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Gaza latest: ‘Targeted strikes’ ongoing in Rafah, Israel says – despite Hamas accepting Egypt-Qatar ceasefire proposal



Ceasefire proposal, Rafah strikes and student protests – today’s key developments

 If you’re just joining us, here is a recap of today’s key developments.

Hamas accepts ceasefire deal – but Israel calls it a ‘ruse’

As we’ve been reporting, Hamas announced earlier that it had accepted a ceasefire deal proposed by Egypt and Qatar.

But in response, Israel said it had not approved the deal. 

It also accused Hamas of accepting the proposal as a “ruse” to make Israel look like the only side not agreeing to a ceasefire.

Targeted strikes in Rafah

The Israeli military said it was conducting targeted strikes against Hamas in the region.

Earlier, Israel had ordered about 100,000 Palestinians to begin evacuating from the southern city, signalling that a long-promised ground invasion was coming. 

Biden reiterated ‘clear position’ on Rafah to Netanyahu

In a phone call to Benjamin Netanyahu, President Joe Biden said he reiterated his “clear position” on any potential of a ground offensive in Rafah.

During the 30-minute conversation earlier today, Mr Netanyahu also agreed to ensure that the Kerem Shalom crossing will be kept open for humanitarian assistance for those in need. 

This was the crossing where four IDF soldiers were killed in a Hamas rocket attack yesterday, but it remains a major point for international aid being delivered into the country.

Cambridge and Oxford protests

Students at two of the UK’s top-ranking universities set up pro-Palestinian encampments. 

Cambridge students set up lines of tents on the lawns of King’s College while students in Oxford were placed outside if the city’s Pitt Rivers Museum. 

One Jewish student in Oxford told Sky News earlier that they had six demands they were calling on the university to abide by including disclosing financial information including “direct and indirect investments, land holdings, donations and grants” connected with Israel.

Hamas warned Rafah offensive will ‘not be a picnic’

Throughout the day Hamas officials reacted to the potential of an offensive in Rafah.

One official, Izzat al Rishq, said that a military offensive in the city would also put any negotiations for a ceasefire deal “in jeopardy”.

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