‘Israeli Attacks Not Helping Gaza Talks, Netanyahu Creating Obstacles’

HAMAS says escalating Israeli attacks across the Gaza Strip are not helping negotiations to end the war and has accused Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of creating obstacles to the talks.

In a statement on Monday, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh warned that the “catastrophic consequences of what is happening in Gaza” could “reset the negotiation process to square one”.

Netanyahu and his army will bear “full responsibility for the collapse of this path”, Hamas quoted Haniyeh as saying.

The statement said Haniyeh made “urgent contact” with mediators Qatar and Egypt over the expanding actions of the Israeli military, which issued further evacuation orders for areas in the neighbourhoods of Gaza City, displacing thousands of Palestinians, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times.

On Sunday, Israel’s military ordered “immediate” evacuation for the Tuffah, Daraj and the Old City neighbourhoods of Gaza City in the north.

In a separate statement, Hamas accused Netanyahu of escalating “his aggression and crimes against our people” in what it said were “attempts to forcibly displace them in order to thwart all efforts to reach an agreement”.

Al Jazeera’s Hind Khoudary, reporting from Deir el-Balah in central Gaza, said the Palestinians had been ordered to evacuate to the centre of the Gaza Strip despite the area already being “overwhelmed” with large numbers of displaced Palestinians from all over the enclave.

Most of the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza have been displaced, with hundreds of thousands packed into sweltering tent camps.

Khoudary said she had spoken to Palestinians who decided not to evacuate, as there was “no safe place to go”. She said they did not “want to lose their dignity being displaced in makeshift camps and not being able to get access to food [and] water”.

The Israeli forces have also attacked tent camps housing displaced Palestinians. On June 8, Israeli forces raided Nuseirat refugee camp, killing at least 274 Palestinians to free four Israeli captives held there.

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