Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has accused Israel of obstructing ceasefire efforts. This accusation coincides with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to the Middle East, which is aimed at urgeing regional governments and citizens to pressure Hamas into agreeing to a ceasefire. He met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo on Monday. Blinken said that a ceasefire would alleviate Palestinian suffering, assist in hostage return, and promote lasting peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.

US Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Robert Wood announced that Israel has accepted a US proposal for a three-phase deal with Hamas. This plan, revealed before the UN Security Council vote on a US draft resolution, aims to temporarily halt fighting, increase assistance, and facilitate hostage releases. Wood emphasised the necessity of international pressure on Hamas to accept the deal.

However, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri criticised Blinken’s comments in Egypt, accusing the US of bias towards Israel. Abu Zuhri labelled Blinken’s remarks as providing cover for what he described as a holocaust in Gaza. He urged the US to press Israel to cease the war and indicated Hamas’s willingness to positively engage with initiatives to end the conflict.

Hamas recently condemned Israel for what it termed a “complex war crime” following an attack on the Nuseirat refugee camp. The assault resulted in the death of at least 274 Palestinians, including 64 children.

Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis deepens as hospitals in Gaza, already debilitated by months of attacks and blockades, appeal for international aid to treat the rising number of injured patients.

The World Food Programme has paused its aid deliveries to Gaza through a US-built pier due to safety concerns. Hospitals, under-resourced, struggle to manage the influx of wounded individuals. Dr Khalil al-Dakran of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital reported severe overcrowding, with patients being treated in corridors and external tents. The facility now accommodates four times the number of injured than it has beds for.

Since 7 October, Israel has killed at least 37,124 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured nearly 50,000 others in Gaza.