Israeli Army discovers weapons caches, destroys rocket launchers
    Israel agrees to swap hostages for Palestinian prisoners

    WORLD  27 February 2024 - 14:19

    The IDF Spokesperson's Unit has announced several developments, including identifying terrorists sheltering among Gazan evacuees, finding weapons caches, and destroying rocket launchers.

    The IDF Spokesperson's Unit announced early on February 25 numerous developments and operations of IDF troops in the Gaza Strip. In a leading event, terrorists attempted to hide behind evacuating Gazan civilians, but were identified and apprehended by IDF forces, The Jerusalem Post reports.

    Terrorists attempting escape

    In Khan Yunis, over the past day, during efforts to evacuate the civilian population from combat zones, IDF soldiers identified terrorists who had attempted escape by hiding amongst evacuating Gaza civilians, who were then apprehended by the IDF. In the same area, the troops killed a number of terrorists and located stored weapons.

    Additionally, they have reported on continued IDF activity across the Gaza Strip, including ongoing operations in western Khan Yunis, Zaytun, and the central Gaza Strip.

    More weapons found

    IDF troops are continuing their targeted raids on terror targets in the Gaza Strip. During one such operation, infantry forces, including the Givati Brigade, located numerous weapons, including sniper rifles, AK-47s, grenades, and ammunition.

    Additionally, IDF soldiers located a terrorist cell that had been using drones, with the Israeli Air Force (IAF) eliminating a number of terrorists.

    Rocket launch zones destroyed

    As part of the ongoing IDF activity in Zaytun in the central Gaza Strip, a number of terrorists were killed by the IDF. IDF troops were also able to locate weapons and destroy rocket launch zones in the proximity. A terrorist cell was identified as using drones in the Shati area and was later eliminated by an IAF aircraft.

    Over the past day, the IAF carried out numerous strikes throughout the Gaza Strip against Hamas's aerial unit. The terror targets that were struck include a number of rocket launch posts directed towards Israeli territory.

    Meanwhile, it’s hoped all Israeli women, children under 19, elderly and sick hostages will be freed, along with hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, with 500 aid trucks being allowed into Gaza daily and the provision of thousands of tents and caravans.

    A proposal to swap Israeli hostages held in Gaza for Palestinian prisoners has been sent to Hamas, Sky News reports.

    It follows several days of multinational talks in Paris involving representatives from Israel, the United States, Egypt, and Qatar which have tried to map out the basic contours of a deal for a temporary ceasefire.

    The proposal includes a 40-day pause in all military operations and states that all Israeli women, children under 19, elderly over 50 and sick hostages should be released in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, a senior source has told the Reuters news agency.

    The draft states Hamas would free 40 Israeli hostages, while Israel would release around 400 Palestinian prisoners and will not rearrest them.

    Under the proposal, 500 aid trucks would be allowed into Gaza every day and thousands of tents and caravans sent there, while hospitals and bakeries could be repaired. It follows comments by US President Joe Biden, who said on Monday he hoped a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas could be secured "by the end of the weekend".

    A Hamas official told Sky News they have yet to receive a formal proposal after the most recent talks in Paris regarding a comprehensive ceasefire.

    The official added that Hamas has told mediators it will not accept Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attempts to "manipulate the negotiations to gain more time to implement his plans, especially a war of starvation against the Palestinian people, and that the negotiation process will not have unlimited time".

    Mr Biden made his remarks during an unannounced visit to the Van Leeuwen ice cream parlour, next door to 30 Rock in New York.

    Flanked by late night TV show host Seth Meyers, Mr Biden was asked by reporters when he thought a ceasefire in Gaza could start.

    In a surprise turn, he said "my national security adviser [Jake Sullivan] tells me that we're close, we're close, we're not done yet".

    Appearing on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Mr Biden said "Ramadan is coming up, and there's been an agreement by the Israelis that they would not engage in activities during Ramadan, as well, in order to give us time to get all the hostages out."

    The Muslim holy month, which falls on different dates every year, is set to start on the evening of 10 March and end on the evening of 9 April.

    Israel risked losing international support because of the high death toll among Palestinians, Mr Biden warned.

    It had committed to making it possible for Palestinians to evacuate Rafah in southern Gaza before intensifying its campaign there to destroy Hamas, he added.

    Mr Biden said there was an agreement in principle for a ceasefire between the two sides while hostages were released and said he hoped to have a ceasefire in the conflict by the following February 26.

    "There are too many innocent people that are being killed. And Israel has slowed down the attacks in Rafah," Mr Biden said.

    He added a temporary ceasefire would open a process for Palestinians to have their own state, something Mr Netanyahu has rejected.

    The talks in the French capital, the most serious effort in weeks to halt the fighting, have been hosted by Qatar, with mediators meeting delegations from both sides separately.

    The aim was to secure a six-week pause in fighting.

    Israel and Hamas have been at war in Gaza since gunmen from the Palestinian militant group that runs the enclave attacked southern Israel on 7 October, killing 1,200 people and taking 253 hostages.

    Israel responded with a military campaign in which almost 30,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to medical officials in Gaza.


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