Israel and Hamas distance themselves from ceasefire

DOHA  -   After US President Joe Biden projected optimism that a hostage-for-ceasefire deal in Gaza could be reached by the end of this week, officials from Israel, Hamas and Qatar have distanced themselves from his comments. Meetings are currently taking place, but there are disagreements over “numbers, ratios and troop movements,” Majed Al-Ansari, a Qatar foreign ministry spokesperson, said on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Hamas’ political leader Ismail Haniyeh said the militant group has displayed flexibility in negotiations but remains ready to continue fighting. Meanwhile, the death toll in Gaza is approaching 30,000 people, according to the health ministry in the enclave. The total number of people killed in Gaza is around 29,878, with the number of injured reaching 70,215, since October 7, according to the ministry. Whereas, Lebanon and Israel exchanged fire near the border on Wednesday, a statement from the Israel Defense Forces said. Approximately “10 launches” crossed from Lebanon into northern Israel, with sirens sounding near Kiryat Shmona, the IDF said.

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