Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

Gaza hopes for increased humanitarian aid | Middle East, the ;éeternal conflict

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Residents of the Bureij refugee camp arrive in the central Gaza Strip after the evacuation order from the Israeli army.

Agence France-Presse

Israeli strikes and ground fighting continue on Saturday in the Gaza Strip, where the suffering Palestinian population is hoping for an increase in humanitarian aid after the adoption of a resolution to this effect by the UN Security Council.

After five days of laborious negotiations to avoid a veto by the United States, the Council finally adopted a text on Friday calling for the immediate and large-scale delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. The resolution refrains from calling for a ceasefire, an unacceptable condition for Israel and its American ally. It calls for creating the conditions for a lasting cessation of hostilities.

The adoption of this text, thanks to the abstention of the United States and Russia, is seen as a diplomatic success within an institution widely criticized for its inaction since the start of the war. .

But its real scope on the ground is still uncertain: humanitarian aid, which is already trickling into Gaza, is for currently very far from meeting the immense needs of a population largely threatened by famine, according to the UN.

Before this vote, Israel, which controls trucks entering Gaza, was already suing the UN agencies responsible for distributing aid for incompetence. A position maintained by Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Friday.

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Security Council decision highlights need to ensure that the United Nations is more effective in transferring x27;humanitarian aid and to ensure that the aid reaches its destination and does not end up in the hands of Hamas terrorists, he reacted on X.

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Victims of an Israeli bombing in Khan Younes

On the Palestinian side, UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour welcomed a step in the right direction, while insisting on the need for an immediate ceasefire.

But Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel, considered the resolution insufficient and considered that it did not respond[ ai] not to the catastrophic situation created by the Zionist war machine [Israeli, Editor's note].

Follow our live coverage of the Israel-Hamas war for the latest news.

Israel promised to destroy Hamas, after the unprecedented attack carried out on October 7 by the Islamist movement on its soil, which left around 1,140 dead, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on the Israeli toll. Palestinian commandos also kidnapped around 250 people, 129 of whom are still being held in Gaza, according to Israel.

Israeli military operations carried out in retaliation left 20,057 dead, mostly women, adolescents and children, and more than 50,000 injured, according to the latest report from the Hamas government.

In addition to the aerial bombardments, the Israeli army launched a ground offensive on October 27 in the north of the territory which allowed it to advance towards the south and take several sectors. Israel has lost a total of 139 soldiers in Gaza.

Late Friday, the army again announced that it had killed terrorists and discovered tunnels used by Hamas in Gaza City.

On Saturday morning, the Hamas Ministry of Health announced that an Israeli strike on the Hamas camp refugees from Nuseirat left at least 18 dead during the night.

The Israeli army continues its heavy artillery fire on Gaza City and Jabaliya in the north, as well as Deir el-Balah in the center of the territory, the statement added. Strikes also continue near Rafah and Khan Younes in the south.

My message to the world is that they look at us, that they see us, that they see that we are dying. Why don't they pay attention to it? Walaa Al-Medini, a displaced Palestinian-Egyptian evacuating the Bureij refugee camp (center), was outraged to AFP after a preventive warning from the Israeli army.

The conflict has reduced to ruins a large part of Gaza, a small, overpopulated territory of 362 km2 ruled by Hamas since 2007.

Israeli bombings have forced 1.9 million people to flee their homes, or 85% of the population according to the UN.

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Thick clouds of smoke after an Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip.

After more than two months of war, only nine of Gaza's 36 hospitals still partially functioning, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and international agencies are now warning emphatically about the risk of famine which threatens the population.

Despite the new resolution adopted by the Security Council, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres slammed the massive obstacles to aid distribution created by the way Israel is carrying out its offensive. He recalled that 136 United Nations employees were killed in 75 days, something he said was unprecedented. Only a ceasefire can begin to address the desperate needs of the people of Gaza and enable the distribution of necessary aid, he added.

The most pressing demand for the population of Gaza is an immediate ceasefire, added the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, recalling that hunger, famine and the spread of disease widely threaten the Palestinian enclave.

In the coming weeks, 10,000 children under the age of five will suffer from the deadliest form of malnutrition, Unicef ​​insisted in a press release.

In this context, the efforts of Egyptian and Qatari mediators continue to try to reach a new truce, after that of a week at the end of November which allowed the release of 105 hostages and 240 Palestinians detained by Israel and delivering more aid.

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Members of the United Nations Security Council adopted a text, Friday, calling for the “immediate” delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

But the belligerents remain intransigent: Hamas demands an end to the fighting before any negotiations on the hostages. Israel is open to the idea of ​​a truce, but rules out any ceasefire before the elimination of Hamas.

In the meantime, the hostage families live in anguish.

Friday, the Nir Oz kibbutz and the The army announced that a 73-year-old Israeli-American hostage died during his kidnapping on October 7. His remains are still in the Gaza Strip.

US President Joe Biden said he was heartbroken by the news and said he prayed that the wife of this man, also hostage, is in good health.

We will not stop working to bring them home, -he promised in a press release.

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