Hamas, Israel in Cairo for talks, Israel bombs Gaza ahead of humanitarian truce
smoke plumes rises over Gaza following an Israel Air Force bombing - AFP/ Lior Mizrahi

CAIRO: The death toll from Israeli air strikes on Gaza rose to 221, with more than 1,650 injuries, Maan News reported on the night of July 16, as bombings continued despite Israel’s earlier declaration of a six-hour truce.

Attacks on Khan Younis killed four people from the same family during Wednesday raids, including a four-year-old and a six-year-old, Maan quoted Health spokesperson Ahsraf al-Qudra stating.

In response to U.N. calls for a lull for humanitarian reasons, the Israeli army had agreed to a cease-fire Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. amid calls for evacuation of residents.

“It has been agreed upon among our factions to accept the UN’s proposal of a truce for humanitarian reasons, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.” Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri reported on his official Facebook account Thursday.

Israeli officials also launched investigations into the killing of four children in a strike Wednesday that took place on a coast in Gaza.

Israeli forces are likely to aim for a “ground invasion to eliminate militant forces launched from Gaza,” The New York Times reported an Israeli military official saying on July 16.

If ordered into the Gaza Strip, IDF Ground Forces expect to encounter Hamas cells with anti-tank missiles, heavy urban combat, subterranean warfare and other challenges, The Jerusalem Post reported, adding that the IDF has maintained large numbers of Ground Forces on the Gaza border.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is to sit with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas, despite Hamas’s previous reply to Cairo rejecting the ceasefire initiative.

A delegation from Israel led by chief of Israel Security Agency Yoram Cohen, senior Defense Ministry official Amos Gilad, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s personal envoy, Attorney Yitzhak Molcho, is to visit Egypt on Thursday as well for negotiation talks, Arutz Sheva news website reported.

As Israeli military raids on Gaza continued for the tenth day, worldwide protests erupted condemning Israeli massacres, in places including Indonesia, Australia, Pakistan, Algeria, Morocco, Spain, Norway and Paris.

In London, as well as in other British cities such as Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool, protesters condemned BBC’s pro-Israel biased coverage of the war.

“When you portray the occupier as the victim, and the occupied as the aggressor, we would like to remind you that resistance to occupation is a right under international law,” protesters said in an open letter from groups supporting Palestine addressing BBC’s Director, The Independent said on Wednesday.

BBC News also reported on organized angry rallies against their coverage, reporting their spokesperson saying: “Our role is to explain what is happening and why, and we endeavor to reflect a range of voices, amid deeply held views.”

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