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Attempts being made to stop fighting in Gaza

Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash
May 15, 2021, around 150,000 people attend the March for Palestine protest at the Israeli Embassy.

The war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas is nearing five months, where over 25,000 Palestinians have died and more than 62,000 have been seriously wounded. The Gaza Strip has been decimated by bombs and battles, leaving millions of Palestinians displaced. Palestinians in Gaza have gone without food, water, medicines, hygiene products, and other basic necessities for survival during this tribulation. As a result, Palestinians (and others around the world) are demanding an immediate ceasefire to end the Gaza genocide. Now, it’s been reported that the two parties have yet to commit to demands for a ceasefire, but are making attempts to discuss the matter.

Qatar, who has delivered vital information on behalf of the two parties, reported that Israel and Hamas are attempting to negotiate an end to the fighting, even if temporary. Though they haven’t entered into official negotiations yet, this is an important step in going towards an end to the fighting.

On Jan. 22, it was reported that Israel proposed a two-month truce in exchange for the release of all of the hostages still held in Gaza, which is now over 100. The chief of the Mossad, one of Israel’s major intelligence organizations, also suggested that Hamas leaders go into hiding as a result of the ceasefire. The Wall Street Journal reported that Hamas is open to releasing some of the hostages in exchange for a temporary ceasefire. Reuters reported that the two parties agreed in principle for a one-month truce, where hostages and abductees would be released on both sides.

However, after these plans were proposed, both parties were not willing to comply with what was asked of them. Hamas leaders are strongly against going into exile, believing the Mossad might still attack them, and because they would also like to die in battle. It’s also widely believed that Israel will not remain true to the pledge of a ceasefire. The two parties are now at a stalemate.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government have been put under serious pressure to ensure the hostages are freed. Protestors have aligned the streets and camped in front of Netanyahu’s home to demand that a deal be made to bring them home, no matter what. Protestors blocked roads and humanitarian aid deliveries to Gaza. This only further adds to tensions between Netanyahu and the Israeli people, who have been turning away from his war policies.

Another available deal, that was originally posed on Oct. 7, would be to free all Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, even those that Israel believe are guilty, in exchange for the hostages. A survey published by the Israel Democracy Institute, however, decided against this plan, effectively shutting it down for the time being.

The two parties have shelved talks for a ceasefire, and a stop to the fighting does not seem to rest on the horizon. The fighting will continue in Gaza until further notice.

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