a uncommon assist convoy in Gaza City, one of many bloodiest incidents of a battle that the well being ministry says has killed greater than 30,000 Gaza residents. Doctors and eyewitnesses blamed Israeli gunfire; Israeli officers blamed a stampede.

The United Nations has warned that famine in Gaza is “almost inevitable.” Carl Skau, WFP’s deputy govt director, mentioned airdrops are “a last resort and will not avert famine.”

“We need entry points to northern Gaza that will allow us to deliver enough food for half a million people in desperate need,” he mentioned.

Of the 20 folks in Gaza identified to have died of malnutrition and dehydration, the well being ministry reported, 17 have been youngsters.