Israel’s wartime government is expected to weigh an Egyptian proposal to declare a two-week truce in principle and then “end” the war in the Gaza Strip, the Jerusalem Post reported Monday, as Palestinians and Israelis weigh its costs. of armed conflict, which is entering its 81st day.

Gazans search for bodies in the rubble after Hamas’ health ministry said an Israeli bombardment of al-Maghazi refugee camp killed at least 70 people.

The leadership of Hamas has also reported that its military arm has inflicted heavy losses on the Israeli armed forces, which a section of the Western press considers to be true.

Mediation efforts continue amid bloody shelling and hostilities. An official of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad said, according to the Jerusalem Post, that the talks held by a delegation of this movement, an ally of Hamas, are aimed at finding “a way to end Israel’s attack on our people.”

The Times of Israel newspaper reported last Sunday that Israeli officials confirmed that Cairo has submitted a new proposal that provides for a ceasefire, the release of hostages and a “vision” for ending the conflict in the Gaza Strip in three stages.

However, with its announcement made public yesterday Monday night, Hamas made it clear that it does not intend to be satisfied with a temporary truce, that it wants a permanent ceasefire.

“We emphasize that we will not negotiate without (…) the end of the attack,” he pointed out.

The Hamas leadership is pushing “for a complete and not just a temporary end to the slaughter of our people,” he insisted.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting soldiers yesterday that the war would intensify “in the coming days”, appearing to erase any hope that the conflict would end.

The day before yesterday, Mr. Netanyahu declared that the operations of Chahal, the Israeli army, will continue until Hamas has been “completely” defeated.

Israel’s civilian-military leadership has vowed to “eliminate” Hamas after its military arm launched an unprecedented attack on southern sectors of Israeli territory on October 7, when 1,140 people, mostly civilians, were killed. It was the deadliest attack by the state in 1948. Palestinian militants also took about 250 people hostage that day, more than 120 of whom remain captive in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli authorities.

The massive air, land and sea bombardments that began the same day and ground operations since October 27 have killed 20,674 people, the vast majority of them women and children, in the Gaza Strip, according to Hamas’ health ministry.

This war also forced 1.9 million inhabitants of the Palestinian enclave—or in other words 85% of the population—to flee their homes.

Chahal says his losses since he began ground operations nearly two months ago stand at 156.

But Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, reckons for his part that more than 1,600 Israeli soldiers have been killed and another 3,400 have been wounded, with many of the latter left disabled. These numbers could not be more different from the official Israeli tally. According to him, 750 Israeli military vehicles have been damaged or completely destroyed.

In the meantime, the Israeli Finance Ministry estimated that the war will cost at least another 50 billion shekels (some 13 billion euros) in 2024 and triple the budget deficit. This calculation is based on the prediction that hostilities will last until February.

Earlier this month, the Knesset, Israel’s national legislature, approved a special war budget of 30 billion shekels (about 7.5 billion euros).

As for the effects of the war on growth, Israel’s Finance Ministry estimates that the economy will shrink by 19% in the last quarter of the year compared to the previous year on an annual basis, that it will grow by 2.5% in all of 2023 and by 1.6% in 2024.