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Three killed by Israeli troops in West Bank hospital

The Israeli military said last night that troops “neutralised” Hamas militants who were hiding in a hospital in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin and were planning an imminent attack.

The military identified one of the men as Mohammed Jalamneh, 27, from Jenin, who it said had contacts with Hamas headquarters abroad and was planning “a raid attack inspired by the October 7th massacre.”

It said the two others were militants from the area.

“Jalamneh planned to carry out a terror attack in the immediate future and used the hospital as a hiding place and therefore was neutralized,” the military said.

There was no immediate Palestinian confirmation of the men’s identities.

The military declined to say whether the three had been killed, but Voice of Palestine radio reported three Palestinian had been killed at the hospital.

The West Bank, among areas where Palestinians seek statehood, has seen a surge of violence since the 7 October attack triggered the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas.

Israel preparing to move some forces to Lebanon border

The Israeli army was preparing to shift some of its forces from the Gaza Strip to the restive Lebanese border.

Fears of a widening regional conflict were compounded after Israel’s top ally Washington vowed to respond to an attack that killed three US troops in Jordan.

Israeli ground forces backed by tanks have been focused on Khan Younis, the hometown of Hamas’s Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar, where the Palestine Red Crescent Society reported artillery fire around the Al-Amal hospital overnight.

Sinwar’s office, military sites and “a significant rocket manufacturing facility” were raided by troops, the Israeli military said.

Chief spokesman Daniel Hagari said Monday that the Israeli military had “eliminated over 2,000 terrorists above and below ground” in the Khan Yunis area, without offering evidence.

Israeli strikes across the besieged Gaza Strip killed 128 people overnight, the health ministry in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory said early on Tuesday.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said late Monday that some units in Gaza were “moving up to the north and preparing for what’s to come” – a reference to the Israeli-Lebanese border, where there have been almost daily exchanges of fire with Iran-backed Hezbollah militants aligned with Hamas.

He said that since the war began, the Israeli military “eliminated over 2,000 terrorists above and below ground” in the Khan Younis area, without offering evidence.

Truce talks

A framework to halt the Gaza fighting and for hostage releases is to be relayed to Hamas, mediator Qatar said, as a bitter row flared around the UN aid agency for Palestinians.

While deadly fighting again rocked Gaza, fears mounted of a widening regional conflict after Israel’s top ally Washington vowed to respond to an attack that killed three US troops in Jordan.

Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip killed 215 more people within 24 hours, including 20 members of one family, said the health ministry in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory yesterday.

With Gazans facing dire humanitarian conditions after nearly four months of war, 20 international aid organisations said they were “outraged” at the suspension of funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.

At least 12 countries – including top donors the United States and Germany – have halted funds over Israeli claims that some UNRWA staff were involved in Hamas’s 7 October attack..

A UNRWA source, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity, told AFP it would be “a major disaster” if donors insist on stopping their support.

In the latest efforts to broker a new truce, CIA chief William Burns met top Israeli, Egyptian and Qatari officials in Paris on Sunday.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who attended the talks, said “good progress” had been made and the parties were “hoping to relay this proposal to Hamas and to get them to a place where they engage positively and constructively in the process”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed hope for the deal.

“Very important, productive work has been done. And there is some real hope going forward,” Blinken told reporters after the Paris talks.

‘Die of hunger’

Sheikh Mohammed confirmed that the framework – which he said might lead to a permanent ceasefire — includes a phased truce that would see women and children hostages released first, with aid also entering besieged Gaza.

A senior Hamas official, Taher al-Nunu, said it wanted a “complete and comprehensive ceasefire, not a temporary truce”, although it was not immediately clear if Hamas officials had received the text of the Qatari proposal.

Once the fighting stopped, Mr Nunu told AFP, “the rest of the details can be discussed”, including hostage releases.

Hamas media advisor Taher al-Nunu (file photo)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has called the Paris talks “constructive” but pointed to “significant gaps which the parties will continue to discuss”.

Hundreds of thousands have been displaced in Gaza and rely on scarce aid, but there are fears of further shortages because of the rift between with UNRWA.

The European Union and other donors have urged an investigation into the allegations.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has pleaded for continued financial support to meet “dire needs”, will meet donors next Tuesday, his office said.

Mr Guterres has already spoken with Washington’s representative to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield, as well as King Abdullah II of Jordan and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz cancelled a meeting with UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini, and said on social media: “Supporters of terrorism are not welcome here.”

In the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where 1.5 million displaced people have taken refuge, some told AFP the UN support was a lifeline.

“We live on aid from UNRWA,” said Sabah Musabih, 50. “If it stopped, we would die of hunger.”

Daily exchanges

Israel and the United States have faced attacks from, and struck back at, multiple Iran-backed armed groups, with violence flaring in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen since the war began.

Washington said a Sunday drone attack on a remote base in Jordan that killed three US troops and wounded dozens more “requires a response”.

But White House spokesman John Kirby insisted: “We are not looking for a war with Iran.”

Tehran has denied any involvement in the attack.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said Monday evening that soldiers stationed in Gaza were “moving towards the north, and preparing for what comes next”, a reference to the Israeli-Lebanese border where there have been daily exchanges of fire with Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, a Hamas ally.

A war monitor said Israeli strikes in Syria killed eight people Monday, including pro-Iran fighters.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP three Israeli missiles “targeted a base belonging to Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards”, without specifying if any civilians were killed.

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