Are Israel, Hamas getting closer to a truce? – Day 205

Are Israel, Hamas getting closer to a truce? – Day 205

Could a truce be close? Israeli leaders nervously await arrest warrants; Gaza thanks US students; Leaked Columbia University document reveals discriminatory policies in Tel Aviv program; Orthodox Palm Sunday; Israel puts young Christian woman in prison for 4 months (renewable), no charges; World Central Kitchen has returned; Biden ignores Gaza in Correspondents’ Dinner speech; Freedom Flotilla, campus protests, more

By IAK staff, from reports

Hamas has no major issues with Israel’s Gaza truce proposal

Hamas said Sunday it had no “major issues” after reviewing Israel’s latest proposal for a long-sought truce and hostage-release deal in the Gaza Strip after almost seven months of war.

A delegation from the organization will arrive in Egypt on Monday to deliver the group’s response to Israel’s counterproposal, a senior Hamas official said.

“The atmosphere is positive unless there are new Israeli obstacles,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“There are no major issues in the observations and inquiries submitted by Hamas regarding the contents” of the proposal, the official added.

Israel’s government has come under intense pressure from global allies to reach a ceasefire in the war that humanitarians say has brought Gaza to the brink of famine, reduced much of it to rubble, and raised fears of broader conflict.

Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, late April 2024
Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, late April 2024 (photo)

Israeli Officials Believe ICC Is Preparing Arrest Warrants Over War

New York Times reports: Israeli officials increasingly believe that the International Criminal Court is preparing to issue arrest warrants for senior government officials on charges related to the conflict with Hamas, according to five Israeli and foreign officials.

The Israeli and foreign officials also believe the court is weighing arrest warrants for leaders from Hamas.

Israeli PM Netanyahu is reportedly "frightened and unusually stressed" by the possibility of an imminent arrest warrant.
Israeli PM Netanyahu is reportedly “frightened and unusually stressed” by the possibility of an imminent arrest warrant. (photo)

If the court proceeds, the Israeli officials could potentially be accused of preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and pursuing an excessively harsh response to the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, according to two of the five officials, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

The Israeli officials, who are worried about the potential fallout from such a case, said they believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is among those who might be named in a warrant. It is not clear who might be charged from Hamas or what crimes would be cited.

The Israeli officials did not disclose the nature of the information that led them to be concerned about potential I.C.C. action, and the court did not comment on the matter.

Middle East Eye adds: The US is working to prevent the issuance of an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the attack on Gaza, Israeli media has reported.

According to the news site Walla, Netanyahu is leading a “non-stop push over the telephone” to prevent an arrest warrant being issued against him by the ICC, particularly communicating with the White House.

The Israeli newspaper Maariv has reported that Netanyahu is “frightened and unusually stressed” by the possibility of an imminent arrest warrant.

Sources close to the paper believe that the arrest warrants are only a matter of time.

Message received’: Gaza’s displaced thank US students for solidarity protests

Andalou Agency reports: As pro-Palestine sit-ins continue to swell across US college campuses, the Gaza Strip’s displaced population shared messages of thanks for the solidarity of the students, faculty, and others protesting Israel’s offensive.

Using what limited means of expressions are left in the blockaded territory, where Israeli attacks have killed over 34,400 people, Palestinian man Abu Youssef Hamad wrote in English on his tent: “Thank you students in solidarity with Gaza. Your message has been received.”

Speaking to Anadolu, Hamad, 43, said Palestinians in Gaza had “no way to express our gratitude to the students protesting in America other than writing a letter of thanks on our tents.”

“We thank all the students who stood with us and expressed their solidarity as a result of the genocidal war taking place in Gaza,” he added.

“Thank you, American universities,” was written on another of the tents set up in the southern city of Rafah, where 1.4 million displaced people from other parts of the enclave have sought refuge.

Hamad added: “We express our thanks to everyone who stands with us.”

He urged students to continue the demonstrations “until the devastating Israeli war that has been ongoing in the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7 ends.”

A child stands in a tent with signs of gratitude in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah on April 27, 2024.
A child stands in a tent with signs of gratitude in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah on April 27, 2024. (photo)
View this post on Instagram


A post shared by susan abulhawa (@susanabulhawa)

Blinken says US hasn’t seen Rafah invasion plan that protects civilians

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday renewed US opposition to an Israeli offensive on Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah, ahead of his trip to Israel.

“We have not yet seen a plan that gives us confidence that civilians can be effectively protected,” Blinken told a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Riyadh.

Gazan Orthodox Christians Commemorate Palm Sunday

IMEMC reports: Christians of Gaza City, north of the Gaza Strip, celebrated “Palm Sunday” in the Eastern Orthodox Church of St. Porphyrios, despite the difficult conditions created by the continued Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip for the 205th day.

Some of the damaged buildings around the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius in Gaza City.
Some of the damaged buildings around the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius in Gaza City. (Photo)

Contrary to the usual celebration held on this day every year, there were no manifestations of joy and jubilation on the features of Christians celebrating in the church, due to the war that is ongoing in the northern Gaza Strip.

Christians around the world, especially Christians in Palestine, attach great importance to Palm Sunday as “the anniversary of the entry of the King of Peace (Christ) into Jerusalem.”

About 1,000 Christians live in Gaza out of a total population of about two million, about 70 percent of whom belong to the Greek Orthodox community, which owns a central church in Jerusalem, while the rest are Latin Catholic.

The Israeli occupying forces carried out numerous air and artillery raids on Christian and Muslim places of worship in the Gaza Strip.

Last October, Israeli warplanes targeted the oldest Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza City, located in the Zeitoun neighborhood, and the Church of St. Porphyrios, which was considered a haven for both Christians and Muslims during the successive wars against Gaza.

