Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Blinken on tour to prevent an extension of the conflict | Middle East, the eternal conflict

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The Secretary of US State Antony Blinken greets crowd upon arrival in Abu Dhabi.

Agence France-Presse

The war between Israel and Palestinian Hamas entered its fourth month on Sunday with no sign of respite in Gaza, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling on the Israeli army, which continued its deadly strikes, to spare the civilians, warning against an extension of the conflict.

Israel vowed to destroy Hamas after its attack on its territory on October 7, which killed around 1,140 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli tolls. Around 250 people were kidnapped, including around 100 released during a truce at the end of November.

The Israeli offensive killed 22,835 dead in Gaza, mainly civilians, according to the latest report from Hamas. Bombings there razed entire neighborhoods, displaced 85% of the population and caused a catastrophic humanitarian crisis according to the UN.

Beginning a tour of the region, his fourth since October 7, Antony Blinken considered it imperative that Israel, supported militarily and politically by Washington, do more to protect Palestinian civilians in Gaza, in a press conference in Doha, alongside Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abderrahmane Al-Thani.

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Qatar Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abderrahmane Al-Thani (right) in Jordan. (Archive photo)

Middle East, the eternal conflict

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The conflict could easily metastasize causing even more insecurity and more suffering, he also warned, saying the United States was working to prevent the conflict from spreading in the region.

The Qatari prime minister also described as an unimaginable tragedy the death in Gaza in the morning of two Palestinian journalists, Moustafa Thuraya, a freelance videographer also collaborating with the ;AFP, and Hamza Waël Dahdouh of Al Jazeera. According to the Qatari channel, they were killed by an Israeli strike on their car.

One of the victims is the son of Al Jazeera bureau chief in the Palestinian territory, Wael Dahdouh, who had already lost his wife and two of his children in an Israeli strike at the end of October.

With the new deaths Sunday, at least 79 journalists and media workers have been killed since the war began, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Of these, 72 were Palestinian, four Israeli and three Lebanese.

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Al Jazeera journalist Wael Al-Dahdouh hugs his daughter as they attend the funeral of his son, Palestinian journalist Hamza Al-Dahdouh, killed in an Israeli strike, in Rafah.

The war waged by Israel in Gaza is one of the deadliest for journalists.

The world should see with two eyes, not with one Israeli eye, it should see everything that is happening to the Palestinian people […], but the world turns a blind eye to what is happening in the Gaza Strip, denounced last, in tears, after the funeral of his son in Rafah.

Follow our live coverage to be informed of the latest developments in this conflict which is igniting the Middle East.

Israeli strikes, notably on Rafah, at the southern tip of the Gaza Strip, and on Khan Younes, the main city in the south of the territory and the new epicenter of the fighting, also killed at least 64 people overnight, according to the Minister of Defense. Hamas Health.

In the occupied West Bank, nine Palestinians were also killed on Sunday. Among them, a three-year-old girl, victim according to Israeli authorities of shooting by police officers who were reacting to a car-ramming attack at a checkpoint.

Seven others were killed in a new Israeli raid in Jenin, a stronghold of Palestinian armed factions in the West Bank, where the violence also caused the death of an Israeli policewoman and a civilian, according to Palestinian sources and Israelis.

The army, which is continuing its ground offensive launched on October 27 in Gaza, announced on Saturday that it had completed the dismantling of Hamas' military structure in the north, and was now focusing on the center and south of the territory.

At the same time, negotiations between the Qataris, Israel and Hamas regarding the release of hostages in Gaza are continuing, a well-informed source told AFP. AFP, on the sidelines of Mr. Blinken's visit to Doha.

Mr. Blinken previously met with King Abdullah II of Jordan in Amman.

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Jordan's King Abdullah II warned of 'catastrophic repercussions' of prosecution hostilities. (Archive photo)

According to a statement from the Royal Palace, the Hashemite sovereign called on him to put pressure on Israel for an immediate ceasefire.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">He hammered home Jordan's total rejection of the forced displacement of Palestinians, after statements by Israeli ministers advocating a return of Jewish settlers to Gaza, a position rejected by Washington.

Targeting a World Food Program center in Jordan, the US Secretary of State also stressed that it was imperative to maximize humanitarian aid to Gaza.

His tour comes after a resurgence of violence on Saturday on the Israeli-Lebanese border, where since October 7, there are almost daily exchanges of fire between Lebanese Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas, and Israeli forces.

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