Israel-Hamas war: Hopes dim for truce before Ramadan, Gazans still starving

Palestinians mourn relatives killed in the Israeli bombardments of the Gaza Strip in front of the morgue of the Al Aqsa Hospital in Deir al Balah on March 7.
Palestinians mourn relatives killed in the Israeli bombardments of the Gaza Strip in front of the morgue of the Al Aqsa Hospital in Deir al Balah on March 7. Copyright AP Photo/Adel Hana
Copyright AP Photo/Adel Hana
By Euronews with AP
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All the latest developments on the Israel-Hamas war and the conflict in the Middle East.

Ceasefire talks stalled

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Negotiations over a potential ceasefire between Israel and Hamas have been postponed to next week, the Palestinian militant group said on Thursday, after its delegation left Cairo, Egypt.

The announcement has dimmed hopes that a six-week ceasefire could be agreed before the start of Ramadan, which will begin at sundown on Sunday. 

According to negotiators, talks reached an impasse over Israel and Hamas' different demands for a ceasefire. The Palestinian group asked Israel to commit to a permanent ceasefire now or after a multi-stage release of about 40 of the 100 remaining hostages; 

Israel refuses to do so, insisting it will stick to its goal of completely destroying Hamas.

The US, Egypt and Qatar have been trying to broker an agreement for the six-week ceasefire.

There's likely widespread disappointment over the stalling of negotiations, as international pressure is growing for Israel to end its deadly strikes on Gaza, which have killed thousands of civiliansw.

Palestinians attend a mass funeral of people killed in the Israeli offensive on Khan Younis in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Thursday, March 7, 2024.
Palestinians attend a mass funeral of people killed in the Israeli offensive on Khan Younis in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Thursday, March 7, 2024.AP Photo/Hatem Ali

A deepening hunger crisis

Many of the estimated 300,000 people still living in northern Gaza have been reduced to eating animal fodder to survive, and concerns are growing for their fate as they face starvation.

According to the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza, at least 20 people, including children, have died of malnutrition and dehydration in the region since the war began. 

World Health Organization (WHO) chief Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus has warned that the children in the enclave who survived the Israeli strikes in the past five months "may not survive a famine".

The WHO is asking for more aid to be allowed into Gaza, an issue that's been contentious since the start of Israel's war.

Norway takes a stance against Israeli settlers

Norway's government on Thursday urged Norwegian companies to avoid trade and business activities that contribute to maintaining illegal Israeli settlements. 

"For years, Norway has been clear that the settlement policy in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is in violation of international law, including humanitarian law and human rights," said Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.

"Norwegian businesses should be aware that, through economic or financial activity in the Israeli settlements in violation of international law, they risk contributing to violations of international humanitarian law or human rights," he added.

Commenting on the number of Palestinian deaths in the West Bank in 2023, the highest since the UN began recording, Barth Eide called for "the injustice to which the Palestinians are subjected" to stop.

China calls for Palestine to be allowed to join the UN

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed his country's support on Thursday for Palestine to join the United Nations, asking other members of the UN Security Council to stop blocking it from becoming a member.

"We support Palestine becoming a full member of the United Nations and call on individual members of the Security Council not to set obstacles for this any more," he said at a news conference during the annual meeting of China’' legislature.

Zhang Jun, China's UN ambassador, said in January that his country supports UN membership for Palestine as a first step toward the creation of a Palestinian state.

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