Israel-Hamas war: Ceasefire in Gaza chances shrinking, says Qatar

Israel’s bombardment of Gaza is “narrowing the window” for a new truce, the Qatari prime minister has said.

Speaking at the Doha Forum, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said Qatar would continue its efforts to pressure both sides into a ceasefire.

The Gulf state played a key role negotiating the week-long pause in violence at the end of November, which allowed the release of hostages.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday “the war is in full swing”.

He said in recent days “dozens of Hamas terrorists” had surrendered, and were “laying down their weapons and handing themselves over to our heroic fighters”.

“This is the beginning of the end for Hamas,” he said.

The comments come as the humanitarian crisis in Gaza continues to worsen.

On Sunday afternoon, the Hamas-run health agency in Gaza said almost 18,000 Palestinians had now been killed.

In an audio message to Al Jazeera, Hamas’s armed wing said the temporary ceasefire had “proved its credibility” and that no more hostages would be freed until Israel engaged in talks.

In the message, spokesman Abu Ubaida also said Hamas fighters had fully or partially destroyed 180 military vehicles and killed “a large number” of Israeli soldiers, and that it is still inflicting blows on Israel, and “what is coming is greater”.

At the conference in Doha, Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, said the area had become “hell on earth” and was “definitely the worst situation I have ever seen”.

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