Israel leaders meet to consider halting Gaza offensive
Israeli leaders convened on Thursday to consider halting a Gaza offensive after US President Joe Biden called for a de-escalation of the fiercest hostilities in years.
The dominant Palestinian Islamist faction Hamas had predicted a truce by Friday. With Cairo mediating between the sides, an Egyptian security source said they had agreed in principle to ceasefire but details needed to be worked out.
Rocket attacks by Hamas and allied Islamic Jihad resumed after an eight-hour pause on Thursday, as Israel continued shelling that it said aimed to destroy the factions’ military capabilities and deter them from future confrontation after the current conflict.
After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his security cabinet, public broadcaster Kan said it would vote on a proposal to halt attacks unilaterally within 24 hours. There was no Israeli confirmation of the report.
Palestinian sources said Hamas and Islamic Jihad wanted any truce to be mutually binding and simultaneous, but Kan said Israel wanted to ceasefire on its own terms.
Since the fighting began on May 10, health officials in Gaza say 232 Palestinians, including 65 children and 39 women, have been killed and more than 1,900 wounded in aerial bombardments. Israel says it has killed at least 160 combatants in Gaza. Authorities put the death toll in Israel at 12, with hundreds of people treated for injuries.