The war between Israel and Palestinian Hamas is not letting up in the Gaza Strip, with Washington increasing pressure for the belligerents to accept a ceasefire plan announced by Joe Biden and to which Hamas gave its response on Tuesday.

On a tour of the Middle East, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed in Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “reaffirmed his commitment” to the ceasefire plan announced by the American president at the end of May and adopted on 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, before giving its official response on Tuesday evening.

In a joint statement with Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian armed movement that participated in the attacks in Israel that sparked the war on October 7, Hamas gave its response to Qatari and Egyptian mediators on this issue, calling for a “total halt to the ‘aggression’ in the Gaza Strip.

It contains “amendments” to the proposal announced by the American president, “including a timetable for a permanent ceasefire and the total withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip,” said a source familiar with the discussions.

Meanwhile, deadly Israeli strikes continued to target the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, particularly the center, where the Israeli army said it had “completed an operation” in eastern Deir al-Balah and eastern Gaza Strip. al-Boureij.

The army also announced on Tuesday the deaths of four soldiers killed in fighting the day before in the south, bringing to 298 the number of Israeli soldiers killed since the start of the ground offensive in the Gaza Strip on October 27.

“The horror must end,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who participated Tuesday in Jordan in an international conference aimed at mobilizing funds for humanitarian aid in the besieged territory, deprived of water and electricity, where the UN is worried about the risk of famine.

“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 American 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 kidnapped that day and 116 remain held in Gaza, 41 of whom died, according to the Israeli military.

In response, Israel, which has sworn to annihilate Hamas, the movement in power in Gaza since 2007 which it considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union, launched an offensive on the Palestinian territory which left at least 37,164 dead, mostly civilians, according to data from the Health Ministry of the Hamas-led Gaza government.

In Jordan, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at least 1.7 million people of the Gaza Strip’s approximately 2.4 million residents have been repeatedly displaced by operations Israeli soldiers in eight months of war.

He also lamented the psychological impact of the war, especially on children, and said that about 60 percent of residential buildings and at least 80 percent of commercial facilities had been damaged by Israeli bombings.

On May 7, the army launched a ground offensive on the town of Rafah, in the south of the 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.

Also in the north, 50 Palestinians detained by Israel were released by the army and transferred to Kamal Adwan Hospital in Jabalia, according to a medical source at the facility.

“Our eyes were covered day and night and our hands and legs were handcuffed… We couldn’t sleep at all,” said Mahmoud Al-Zaanin, one of them. Another, Othmane Al-Kafarna, told AFP of acts of “torture” and “humiliation.”

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.

This plan provides, in a first phase, a six-week ceasefire accompanied by an Israeli withdrawal from densely populated areas of Gaza, the release of certain hostages and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

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”.