Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Israel continues its strikes in Gaza where the toll is increasing | Middle East, l&rsquo ;éeternal conflict

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An Israeli soldier in the Gaza Strip

Agence France-Presse

The Israeli army continued its strikes in the besieged Gaza Strip on Wednesday, after warning that the war against Hamas could last for “many more months”, despite civilian casualties which continue to increase in the Palestinian territory.

More than two and a half months after the start of the war, triggered by the bloody attack launched on October 7 by the Palestinian Islamist movement against Israel, the Hamas Health Ministry announced on Wednesday that 21,110 people, the majority of them civilians, had been killed in Gaza by Israeli military operations.

In Israel, the attack left around 1,140 dead, most of them civilians, according to an AFP count based on the latest official Israeli figures. Around 250 people have been kidnapped by Hamas, 129 of whom remain detained in Gaza, according to Israel.

On the ground, there is no respite from the fighting.

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Map of the Gaza Strip

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Witnesses reported Israeli strikes and ground fighting in Khan Younes, the large city in southern Gaza considered by Israel as a major stronghold of Hamas, but also intense bombardment on the al-Maghazi and al-Boureij refugee camps in the center.

Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas, in power since 2007 in the Gaza Strip, in retaliation for the October 7 attack, and is shelling the small territory where its army launched a ground offensive on October 27. According to the army, 164 soldiers died in combat in Gaza.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The war has caused immense destruction and a humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip, placed by Israel under total siege since October 9, where famine threat and where most hospitals are out of service. About 1.9 million people, or 85 percent of the population, have fled their homes, according to the UN.

Despite the adoption on December 22 by the UN Security Council of a resolution demanding the delivery of large-scale humanitarian aid, the amount of humanitarian aid has been reduced. Aid entering the territory, controlled by Israel, has not increased significantly.

Our people have not experienced such a war, even during the "Nakba" of 1948, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday, referring to the catastrophe that Palestinians associate with the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, after which 760,000 #x27;among them were forced into exodus.

This What is happening on Palestinian soil these days goes beyond a catastrophe and a genocide.

A quote from Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority

In an interview with the Egyptian television channel ON, he added that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan is to get rid of the Palestinians and the Authority Palestinian.

According to the Hamas Health Ministry, 195 people were killed in 24 hours in Gaza by Israeli forces. The ministry said that the army had notably targeted a house near the Al-Amal hospital in Khan Younes, leaving 22 dead and 34 injured.

The army is increasingly targeting the surroundings of the Nasser hospital in Khan Younès, the largest in the south of the territory, declared ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra, saying he feared a repeat of the attack. same scenario as at Al-Chifa hospital, in Gaza City, which was stormed by Israeli soldiers despite the presence of thousands of civilians, patients, staff members and displaced people.

Several hospitals in Gaza have been bombed, besieged or stormed by the army since the start of the war. Israel claims that Hamas has set up bases in these hospitals, as in other civilian facilities, including schools and mosques, using the population as human shields, something the Islamist movement denies.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">On Wednesday, Palestinians who had found refuge in a UN school in the Nuseirat camp, in central Gaza, once again fled south to escape the incessant bombings.

They loaded mattresses, blankets, luggage and shopping bags onto carts or onto the roofs of cars, according to AFP images.

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A small bus carrying refugees and their belongings from the center of the Gaza Strip to Rafah in the south of the Palestinian enclave. (File photo)

Even UN schools are no longer safe. First we were moved to Nuseirat, then to Rafah. People don't know where to go anymore, said one man, without giving his name. Our message to the world: establish a ceasefire.

The conflict will last for many more months, army chief of staff Herzi Halevi warned on Tuesday, stressing that its objectives were not easy to achieve against Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel.

Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer spoke Tuesday evening with Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, about the release of hostages, as well as a different phase of the war, more targeted against Hamas leaders, and the deployment of aid to Gaza.

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The Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani (Archive photo)

For his part, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, whose country led a mediation that led to a truce at the end of November, spoke with US President Joe Biden.

This truce allowed the release of 105 Israeli hostages and 240 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, as well as the entry into Gaza of a large volume of humanitarian aid.

The two leaders discussed the efforts needed to achieve a permanent ceasefire, Qatari diplomacy said.

But the efforts of mediators, especially Egyptian and Qatari, have so far not made it possible to achieve a new humanitarian pause.

Beyond Gaza, the war has reignited tensions in the Middle East.

In the occupied West Bank, an Israeli raid on Wednesday left six dead in the sector of Tulkarem, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Israel also faces groups close to Iran, support of Hamas, like Hezbollah in Lebanon or the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

On Wednesday, Iran threatened Israel with direct actions and others carried out by the resistance front following Monday's deaths in a strike in Syria, which he blames on Israel, by Razi Moussavi, one of his senior officers.

The Israeli army does not x27;did not confirm the information.

She also indicated on Wednesday that she had struck, during the night, a Hezbollah military site in Lebanon and intercepted several rockets fired from there after warning sirens sounded in Kibbutz Rosh Hanikra in northern Israel.

The United States, which patrols the Red Sea to protect maritime traffic from Houthi attacks, announced on Tuesday that it had destroyed 12 drones and 5 missiles fired by these rebels who say they are acting in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza.

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