Israel Gives Condition For Ceasefire, Deaths Hit 11,000

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The Ministry of Health in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip has released a report on Sunday, revealing the staggering number of casualties resulting from the ongoing conflict with Israel.

According to the ministry’s findings, at least 11,187 individuals have tragically lost their lives since the eruption of war last month.

The report highlights the heartbreaking fact that among the deceased, an estimated 4,800 children have been victims of the violence.

The conflict escalated when Israel launched retaliatory strikes on the Gaza Strip following attacks carried out by Hamas militants in southern Israel on October 7.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday gave a condition for a ceasefire.

“Israel won’t agree to any ceasefire activity in the Gaza war without the return of the hostages, Netanyahu” said during a visit to the Ramon Air Force base in southern Israel, as he explained that he was delivering this message both to the country’s allies and enemies.

“I also want you to know that there is one thing that we will not do – there will be no ceasefire without the return of the captives,” Netanyahu told the pilots according to The Jerusalem Post. “The very idea of doing that has to be removed from the conversation,” he added.

“We (are saying) this to both our enemies and our friends. We will continue (the battle) until we have defeated them (our enemy). We have no alternative. I think today everyone understands that “The Jerusalem Post quoted him as saying.

Also, Pope Francis said on Sunday that he “begs” in God’s name for a ceasefire in the Israeli-Hamas war.

“I continue to think about the serious situation in Palestine and in Israel where many, many people have lost their lives. In God’s name, I beg you to stop; cease using weapons!” the pope said on X, formerly Twitter, via @Pontifex.

“I hope that avenues will be pursued so that an escalation of the conflict might be absolutely avoided,” Francis said, adding “Let the hostages be freed immediately. Let’s think of the children, of all the children affected by this war, as well as in Ukraine and by other conflicts: this is how their future is being killed. Let us pray that there might be the strength to say, ‘enough.’

More than 300 Americans, United States residents and their families have been evacuated from the Gaza Strip, the White House said on Sunday.

The evacuation, carried out in recent days, was the result of “pretty intensive negotiations with all sides relevant to this conflict,” White House Deputy National Security Advisor Jonathan Finer told CBS News.

Despite these efforts, the US believes there are still “a number” of Americans inside Gaza, he added.

“This is obviously a major priority and one that we’re going to continue to work out until every American who wants to leave is able to do so,” Finer said.

AFP reports that the Rafah border crossing from Gaza to Egypt opened up Wednesday after weeks of war, allowing a trickle of wounded Palestinians and people with dual nationality to leave, all desperate to escape Israel’s bombardment.

Egypt has said it would help evacuate 7,000 foreigners through the crossing, but Hamas said late Saturday that the evacuation of dual nationals and foreigners was being suspended until Israel lets some wounded Palestinians reach Rafah so they can cross the border for hospital treatment.