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Mideast ceasefire is ‘impending’ amid growing global pressure – Hamas Predicts

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Middle East

A ceasefire in the bloody Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be “impending, possibly within 24 hours,” Hamas officials predicted as world leaders dialed up pressure on both sides to end the fighting. Israel, however, has not commented on the possibility of a ceasefire deal. Concerns have been rising over the agrevating humanitarian situation, as the conflict raged for a 10th day Wednesday, pushing the Palestinian death toll to more than 220 people, including more than 60 children and 12 people in Israel, including two children. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said Tuesday that 11 children in Gaza between the ages of 5 and 15 had been participating in its trauma treatment program before Israeli airstrikes killed them in their homes.

From left: Rula Mohammad al-Kawlak, 5, Tala Ayman Abu al-Auf, 13, Yara Mohammad al-Kawlak, 9, who were killed by Israeli airstrikes on May 16, in Gaza City, along with several other children who received trauma care from NRC

NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland expressed outrage at what he called a “maddening, crazy exchange of rockets and missiles,” and said both Israeli politicians and generals, as well as Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza, should be held accountable.

“What they’re doing is killing children,” he told CNN’s Zain Asher. Karl Schembri, NRC’s regional media adviser, told CNN Wednesday that the organization has dealt with children “who had absolutely terrifying, violent nightmares, that make them unable to function.””The violence, there’s no escape from it. This is not like going to some frontline, which you can avoid. This is the frontline coming to your bedroom,” Schembri said.

Israeli soldiers take cover on the ground as a siren sounds a warning of incoming rockets fired from Gaza, near the Israeli-Gaza border in southern Israel, on May 17. Israeli soldiers take cover on the ground as a siren sounds a warning of incoming rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Monday, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Heidi Levine)
Palestinian children salvage toys from their home at the Al-Jawhara Tower, which was heavily damaged in Israeli airstrikes, in Gaza City, on May 17. Palestinian children salvage toys from their home at the Al-Jawhara Tower in Gaza City, on May 17, 2021, which was heavily damaged in Israeli airstrikes. (Photo by ANAS BABA / AFP) (Photo by ANAS BABA/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT – Explosions light-up the night sky above buildings in Gaza City as Israeli forces shell the Palestinian enclave, early on May 18, 2021. – Israeli jets kept up a barrage of air strikes against the Palestinian enclave of Gaza as a week of violence that has killed more than 200 people pushed world leaders to step up mediation. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

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