Hamas leaders in rift over ceasefire, hostage deal
Read below: Destroyed Hamas’ rocket-making unit in Gaza: IDF
TEL AVIV — Even as negotiations and discussions are taking place at several places including Paris, Cairo and Doha for a pause in the fight between Hamas and Israel, a rift between senior Hamas leaders is putting the ceasefire on hold.
Sources in the Israeli Defence Minister’s office told IANS that they have received information from Qatar mediators that internal differences have popped up between Hamas senior leader Ismail Haniyeh and Yahya Sinwar on the duration of the ceasefire.
While Sinwar wants a temporary ceasefire of six to eight weeks and the partial release of hostages, Haniyeh wants a permanent end to the war and international support for rebuilding the Gaza Strip.
Sinwar and Haniyeh have however agreed on the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.
The sources said that Haniyeh has the backing of senior Hamas leaders Moosa Abu Marzook and Khalil al Hayya while Sinwar reportedly has the support of Hamas’ military head Mohammed Deif.
The internal differences in the top leadership of Hamas have infuriated the Qatari and Egyptian negotiators, according to the sources.
Of the 253 hostages taken into custody by Hamas, 105 were released by the group during a weeklong ceasefire from November 24 to December 1. Israel, on the other hand, released 324 Palestinian prisoners during the period.
Israeli agencies have confirmed that 29 of the remaining hostages in Hamas custody are dead.
Also read: UNRWA totally ‘infiltrated’ by Hamas: Israel
Destroyed Hamas’ rocket-making unit in Gaza: IDF
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has said that its troops have destroyed a rocket-making unit of Hamas in central Gaza.
The IDF in a statement on Friday night said that its 646th Brigade destroyed a complex used by Hamas to produce rockets in Nuseirat in central Gaza.
The IDF said that the complex contained civilian and dual-use machines which were converted by Hamas for the production of weapons.
The Israeli military said that the 99th division of the IDF eliminated several terror infrastructures in central Gaza and many terror operatives were also neutralised.
Soldiers from the Yiftah Brigade raided safes belonging to Hamas and seized several documents showing how Hamas was transferring funds.
The IDF statement also said that soldiers from the 179th Brigade discovered a significant tunnel route and destroyed it.
During operations in western Khan Yunis our commando forces:— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) February 2, 2024
🔺 Encountered and eliminated numerous armed terrorists.
🔺Located an explosives lab, stockpiles of weapons, RPGs and tactical equipment.
🔺Conducted targeted operations to strengthen operational control over the… pic.twitter.com/1svXWOMvDU