Gaza Conflict Escalates

Gaza Conflict Escalates
Gaza Conflict Escalates

Footage released by the Al-Quds Brigade, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, shows what it says are its fighters firing mortars at Israeli soldiers and vehicles in east Rafah.

Israel launched fresh strikes in the Gaza Strip after negotiators pursuing a long-stalled truce agreement left talks in Cairo without having secured a deal.

Journalists in the Gaza Strip witnessed artillery strikes on Rafah on the territory's southern border with Egypt, while witnesses reported air strikes and fighting in Gaza City further north.

Israeli and Hamas negotiating teams left Cairo after what the Egyptian hosts described as a "two-day round" of indirect negotiations on the terms of a Gaza truce.

Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip and whose unprecedented October 7 attacks on Israel sparked the war there, said its delegation had left for Qatar, home to the Palestinian militant group's political leadership.

"The negotiating delegation left Cairo heading to Doha. In practice, the occupation rejected the proposal submitted by the mediators and raised objections to it on several central issues," Hamas said in a message to other Palestinian factions, adding it stood by the proposal.

"Accordingly, the ball is now completely in the hands of the occupation."

Hamas had said Monday that it had accepted a ceasefire proposal put forward by mediators.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office at the time called the proposal "far from Israel's essential demands", but said the government would still send negotiators to Cairo.

Israel has long resisted the idea of a permanent ceasefire, insisting it must finish the job of dismantling Hamas.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 34,904 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.