During the bombing, the church was sheltering hundreds of people, 18 of whom were killed.

In December, the media office of the Latin Patriarchate announced that an Israeli sniper had assassinated a woman and her daughter, and wounded 7 others at the Church of the Holy Family in Gaza City.

The office also stated that an Israeli artillery vehicle “targeted the Mother Teresa Sisters Convent in Gaza City, which shelters more than 54 people with disabilities; inside the walls of the church.”

Tucker Carlson interviews Palestinian pastor, April 9, 2024.

World Central Kitchen announces resumption of work in Gaza

The World Central Kitchen (WCK) yesterday announced the resumption of its operations in the Gaza Strip after ceasing work following Israel’s targeted assassination of seven of its staff on 1 April.

WCK was established after the earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January, 2010, affecting three million people who were either killed, injured or missing, with the aim of providing food to the afflicted.

Despite the magnitude of the impact of the Haiti earthquake, the organization said in March that “the situation in Gaza is the most dire we’ve ever seen or experienced in our 15 year history.”

The organization runs 68 “community kitchens” in Gaza and has sent more than 1,700 trucks loaded with food and cooking equipment so far during the nearly six months of war.

The staff members killed in Gaza included six foreign nationals and their Palestinian driver.

Volunteers of World Central Kitchen cook food for more than 5.000 Palestinians, in the mobile kitchens they have brought to Rafah, Gaza on February 21, 2024.
Volunteers of World Central Kitchen cook food for more than 5.000 Palestinians, in the mobile kitchens they have brought to Rafah, Gaza on February 21, 2024. (photo)

Leaked Columbia University document reveals discriminatory policies for the Tel Aviv Dual Degree program

Biden makes no mention of Gaza in speech at White House correspondents dinner

Al Jazeera reports: The US president has spoken at the annual White House Correspondents’ dinner, offering a toast to “press freedom and democracy” but making no mention of Israel’s war on Gaza that has killed at least 97 journalists.

That’s despite demonstrations outside the hotel which is hosting the dinner, denouncing the Biden administration’s handling of the war and urging guests to boycott the event.

Biden spent most of his speech poking fun at his predecessor and rival, former President Donald Trump, but he also paid tribute to journalists “who literally risked their lives” in their line of work.

“Many have suffered grievous injuries, others have lost their freedom. Journalism is clearly not a crime. Not here, not there, not anywhere in the world,” he said, without specifying where “there” was in reference to.


NOTE: We will bring regular updates about the 2024 Freedom Flotilla until it arrives in Gaza.
NOTE: Read about the individuals who launched the flotilla movement over 16 years ago here.


Israel puts young Palestinian Christian woman in prison for four months (renewable). No charges have been presented


IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said in an English-language video statement,

Over the last few weeks, the amount of humanitarian aid going into Gaza has significantly increased. In the coming days, the amount of aid going into Gaza will continue to scale up even more. Food, water, medical supplies, shelter equipment, and other aid. More of it is going into Gaza than ever before.

Getting aid to the people of Gaza is a top priority…because our war is against Hamas, not against the people of Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces operates according to international law. We make vast efforts to minimize harm to the civilians that Hamas is hiding behind — because we see the suffering of civilians as a tragedy, while Hamas sees the suffering of civilians as a strategy. That’s why Hamas intentionally hides among civilians; that’s why Hamas wages war from within civilians; and that’s why Hamas has been stealing aid meant for civilians in Gaza.

NOTE: While Israeli leaders consistently claim to abide by international law, in fact Israeli policies – including its war policies – violate international law on a daily basis. A few examples:


MintPress News: How Jewish Extremists Became the New Face of Israel
CNN: I’m a Jewish student at Yale. Here’s what everyone is getting wrong about the protests


Palestinian death toll from October 7 – April 27: at least 35,154* (34,654 in Gaza* (at least 14,690 children, 9,680 women), and at least 500 in the West Bank (117 children). This does not include an estimated 7,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 42,510 Palestinian deaths.

At least 42 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons (27 from Gaza, 14 from West Bank)

At least 31 Palestinian children and several adults have died due to malnutrition**

About 1.7 million, or 75% of Gaza’s population are currently displaced.

About 1.1 million (out of total population of 2.3 million) are facing Catastrophic levels of food insecurity.

Palestinian injuries from October 7 – April 27: at least 81,664 (including at least 77,229 in Gaza and 5,000 in the West Bank).

It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties in Gaza.

Reported Israeli death toll from October 7 – April 27: ~1,407 (~1,139 on October 7, 2023, of which ~32 were Americans, and ~36 were children); 259 military forces since the ground invasion began in Gaza;, 16 in the West Bank) and~8,730 injured.

Times of Israel reports: The IDF also listed 41 soldiers killed due to friendly fire in Gaza and other military-related accidents – nearly 16%.

NOTE: It is unknown at this time how many of the deaths and injuries in Israel on October 7 were caused by Israeli soldiers.

*Previously, IAK did not include 471 Gazans killed in the Al Ahli hospital blast since the source of the projectile was being disputed. However, given that much evidence points to Israel as the culprit, Israel had previously bombed the hospital and has attacked many others, Israel is prohibiting outside experts from investigating the scene, and since the UN and other agencies are including the deaths from the attack in their cumulative totals, if Americans knew is now also doing so.

**Euro-Med Monitor reports that Gaza’s elderly are dying at an alarmingly high rate. The majority die at home and are buried either close to their residences or in makeshift graves dispersed across the Strip. There are currently more than 140 such cemeteries. Additionally, according to Euromed, thousands have died from starvation, malnourishment, and inadequate medical care; these are considered indirect victims as they were not registered in hospitals. 

Find previous daily casualty figures and daily news updates here.

Hover over each bar for exact numbers.

Enter your email address below to receive our latest articles right in your inbox.