Hamas offers hostages for a stop in the fighting
Defrosting the US-China relationship isn’t the only thing on Biden’s mind – yesterday, he said the US wants to see “less intrusive action” from Israel at Gaza’s main hospital, which he says “must be protected”. Reports say that Israeli tanks are stationed outside the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, which is digging a mass grave for the 40 patients who have died due to the blockade. Israel says the hospital sits on top of an underground command-and-control centre operated by Hamas – a claim the terror group denies. The World Health Organization says the hospital is “nearly a cemetery” with 3,000 patients and hospital staff and 15,000 sheltering Palestinians trapped there due to nearby fighting. Yesterday, Hamas confirmed it has told Qatari mediators that it would release up to 70 women and children held in Gaza in return for a 5-day truce. Since the start of the war, Israel has said talks of a ceasefire aren’t possible until all 240 hostages taken from Israel by Hamas militants on 7 October are released.
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