According to the Islamist Hamas, twelve Palestinians drowned in the sea off the coast of the Gaza Strip after aid supplies were dropped from planes. They had tried to reach packages that had fallen into the sea off a beach in the northern part of the coastal area, the Hamas-controlled government’s media office said.

The incident, which could not be independently verified, is said to have occurred on Monday afternoon. Eyewitnesses said some of those who drowned could not swim, while others became entangled in the ropes that tied the packages together.

The USA, Jordan and other countries have been dropping aid supplies from military aircraft for over a month. In mid-March, Germany also joined the initiative. However, the aid organizations point out that an airlift of this type cannot replace the transport of relief goods on land.

Israeli representatives are said to have left Doha

Meanwhile, negotiations over a ceasefire in the Gaza war and the release of more Hamas hostages have reached a crisis, according to media reports. The Israeli negotiating team, led by the head of the foreign intelligence service Mossad, will leave the location of the talks, the Qatari capital Doha, and return to Israel, Israeli media reported.

The reason is that the Islamist Hamas rejected a US compromise proposal. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, according to his office: “Hamas’ position clearly proves that it is not interested in continuing negotiations on a deal and is sad evidence of the damage caused by the UN Security Council’s decision. “

The USA waived its right to veto

With a resolution that is binding under international law, the UN Security Council called for an “immediate ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip for the first time since the start of the war. In addition, the most powerful body in the United Nations is demanding the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas. Israel criticized, among other things, the fact that the release of the hostages was not mentioned as a clear condition for a ceasefire.

The USA had waived its right of veto. The decision came against the backdrop of the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and fears of an Israeli offensive in the town of Rafah on the border with Egypt.

Following the Security Council’s decision, Hamas said it would maintain its demand for a comprehensive ceasefire in the negotiations, including a full Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

On March 15, according to media reports, Hamas presented a proposal for a plan in three phases. The first would be a six-week ceasefire with an exchange of around 40 hostages in return for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. Only at the start of a second phase would a full ceasefire be declared. According to the new statement, however, Hamas continues to insist on its original demands.

Netanyahu spoke of “extreme demands” from Hamas. The terrorist organization’s goal is to retain power in the Gaza Strip “so that it can repeat the massacre of October 7th again and again, as it promised.” Hamas “rejected all US compromise proposals while celebrating the Security Council resolution.” Israel is sticking to its war goals of destroying Hamas and releasing all hostages.

US Secretary of Defense receives Israeli colleague

Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin urged an improvement in the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip at a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Joav Galant. “The number of civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip today is far too high, and humanitarian aid is far too low,” Austin said when welcoming Galant, according to the speech transcript. That’s why he wanted to talk to his colleague about how the suffering there could be alleviated.

At the same time, referring to the Islamist Hamas massacre in Israel on October 7, Austin made it clear: “No country should endure such terror, and no country would tolerate such a danger.” The US government’s goal is to make the region safer. Gallant emphasized that the destruction of Hamas and the freeing of the hostages were Israel’s goals.

Rescue workers: Hospital closed due to shelling

Meanwhile, a hospital in the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis was closed due to Israeli attacks, according to rescue workers. The Palestinian Red Crescent wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that they deeply regret this. The international community did not provide the necessary protection to medical teams, patients and internally displaced people.

The hospital was under siege for a long time and repeatedly shot at, it said. The Israeli army imposed a blockade and forced everyone in the clinic to leave.

The Israeli army said it was also operating against terrorist targets in the Al Amal district of Khan Yunis. Terrorists were killed there and weapons were found. Israel accuses the Islamist Hamas of systematically misusing medical facilities for military purposes. Hamas rejects this.

The UN Palestinian relief agency UNRWA reported on Monday, citing the World Health Organization, that of 15 hospitals in the south of the Gaza Strip, only two field hospitals were still fully functional. Aid organizations report catastrophic conditions in the coastal strip.

Air strikes in Lebanon

There were again Israeli attacks in Lebanon. According to Lebanese state media, two people were killed in a town in southern Lebanon. The Lebanese state agency NNA did not provide any further information about the deaths. The attack hit a house in the border town of Mais al-Jabal. Israel’s army said it had targeted a Lebanese Hezbollah militia position in the area. Hezbollah reported another death in its fighter ranks on Tuesday.

According to the Lebanese Shiite Amal Movement, which has close ties to Hezbollah, three of its medics were slightly injured during Israeli shelling at another Lebanese border town during the night. The Israeli army also spoke of an attack on a Hezbollah target.

Meanwhile, Israel’s army registered several rocket launches from Lebanon. She said a fire broke out in a border town because of the shelling. So no one was injured. The military attacked the launch sites in the neighboring country.

Herzog: Must catch Hamas boss dead or alive

Israeli President Izchak Herzog sees Hamas leader Jihia al-Sinwar as a key figure in the Gaza war and for the release of the hostages. “In the end there is no choice,” said Herzog in Jerusalem. “We must continue the fight and we must capture Sinwar – dead or alive – so we can see the hostages back home.”

Referring to negotiations over a ceasefire and the release of hostages in return for Palestinian prisoners, Herzog said: “The reality is – and the world and we must face this – that everything begins and ends with Jihia al-Sinwar. It is him , who made the decision for the October massacre, he has since then sought to shed the blood of innocents, it is he who wants to escalate the regional situation, desecrate Ramadan, is doing everything to ensure coexistence in our country and the “To destroy the entire region and sow discord between us and around the world.”

Baerbock wants to boost stalled aid deliveries

In view of the slowdown in aid for the suffering civilian population in Gaza, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is proposing to speed up the processing of deliveries. “We can no longer afford the discussion about exactly where the bottleneck is now and who is to blame given the suffering in Gaza,” said the Green politician after a visit to the southern Israeli Gaza border crossing Kerem Shalom in the coastal metropolis of Tel Aviv.

She was told by both the Egyptian and Israeli sides “that the bottleneck is, above all, reloading between trucks, where in some cases it is reloaded three times and inspected three times,” said Baerbock. So “we need a way to stop doing this three reloading.” She will work to massively expand a Jordanian concept in which small numbers of trucks drive directly into Gaza and are no longer reloaded at the border. Germany will “pull out all the stops to ensure that this happens in the next few days”. Until now, trucks coming from Egypt or Jordan have had to be reloaded onto Palestinian trucks before entering Gaza and then transported further by Palestinian drivers.

She also made it clear to the Israeli authorities that, together with the Netherlands, she wanted to procure additional scanners with which security checks could be carried out, said Baerbock. If necessary, European inspectors could also be provided. Germany is one of the largest donors of humanitarian goods, added the Foreign Minister. Unfortunately, large parts of the food aid that Germany financed through the World Food Program is in Jordan, for example. “We must now do everything we can to ensure that these goods that are there finally reach the people,” demanded Baerbock.