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Israeli Air Strikes Persist in Gaza as Ceasefire Negotiations Face Challenges

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The Israeli military has continued its air strikes across the Gaza Strip, resulting in significant casualties while discussions on the latest ceasefire proposal and the exchange of prisoners are underway.

Overnight air raids in the southern areas of Rafah and Khan Younis resulted in at least 12 fatalities, including women and children, as reported by the Palestinian news agency Wafa. Additionally, multiple air strikes in the Bureji and Nuseirat refugee camps in central Gaza led to further casualties, with at least six and four people killed, respectively. In the northern area of Jabalia, civil defence crews are still working to recover bodies following the withdrawal of Israeli forces after a 20-day military operation.

The ongoing conflict has taken a heavy toll, with thousands of Palestinians killed, injured, and missing, according to the enclave’s Ministry of Health. Amid these attacks, discussions surrounding the latest ceasefire proposal, which involves an exchange of captives for prisoners, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, and the reconstruction of the enclave continue.

Although the United States has urged Hamas to accept the plan, the response from Israel remains uncertain. While an aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated acceptance of the proposal, internal divisions within the Israeli government have complicated the decision-making process. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and war cabinet minister Benny Gantz have expressed differing views, with the former seeking an alternative to Hamas’s governance and the latter setting a deadline for reaching an agreement on post-war plans.

The situation has been further complicated by the involvement of opposition leader Yair Lapid and the families of the captives, both of whom are advocating for accepting the ceasefire proposal. Meanwhile, the regional conflict has expanded beyond Gaza, with the Israeli military engaging in low-level confrontations with Iran-linked groups in Lebanon, Yemen, and Syria and an air strike near Aleppo resulting in casualties. These regional developments have raised concerns about potential escalation and the broader implications for the region.

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