Israeli violence continues in Ghaza despite ceasefire moves gaining momentum


Jerusalem  : Diplomatic moves towards a ceasefire in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict gathered pace on Thursday after U.S. President Joe Biden called for de-escalation, but Israel kept up its bombardment of Gaza and Hamas rocket fire resumed after a pause – Reuters news agency reported.
The agency quoted senior official in the Hamas militant group predicting a ceasefire within days. An Israeli minister said Israel would halt its offensive only when it had achieved its goals.
Israel kept up its air strikes in Hamas-run Gaza, saying it wanted to deter the Islamist group from future confrontation after the current conflict halted.
Since the fighting began on May 10, health officials in Gaza say 228 Palestinians have been killed in aerial bombardments that have worsened an already dire humanitarian situation.
Israeli authorities put the death toll to date at 12 in Israel, where repeated rocket attacks have caused panic and sent people rushing into shelters.
Biden on Wednesday urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seek “de-escalation”. An Egyptian security source said the sides had agreed in principle to a ceasefire but details needed to be worked out.
According to the Reuters, A Hamas political official, Moussa Abu Marzouk, said he believed the efforts to reach a ceasefire would succeed.
“I expect a ceasefire to be reached within a day or two, and the ceasefire will be on the basis of mutual agreement.” the agency quoted Moussa as saying.
Qatar-based Al Jazeera television reported that U.N. Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland was meeting Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar.
Hamas-run radio said a woman was killed and four children were wounded in one attack on the town of Khan Younis in southern Gaza. Witnesses said several main roads were also damaged in the air strikes.
In the Gaza City suburb of Sabra, Amira Esleem, 14, and three family members were wounded in one Israeli attack, which she said caused parts of their house to collapse.
Nearly 450 buildings in Gaza have been destroyed or badly damaged, including six hospitals and nine primary care health centres, the United Nations humanitarian agency has said. More than 52,000 people have fled their homes and most are sheltering in U.N.-run schools in Gaza, which is blockaded by Israel and Egypt.