Divergent Stances on Gaza Cease-Fire Amid Rising Civilian Toll from Israeli Strikes

by Ethan Kim
Gaza Cease-Fire

On Saturday, discord surfaced between the United States and its Arab allies regarding the immediacy of a cease-fire in Gaza, as civilian casualties escalated due to Israeli strikes on a U.N. shelter and a medical facility, intensifying the offensive against Hamas, the de facto governing authority of the enclave.

As plumes of smoke ascended, the Israeli forces announced the encirclement of Gaza City, marking the focal point of their campaign to debilitate Hamas. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the death toll has surpassed 9,400 Palestinians, and it is expected to increase as the offensive persists.

“The peril of staying in Gaza City is immense,” declared Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, emphasizing that Hamas militants are facing the robust capabilities of the Israeli military.

Following discussions in Jordan with Arab foreign ministers and a previous day’s meeting in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—who firmly contended that a cessation of hostilities could not occur prior to the release of all individuals held by Hamas—U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed hesitance regarding an immediate cease-fire.


  • Arab states advocate for an immediate halt to hostilities between Israel and Hamas, a notion Blinken views as potentially detrimental.
  • A U.N. representative reveals that the average Gazan survives on merely two pieces of bread each day.
  • Israel stands firm against U.S. pressure for a conflict hiatus, prioritizing the return of its captives before permitting aid entry.

Ayman Safadi, Jordan’s Foreign Minister, relayed the unified Arab position demanding a swift cease-fire, warning of long-term regional consequences steeped in animosity.

Blinken, however, contended that a cease-fire at this juncture would simply allow Hamas to recover and replicate its actions from October 7. He acknowledged the value of humanitarian breaks for civilian safety and aid delivery, while maintaining they must not hinder Israel’s strategic goals against Hamas.

Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan criticized Blinken’s stance, urging for an end to the aggression and rejecting unfeasible proposals. Abu Obeida, a spokesman for the Hamas military wing, claimed significant Israeli losses inflicted by Hamas forces.

Egypt and Qatar suggested daily humanitarian pauses to facilitate aid and evacuate casualties, and they proposed an exchange involving the release of certain prisoners by Israel for hostages held by Hamas—a proposition Israel appeared unlikely to entertain.

Despite Israel’s directive for civilians in northern Gaza to evacuate, damage to infrastructure inhibited movement. Israel accused Hamas of exploiting a temporary evacuation window to mount attacks, a claim unverifiable and unaddressed by Hamas.

Many Palestinians opted not to evacuate due to distrust and fear of bombardment, as described by a Gaza resident sheltered at a hospital.

U.N. facilities, already strained with hosting half of northern Gaza’s population, have not been spared from the strikes. A U.N. school serving as a refuge was hit, causing multiple fatalities and injuries, as was Nasser Hospital and the vicinity of Al-Quds Hospital.

The World Health Organization has condemned these attacks on healthcare. Meanwhile, the obliteration of residential areas continues, with recent strikes in the south adding to the death toll, including a child.

The evacuation of foreign nationals and wounded from Gaza has been hindered, with restrictions on Palestinian patient transfers to Egypt.

Food, water, and fuel shortages exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where aid efforts seem overshadowed by the needs of the escalating casualty count.

Globally, protests erupted condemning the conflict and the suffering of Gazan civilians, while in Israel, demonstrations targeted Prime Minister Netanyahu’s leadership and demanded the return of hostages.

Turkey’s diplomatic relations with Israel are under strain, with Erdogan recalling the Turkish ambassador and signaling a communication breakdown with Netanyahu.

Tensions persist on the border with Lebanon, with Israel engaging with militant and Hezbollah positions.

The impact on Palestinian children has been particularly devastating, with more than 3,900 reported killed, though details on civilian versus combatant casualties remain unspecified.

On the Israeli side, the death toll has reached over 1,400, primarily civilians from the initial Hamas assault, with additional military casualties reported in the ground operation.

This unfolding story reflects a complex and deeply entrenched conflict with far-reaching implications, demanding close attention and nuanced understanding.

For comprehensive coverage, visit Big Big News.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gaza Cease-Fire

What is the stance of the US and Arab partners on the ceasefire in Gaza?

The United States and its Arab partners have conflicting views regarding an immediate ceasefire. While Arab countries are pushing for an immediate halt to the hostilities, the US believes such a move would allow Hamas to regroup, insisting instead on a ceasefire that ensures the defeat of Hamas.

How many casualties have been reported in the Gaza Strip?

The Gaza Health Ministry has reported over 9,400 Palestinian deaths in the territory due to the ongoing assault, with the number expected to rise as the offensive continues.

What are the demands of the Israeli government for a ceasefire?

Israel demands the release of all hostages held by Hamas before considering a temporary ceasefire. They have also repeatedly called for residents of northern Gaza to evacuate.

Have any humanitarian pauses been proposed in Gaza?

Yes, Egyptian and Qatari officials have proposed humanitarian pauses ranging from six to twelve hours daily to allow for the delivery of aid and evacuation of casualties. They have also suggested an exchange of prisoners to facilitate a ceasefire.

What are the conditions in Gaza in terms of food and medical supplies?

Conditions are dire, with reports indicating a severe shortage of food, water, and fuel for generators necessary for hospitals. Aid trucks entering Gaza have been reported to carry more body bags than food supplies.

How is the international community reacting to the conflict in Gaza?

There have been significant demonstrations in cities around the world protesting the war and civilian casualties in Gaza. Additionally, diplomatic moves like Turkey recalling its ambassador to Israel indicate international concern and condemnation.

What has been the impact on civilian structures in Gaza?

Israeli airstrikes have repeatedly hit civilian structures, including a U.N. shelter, hospital, and residential neighborhoods, leading to significant civilian casualties and displacement.

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Tom Sanders November 4, 2023 - 7:27 pm

can’t believe what’s happening in Gaza it’s like history keeps repeating itself and nothing changes

Linda94 November 5, 2023 - 1:05 am

So many innocent people are caught in the middle of politics, it’s heartbreaking

SarahC November 5, 2023 - 1:11 am

i read about the protests in Paris and London, it’s good to see people raising their voice against this violence

JamesH November 5, 2023 - 2:38 am

the article says more body bags than food in aid trucks? that’s chilling, what is the world coming to

Mike_R November 5, 2023 - 2:00 pm

why can’t there be a straight ceasefire without all these conditions, just stop the fighting, people are dying…


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