Hamas says it accepts Gaza truce deal, as Israel readies Rafah operation


Hamas says it has approved a ceasefire deal for Gaza put forward by Qatari and Egyptian mediators.

It is not yet known exactly what the group has agreed to – and whether Israel will give its backing to the plan.

The announcement comes as Israel has urged 100,000 Palestinians to leave eastern Rafah ahead of a “limited” military operation.

The Israeli military says it is not a wide-scale evacuation and evacuees will be directed to tent cities in Khan Younis and al-Mawasi.

Earlier, US President Joe Biden “reiterated his clear position on Rafah” in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House says.

Israeli strikes in Rafah reportedly killed at least 19 people overnight, while four Israeli soldiers were killed in a Hamas rocket attack near the Kerem Shalom crossing.

The war began when Hamas fighters stormed into southern Israel on 7 October, killing about 1,200 people and seizing 252 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

More than 34,700 people have been killed in Gaza since then, the Hamas-run health ministry says.