Israeli army advances further into Gaza City

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The Israeli army has advanced further into the southern and western regions of Gaza City, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) reported on Monday.

Early Monday morning, the army began what it called counter-terror operations in the northern Gaza area and called on civilians to leave before the operation began, the IDF said.

IDF troops reached the headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza City, the report said.

Army radio reported clashes with armed members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas. According to Palestinian hospital reports, at least 15 people have been killed. The number of casualties could rise as rescue workers are unable to reach many residential areas due to the fighting.

DPA cannot independently verify the reports.

The Israeli army has previously advanced into the northern part of the besieged coastal area during the war.

Residents of the affected neighborhoods described the night-time advance as a “night of terror.”

The trigger for Israel’s war in Gaza was the unprecedented massacre carried out by Hamas and other extremist groups in southern Israel on October 7 last year.

The militants killed 1,200 people and kidnapped another 250 as hostages to the Gaza Strip. Israel estimates that there are still around 120 kidnapping victims in the coastal area, although many of them are probably no longer alive.

According to the Hamas-controlled Gaza health authority, more than 38,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza so far. This figure includes both fighters and civilians.

Israeli army says it has attacked militants in a school in Gaza

On Monday evening, the Israeli military reported that it carried out airstrikes on several Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) militants hiding in a school in central Gaza.

The army used precision munitions to avoid civilian casualties in the attack on the group of fighters hiding in the building in the Nuseirat area, the IDF said, without providing further details.

The military again accused both militant groups, Hamas and PIJ, of “systematic violation of humanitarian law” by “using civilian facilities and the population as human shields.”

It comes after the IDF recently said it had attacked Hamas fighters on the grounds of a former school run by UNRWA in Nuseirat. Hamas said 16 people were killed in the airstrikes on the school grounds.

According to the army, militants used the school as a base for attacks on the Israeli army. According to the army, measures were taken before the attacks to reduce the risks to civilians.

It was not possible to independently verify the claims of either party.

Israelis in Cairo for indirect talks

An Israeli delegation has left for Cairo for indirect talks with Hamas to negotiate a ceasefire, Israeli radio station Kan reported on Monday.

The Israeli delegation is led by Ronen Bar, the head of the domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet, the report said.

The talks, which have been ongoing for months and are mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the US, are aimed at a ceasefire in the war in Gaza and an exchange of hostages held by Hamas for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Mediators are currently working on formulations to close the existing gaps in the areas of contentious issues.

Hamas is reportedly showing flexibility and has deviated from its core demand that Israel commit to ending the war.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu maintains that Israel has the right to continue fighting even after a future agreement is implemented.

On Sunday evening, Netanyahu’s office released a document saying that any ceasefire agreement must allow Israel to resume fighting until all war goals are achieved.

Israel has declared the complete dismantling of Hamas as a military formation and as a governing force in the Gaza Strip as one of its war goals.

Critics interpreted the condition that Netanyahu described as “non-negotiable” as an attempt to thwart the resumed talks in Cairo and Qatar.

People walk among sewage and rubble of destroyed buildings after the Israeli army withdrew from Khan Yunis. Abed Rahim Khatib/dpaPeople walk among sewage and rubble of destroyed buildings after the Israeli army withdrew from Khan Yunis. Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa

People walk among sewage and rubble of destroyed buildings after the Israeli army withdrew from Khan Yunis. Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa

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