Ismail Haniyeh : “Hamas Leader Departs Egypt After Cease-Fire Talks – WBTW”

In a recent development, Hamas has announced that its political leader, Ismail Haniyeh, has left Egypt after engaging in talks with Egyptian officials regarding a potential cease-fire in the Gaza Strip and a swap of hostages held by the militants for Palestinians imprisoned in Israel.

The talks took place following Hamas’ attack on southern Israel on October 7, where militants killed approximately 1,200 people and took around 250 hostages. While half of the hostages were released during a weeklong cease-fire in November, about 100 hostages remain in captivity, along with the bodies of 30 individuals who perished on October 7 or while in captivity.

In response to the attack, Israel launched an offensive in Gaza that has resulted in the deaths of over 29,000 Palestinians and forced 80% of the territory’s 2.3 million inhabitants to flee their homes. Most of the displaced individuals sought refuge in Rafah near the Egypt border, where around 1.5 million people are currently residing.

European diplomats have been intensifying calls for a cease-fire as concerns mount over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

### Escalating Violence in Gaza

The Health Ministry in Gaza reported that more than 100 Palestinians were killed within a span of 24 hours due to Israeli airstrikes in central and southern Gaza. Health officials and an Associated Press journalist confirmed that at least 68 Palestinians were killed in the strikes, with another 24 bodies trapped under rubble.

The total death toll since the beginning of the conflict on October 7 has risen to 29,514, with the Health Ministry noting that women and children make up about two-thirds of the casualties. The airstrikes targeted areas such as Rafah, Deir al-Balah, and the Nuseirat refugee camp, leaving a trail of devastation in their wake.

In Deir al-Balah, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Hospital saw bodies of the deceased laid out in shrouds, awaiting burial as grieving relatives gathered nearby. The strikes have had a profound impact on the local population, with images of the aftermath underscoring the human toll of the conflict.

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