Protesters in Israel are attempting to prevent humanitarian aid from entering into Gaza as they demand the immediate release of the more than 100 hostages that have been held captive by Hamas since the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel.
Dozens of demonstrators gathered Wednesday at Israel's Ashdod Port in attempt to block trucks from transporting goods and supplies for Palestinians into the Gaza Strip. Footage from the scene showed protesters harassing truck drivers, while others held signs that read "no aid for terrorists."
As part of a temporary cease-fire in November, Israel agreed to allow up to 200 trucks a day to transport aid and goods into Gaza in exchange for the release of 105 hostages held by Hamas. However, protests have erupted over the past week demanding that additional aid be withheld until all remaining hostages are set free.
This comes as a coalition of negotiators from the United States and Middle Eastern countries is working to secure a temporary truce that would allow for more hostages to be released. In exchange, Israel would pull back military operation in Gaza for six weeks, while also releasing three Palestinian prisoners for every Israeli hostage set free.
Senior Hamas officials met with Egyptian negotiators in Cairo Wednesday to discuss the details of the proposal — specifically the timeline in which it could play out. Israeli officials have reportedly accepted parts of the proposal, in principle, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly vowed to continue war efforts until Israel achieves "total victory" over Hamas.
With up to 80% of the Palestinian population in Gaza now displaced, the war is quickly becoming one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters. According to the United Nations, Israel's offensive in the region has forced as many as 1.8 million Palestinians to flee their homes. But overcrowded shelters, combined with the loss of basic health and sanitation necessities, is causing dire humanitarian concerns.
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