Israeli forces clash with Palestinian gunmen in Gaza amidst ceasefire talks

Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen clashed in Gaza over the weekend amidst intensified ceasefire talks aimed at releasing hostages held by Hamas and providing relief during Ramadan.

Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen persisted across the Gaza Strip as mediators ramped up efforts to negotiate a ceasefire aimed at releasing hostages held by Hamas and providing relief during Ramadan in the embattled territory.

Despite accelerated talks, the likelihood of securing a truce remained uncertain, with Israel simultaneously indicating plans to expand operations to dismantle Hamas while the Islamist group remained steadfast in its demand for a permanent cessation of the ongoing conflict.


Reports from residents indicated that Israeli artillery targeted multiple areas within Gaza, with tanks entering Beit Lahiya and engagements between soldiers and gunmen unfolding in the Zeitoun sector of Gaza City – both in the northern region initially targeted in the offensive.

Medics reported that at least 86 Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes since Saturday, while Israel’s military confirmed the death of two soldiers in clashes in southern Gaza and claimed to have killed or captured Palestinian militants in Zeitoun and other areas.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his security cabinet for a briefing following discussions with Qatari, Egyptian, and U.S. mediators in Paris regarding a potential second ceasefire agreement for Gaza.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan disclosed that negotiators from the United States, Egypt, Qatar, and Israel had reached a basic understanding on a hostage exchange deal during talks in Paris, although details are still being negotiated.

However, Netanyahu expressed uncertainty about the prospects of a hostage deal materializing, emphasizing Hamas’ need to present more reasonable demands.

Meanwhile, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri criticised Netanyahu’s remarks, suggesting a lack of Israeli commitment to reaching an agreement and accusing him of prioritising negotiations amid ongoing violence against Palestinians.

Further negotiations are expected to take place in Doha this week, with mediators shuttling between Hamas and Israeli representatives, potentially followed by subsequent talks in Cairo. Despite these diplomatic efforts, the situation in Gaza remains precarious, with civilians enduring the brunt of the violence as the conflict enters its fifth month.