Conflict in the Middle East, VOA: Israel and Hamas are not ready for a truce

Conflict in the Middle East, VOA: Israel and Hamas are not ready for a truce

Israel and Hamas are not yet ready to return to the negotiating table to discuss a ceasefire. But, as Voice of America correspondent Veronica Balderas Iglesias reports, Israel is trying to reduce the number of civilian casualties as it continues its military offensive in Gaza.

After Israel resumed airstrikes in Gaza on Hamas targets, several Palestinian families gathered Sunday at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah to mourn the latest casualties from the military offensive. As many prayed for the dead and others continued to flee, the United States confirmed that Israel was responding to American calls to reduce civilian casualties.

"They published on the Internet a map of places where people can go to avoid fighting. There aren't many modern armies that would do that. So, they tell you in advance where they will hit. So they're trying," said John Kirby, of the National Security Council.

But Israel and Hamas are reluctant to negotiate a new ceasefire and the release of other hostages.

"The talks failed because Hamas did not want to present new lists with the names of the women and children we know they are holding hostage. He didn't want to submit them to Israel for review and exchange," Mr. Kirby said.

In an article recently published in The New York Times newspaper, it is stated that Israel had known in advance and that it had not paid due importance to Hamas' plans to carry out the October 7 attacks. The questions raised by the article should, however, be answered at another time, says the Israeli minister for strategic affairs, Ron Dermer.

"After the war, we will have a serious investigation. It is very important that during the war we join forces to achieve the common objective of eliminating Hamas' military capabilities, ending its regime in Gaza and ensuring that Gaza no longer poses a threat. for Israel, as well as to return the hostages," he said.

Mr. Dermer believes that the destruction of Hamas will open the door to regional peace.

"In the context of regional peace, we need to find a way to eventually reach a political agreement with the Palestinians," he said.

He added that, meanwhile, Israel agrees with the United States on the need to reduce the number of civilian casualties in Gaza and to increase humanitarian aid./ VOA

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