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Israel opts out of cease-fire talks with Hamas as US pushes for a deal

Israel opted out of cease-fire talks on Sunday after Hamas denied handing over a complete list of hostages that are still alive.
Israel opts out of cease-fire talks with Hamas as US pushes for a deal
Posted at 4:20 PM, Mar 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-03 18:32:26-05

After weeks of negotiations and what seemed to be progress in pausing the war in the Middle East, Israel has withdrawn from cease-fire talks.

Israel opted out of cease-fire talks on Sunday after Hamas denied handing over a complete list of hostages that are still alive, according to Israeli reports.

The proposed six-week cease-fire in Gaza would have included the release of hostages held by Hamas deemed most vulnerable.

The news comes after an initial review of the deaths of more than 100 Palestinians in northern Gaza last week. The Israeli military says most of the victims died in a stampede surrounding an aid convoy.

Palestinian officials say Israeli troops opened fire intentionally, sparking panic among civilians.

Israel's chief military spokesperson called the claims baseless and said that troops only fired when they felt their lives were in danger.

"Our initial review has confirmed that no strike was carried out by the IDF towards the aid convoy. The majority of Palestinians were killed or injured as a result of the stampede,” said Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari. "Following the warning shots fired to disperse the stampede, and after our forces had started retreating, several looters approached our forces and posed an immediate threat to them."

The U.S. military made its first humanitarian assistance airdrop into Gaza on Saturday to help feed tens of thousands displaced by the war. Still, some say not enough aid is entering the Gaza Strip.

The director of UNICEF is warning that more children are going to die from malnutrition unless immediate action is taken.

"We wait for hours for our basic needs. Like, I have to use the same water for everything, including drinking and showering. I have to wait also in a line for hours to use the toilet and to take some food if it's available,” said Daiana Al-Bukhari, a displaced Palestinian living in Rafah.

The Israeli military released footage on Sunday of airstrikes and claimed it destroyed terrorist infrastructure and eliminated more than 100 militants in the Gaza Strip.

Gaza's health ministry, which is run by Hamas, says the war has killed more than 30,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children.

On Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with a top member of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's war cabinet, Benny Gantz. The move has angered Netanyahu and shows a widening crack in the country's leadership.

SEE MORE: US airdrops thousands of meals into Gaza in emergency aid operation


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