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White House Optimistic for Israeli Hostage Release by Hamas

Israeli Hostages to be released by Hamas

As President Joe Biden’s Middle East envoy Brett McGurk returns to Washington from the region, the White House said on Friday (January 26) that it was hopeful about the release of a man detained by Hamas. Negotiations can make progress for the remaining hostages in Gaza.

National Security Council spokesman, Mr. John Kirby, said President Biden spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi on Friday.

Bryant said the U.S. president also spoke with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Friday in an effort to facilitate the release of the hostages. .

According to US media reports, CIA Director William Burns will meet with his Israeli and Egyptian counterparts and the emir of Qatar to discuss the release of the remaining hostages and try to broker an agreement between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza ceasefire.

McGurk, the Middle East envoy, is returning from the region where he was involved in “active” discussions to secure the release of the hostages, according to the White House.

Qatar has played a central role in negotiations since the first hostages were released from Gaza in November.

Interlocutors are trying to negotiate a new ceasefire to stop the fighting so that more hostages can be released and Palestinians imprisoned by Israel can be freed. During a week-long ceasefire in late November, approximately 100 hostages held by Hamas and 240 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel were released. But no new ceasefire agreement has been reached.

ICJ ruling

International Court of Justice ICJ 1
International Court of Justice (ICJ)

On Friday, in a majority ruling in which at least 15 of 17 judges agreed, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to prevent genocide against Palestinians and do more to help civilians, but it failed to do so. A ceasefire was ordered at the request of the plaintiff, South Africa.

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South Africa filed a lawsuit in court this month accusing Israel of state-led genocide in its offensive against Hamas. South Africa brought the case on the legal premise that genocide is a very serious crime and that all states have an obligation to prevent it.

While the ruling dashes Palestinian hopes for a binding ceasefire in Gaza, it also reflects a legal setback for Israel, which had wanted the court to reject South Africa’s reliance on the United Nations Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Extermination, which was enacted in the aftermath of the Nazi massacre of Jews. Proceedings under the Racial Crimes Convention.

The court said the war was causing serious humanitarian harm. It also said it was “gravely concerned” about the fate of hostages held in Gaza and called on Hamas and other armed groups to release them immediately and unconditionally. The hostages were captured during an attack on Israel on October 7 that sparked a conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The Palestinian Authority’s foreign ministry said the decision was a welcome reminder that “no country is above the law.” Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told the media the ruling would help “isolate the occupation and expose (Israel’s) crimes in Gaza.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the ICJ’s decision not to order a ceasefire, but he rejected claims of genocide as “outrageous” and said Israel would continue to defend itself.

Israel must submit a report to the court within a month of the ruling outlining the steps it has taken to comply with the ruling. The court will consider the merits of the case in detail, a process that could take years. While ICJ rulings are final and cannot be appealed, the court cannot enforce them. Israel says it does its best to avoid civilian casualties.

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The Gaza Health Ministry said on Friday that the death toll in the Gaza Strip has climbed to more than 26,000, and the number of injured in more than three months of war has climbed to more than 64,400. Gaza’s health ministry said earlier on Friday that 183 Palestinians had been killed and 377 injured in Israeli attacks in the past 24 hours.

The Israeli military said it was investigating an attack on a traffic circle at a Gaza City intersection on Thursday. Hamas health officials said the attack killed at least 20 people and wounded 150 others while Palestinians were waiting for humanitarian aid.

Also in central Gaza, Palestinian health officials said an Israeli overnight airstrike on a house in the Al-Nusserat refugee camp killed six people.

The fighting has severely disrupted the flow of humanitarian aid into the Gaza region. International charity ActionAid said on Thursday that local hunger has reached catastrophic proportions, with people having to grind animal feed for flour.

“Famine is looming across the territory,” ActionAid said in a statement. “At the same time, sporadic famine is strongly suspected in the north, making it extremely challenging to get aid there.” Since the

terrorist attacks on October 7 The fighting forms part of Israel’s efforts to end Hamas’ control of the Gaza Strip. Hamas militants invaded southern Israel that day, killing about 1,200 people and taking about 250 people hostage.

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