Israel airstrikes kill 22 in Gaza, ceasefire talks continue

GAZA STRIP — Israeli airstrikes on residential houses in the southern Gaza city of Rafah resulted in the deaths of 22 individuals, including six women and five children, and numerous injuries, according to the Associated Press reports on Monday. One of the children killed in the strikes overnight into Monday was just five days old.

Health officials confirmed that Israeli planes targeted two houses in Gaza City, located in the northern part of the strip, resulting in additional casualties.

The strikes in Rafah, where over a million people have sought shelter amidst months of ongoing Israeli bombardment, occurred just hours before scheduled ceasefire discussions between leaders of the Islamist group Hamas and Egyptian officials.

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The conflict originated from an attack by Hamas militants on Israel on October 7, sparking a prolonged period of violence.

In a related development, a Hamas delegation is expected to arrive in Egypt on Monday to engage in discussions regarding Israel’s latest proposal for a ceasefire agreement and a potential hostage-release deal in the Gaza Strip.

Reports indicate that Egypt, along with Qatar and the United States, has been actively mediating negotiations between Israel and Hamas for several months, amid a rising death toll and mounting pressure to reach a resolution.

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Despite persistent efforts to secure a ceasefire and address humanitarian concerns, including the release of hostages and the delivery of aid to the embattled territory, a comprehensive agreement has remained elusive.

Hamas officials stated on Sunday that they have no “major issues” with the content of Israel’s most recent ceasefire proposal, signalling a willingness to engage in further dialogue.

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