Israeli warplanes continued to strike Gaza strip on Thursday as the Resistance there vowed to fight on.
Israeli fighter jets targeted residential areas and buildings across Gaza’s north and south.
The unstoppable strikes in 11 days have killed so far 227 Palestinians, including 64 children and 38 women. Meanwhile, the number of injured reached 1,630, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.
For their part, Palestinian groups in Gaza fired 80 rockets and mortar shells towards southern Israel between 7pm on Wednesday and 7am on Thursday, the Times of Israel reported, citing the Israeli occupation military.
Since May 10, at least 12 Israelis have been killed by rockets launched by Gaza Resistance groups.
Biden Calls for De-escalation
Joe Biden, the president of the United States, on Wednesday discussed the events in Gaza with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, telling him that he expected “a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire”.
But shortly after Biden’s phone call, Netanyahu said he was “determined” to continue bombarding Gaza until “Israel’s aim is met”.
Commenting on Biden’s remarks, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassam said those who sought to restore calm must “compel Israel to end its aggression in Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and its bombardment of Gaza”, and then there could be “room to talk” of restoring calm.
For his part, the leader of Islamic Jihad Ziad Nakhale said political talks “remain at a standstill”.
“The only path towards freedom (is) to protect Al-Quds and people,” Nakhale stressed.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that a ceasefire between the Israeli occupation and Hamas could “come as early as Friday”.
Citing US and foreign officials involved in the discussions, the paper reported that Egyptian officials have made headway in negotiations with Hamas’ leadership while the Israeli military has privately conceded that it is nearing the completion of its objectives.
An unnamed US official told the WSJ a mechanism was in place for a cease-fire and that the “only issue is timing”.
The official also noted members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another Gaza-based armed group, remained a wild card.
For his part, Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas political official, has predicted a ceasefire within days in the Israeli-Gaza escalation.
“I think that the ongoing efforts regarding the ceasefire will succeed,” he told Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV. “I expect a ceasefire to be reached within a day or two, and the ceasefire will be on the basis of mutual agreement.”
An Egyptian security source told Reuters the sides had agreed in principle to a ceasefire after help from mediators but details were still being negotiated in secret.