Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credits: SAID KHATIB / AFPSAID KHATIB / AFP 7:08 p.m., February 25, 2024

On the 140th day of the Israel-Hamas conflict, "common ground" was found during recent negotiations in Paris aimed at securing a truce in Gaza, US President Joe Biden's adviser said on Sunday.

The planned offensive on Rafah would only place Israel "a few weeks" from "total victory", however assured Benjamin Netanyahu.


Israel vowed on Sunday to launch a ground offensive on the crowded town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, despite ongoing negotiations to reach a new truce in the war against Hamas.

An offensive on this city where nearly a million and a half civilians are massed, according to the UN, trapped against the closed border with Egypt, would only be "delayed" if a truce was concluded, declared the Prime Minister Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu, on the American channel CBS.

With an operation in Rafah, Israel will be "a few weeks" from a "total victory" over the Islamist movement, he said.

The main information:

  • Despite ongoing negotiations to reach a new truce, Israel has promised to launch a ground offensive on the crowded city of Rafah

  • With operation in Rafah, Israel will be “a few weeks” from “total victory”, says Benjamin Netanyahu

  • Israel announces death of soldier whose body is held in Gaza

300,000 Gaza Strip residents at risk of starvation, UN says

While talks continue in Qatar, fighting between the Israeli army and Hamas rages particularly in the ruined town of Khan Younes, a few kilometers north of Rafah.

Hamas on Sunday counted 86 deaths in 24 hours across the Palestinian territory.

The Gaza Strip, besieged by Israel, has suffered a major humanitarian catastrophe since the start of the war on October 7 and 2.2 million people, the vast majority of the population, are threatened with “mass starvation”. , according to the UN.

On Sunday, according to an AFP correspondent, hundreds of people, driven by hunger, fled northern Gaza, where 300,000 inhabitants risk starvation according to the UN.

International aid, which enters in dribs and drabs from Egypt through Rafah, is subject to Israel's green light and its delivery to the north is almost impossible due to the destruction and fighting.

Among the civilians fleeing the north, Samir AbdRabbo, a 27-year-old man, arrived in Nousseirat, in central Gaza, on Sunday morning with his one-and-a-half-year-old daughter.

19-year-old Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

The war was triggered on October 7 by an unprecedented attack carried out in Israel by Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza, which resulted in the death of at least 1,160 people, the majority civilians, according to an AFP count. based on official Israeli data.

During the attack, some 250 people were kidnapped and taken to Gaza.

According to Israel, 130 hostages, 31 of whom are believed to have died, are still being held there.

Among the dead was a 19-year-old Israeli soldier, the army announced on Sunday.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to annihilate Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007 and which it considers, along with the United States and the European Union, to be a terrorist organization.

The Israeli offensive has left 29,692 dead in Gaza, the vast majority civilians, since October 7, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

“Common ground” for a truce found in Paris, says Washington

Representatives of Egypt, Qatar and the United States, as well as Israel and Hamas, resumed negotiations for a truce in Doha on Sunday, which "will be followed by meetings in Cairo", according to television close to Egyptian intelligence. , AlQahera News.

These discussions, according to the channel, "follow up on what was discussed in Paris", where the head of Mossad, the Israeli foreign intelligence service, David Barnea, visited on Friday.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday that representatives of Israel, the United States, Egypt and Qatar have reached "common ground" in Paris over "the outlines" of a possible agreement, relating to the release of the hostages and "a temporary ceasefire".

"There should be indirect discussions between Qatar and Egypt with Hamas, because in the end, they will have to agree to the release of the hostages. This work is ongoing," he said. he added on CNN.


- Gaza: Hamas assures that Netanyahu's post-war plan "will never succeed"

According to a Hamas source, the discussions focus on the first phase of a plan drawn up in January by mediators, which included a six-week truce and the release of 200 to 300 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel in exchange for 35 to 40 hostages, as well as the entry into Gaza of a large quantity of humanitarian aid.

Rafah, “last bastion”

But to conclude an agreement, Israel first requires "the release of all the hostages, starting with all the women", Tzachi Hanegbi, Benjamin Netanyahu's national security adviser, said on Saturday evening.

“Such an agreement does not mean the end of the war,” he warned.

Hamas, for its part, is demanding a complete ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza and safe shelter for the hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced by the war.

Meanwhile, concern is growing in Rafah, where Benjamin Netanyahu has announced an upcoming ground offensive in Hamas's "last stronghold".

The Prime Minister announced on Saturday that he would convene "at the beginning of the week the cabinet to approve the operational plans of action in Rafah, including the evacuation of the civilian population."

According to AFP images, bombings again targeted the city on Sunday, while fighting also continued in Beit Lahia and Zeitoun, in northern Gaza.