The response of Hamas and Islamic Jihad to a ceasefire plan announced on May 31 by Joe Biden, proposed by him according to Israel, calls for a “total cessation of aggression” in the Gaza Strip, announced Tuesday the two Palestinian movements.

“The response prioritizes the interests of the Palestinian people and emphasizes the need for a complete halt to the ongoing aggression in Gaza,” Hamas and Islamic Jihad said in a joint statement, adding that they were ready to “engage positively to reach an agreement that ends this war.”

On Tuesday evening, Qatar and Egypt announced that they had received a response from the Palestinian movements to the proposed framework and confirmed that their “joint mediation efforts with the United States will continue until an agreement is reached.”

A source familiar with the talks told AFP that Hamas’ response contained amendments to the proposed framework.  

“The response contains amendments to the Israeli proposal, including a timetable for a permanent ceasefire and the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

The war knows no respite between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, with Washington defending a ceasefire plan on Tuesday during a conference in Jordan on humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, under bombs for more than eight months.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on tour in the Middle East, stressed in Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “reaffirmed his commitment” to a ceasefire plan announced on May 31 by the president Joe Biden and adopted Monday by the UN Security Council.

Mr. Blinken also described as an “encouraging sign” the reaction of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which said it welcomed “favorably” a certain number of elements of the American resolution.

After Israel, the Secretary of State traveled to Jordan for an international conference aimed at mobilizing funds for humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, a besieged territory deprived of water and electricity, where the United Nations is worried about the risk of famine.

On Tuesday, deadly Israeli strikes targeted in particular the center of the Gaza Strip, where the Israeli army said it had “completed an operation” in eastern Deir al-Balah and eastern al-Boureij.

“The horror must end,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who was participating in the conference on aid for Gaza in Jordan. “It is high time to establish a ceasefire and release the hostages unconditionally,” he added, calling on “all parties to seize the opportunity” provided by the new road map.

The war in the Gaza Strip was sparked on October 7 by an unprecedented Hamas attack in southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally compiled in from official Israeli data.

Some 251 people were abducted in the attack and 116 are still being held in Gaza, 41 of whom have died, according to the Israeli army.

In response, the Israeli army launched an offensive on the Palestinian territory which left at least 37,164 dead, including 40 in 24 hours, mostly civilians, according to data from the Ministry of Health of the Gaza government led by the Hamas.

In Jordan, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at least 1.7 million people of the Gaza Strip’s estimated 2.4 million residents have been repeatedly displaced by the Israeli military operations.

“About 60% of residential buildings and at least 80% of commercial facilities were damaged by Israeli bombings,” he added, deploring the destruction of health centers and schools.

“This war has destroyed our lives,” Soad Al-Qanou testified for AFP, trying to save his son, Amjad, emaciated by malnutrition, in the ruined camp of Jabalia (north).

On May 7, the army launched a ground offensive on the town of Rafah, in the south of the besieged Palestinian territory, which led to the closure of the border crossing with Egypt, crucial for the entry of humanitarian aid , now controlled by Israel.

And “for more than 700,000 people besieged in the northern sector, the number of (aid) trucks per day does not exceed 35, even though this is their only source of food and medicine,” the office lamented on Tuesday. Hamas media.

On the diplomatic front, the UN Security Council adopted on Monday by 14 votes and one abstention, that of Russia, the American resolution supporting the plan which aims to establish in stages a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Neither side has responded officially to this proposal, with Hamas so far demanding a definitive ceasefire and a total withdrawal of Israeli soldiers from the Gaza Strip, and Israel refusing to end the war until The Palestinian movement, in power in Gaza since 2007 and which it considers a terrorist organization, as do the United States and the European Union, will not be eliminated.

The road map was presented by Joe Biden as coming from Israel, which has so far not formally accepted it.

For his part, Benjamin Netanyahu seeks to take advantage of a special forces operation which made it possible to free four hostages on Saturday in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli media, during which 274 Palestinians were killed, according to the Ministry of Security. Health of Hamas.

The UN High Commission said it was both “deeply shocked” by the impact on civilians of this operation and “deeply distressed” by the fact that hostages were still being held.

For Jeremy Laurence, its spokesperson, “all these actions, by both parties, could amount to war crimes”.

The Palestinian Health Ministry and the Palestinian Red Crescent announced that six people were killed on Tuesday in an Israeli army raid on a village near the city of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank.

The Israeli military said it carried out a “counterterrorism operation” in the area during which four activists were killed.

The men aged 21 to 32 were “shot dead by occupying forces in the locality of Kafr Dan, Jenin district,” the Ministry of Health in Ramallah said in a statement.  

The Palestinian Red Crescent, for its part, said it had transported six deceased people from Kafr Dan.  

The Israeli army said its soldiers “surrounded a structure used” by Palestinian activists, killing four of them “in exchanges of fire” and injuring “others”, while a helicopter the Israeli Air Force “struck the area of ​​the structure.”  

She added in her statement that the soldiers had discovered weapons “and a vehicle containing numerous explosives.”  

The West Bank, occupied by Israel since 1967, has seen an upsurge in violence for more than a year, but especially since the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza on October 7.  

Palestinian officials say at least 542 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank by Israeli forces or settlers since the Gaza war began.  

Attacks by Palestinians killed at least 14 Israelis in the West Bank during the same period, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.