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Isra&euml ;l faced with insistent calls for a ceasefire in Gaza | Middle East, the eternal conflict

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A woman washes laundry in her destroyed house in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, December 18, 2023.

Agence France-Presse

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Israel faces new pressure from the international community for a ceasefire in Gaza, with a vote planned at the UN while the United States has just promised to continue its arms deliveries to eradicate Hamas.

The United Nations Security Council should decide on a new text calling for an urgent and lasting cessation of hostilities in this Palestinian territory, after vetoes by States -United with previous attempts.

Initially scheduled for Monday, this vote was postponed until Tuesday to allow further negotiations around this new draft resolution .

For two months, Israel has been promising to annihilate Hamas, author of the most violent attack in the country's history on October 7 , which left around 1,140 dead, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on the latest official Israeli figures.

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A man carrying an injured child after a bombing in Khan Younes in the southern Gaza Strip.

Middle East, the eternal conflict

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Some 250 people were taken hostage, 129 of whom are still being held in Gaza, according to Israeli authorities.

In retaliation, the Israeli army has killed more than 19,400 people – mostly women, children and adolescents – in the Gaza Strip since October 7, according to the latest report released by the Hamas government. On Tuesday, 20 Palestinians were killed in a bombing in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, according to Hamas. Among them were four children and a journalist, Adel Zorob.

These deadly figures reinforce calls for appeasement from many diplomats.

To stay informed of the latest developments in the conflict engulfing the Middle East, watch our live coverage.

British Foreign Minister David Cameron is due to meet his French and Italian counterparts on Tuesday to once again call for a lasting ceasefire, his services announced .

Visiting Tel Aviv on Monday, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin indicated that the United States would continue to provide the military equipment necessary for the Israeli army and that Washington did not wish to impose a calendar to its historic ally.

At the same time, the Secretary of Defense insisted on the need to reduce harm to civilians and provide aid increased humanitarian aid to the nearly two million displaced people in Gaza.

The potential regionalization of the conflict also concerns the international community, particularly because of the escalation of attacks by Yemen's Houthi rebels on international maritime traffic in the Red Sea.

The United States announced on Monday the formation of an international coalition to confront it, which notably includes France, the United Kingdom and Canada. A few hours earlier, the Houthis announced that they had again targeted two ships they considered linked to Israel.

In recent days, many maritime transport giants have announced to suspend all transit in the Red Sea, because of these attacks concentrated on the strategic Bab al-Mandeb strait, which separates the Arabian Peninsula from Africa, and through which 40% of world trade passes.

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Considerable destruction, massive displacement of civilians, hospitals out of service, in a territory subjected by Israel to a siege since October 9: in the Gaza Strip, the humanitarian situation remains disastrous.

The organization Human Rights Watch on Monday accused Israel of using the starvation of civilians as a war technique […], which constitutes a war crime. Accusations to which the Israeli government reacted by calling HRW an anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli organization.

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Palestinians collect wood in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

Around 1.9 million people, or 85% of the Gaza Strip's population, have been displaced by the war. Several hospitals were also caught in the fighting. Israel accuses Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel, of using them as bases and of using civilians as human shields, which the Palestinian movement denies.

Al-Chifa hospital in Gaza City and Nasser hospital in Khan Younes were again targeted Sunday and Monday with deadly strikes, according to Hamas.

The Israeli army announced the death of two new soldiers in the Gaza Strip. In total, Israel has lost 131 soldiers since the start of its ground operations on October 27, in addition to the bombings in the Palestinian territory.

At the same time, negotiations are continuing for the implementation of a new truce. According to the news site Axios, CIA boss Bill Burns met with Israeli and Qatari officials in Warsaw with a view to new negotiations on the release of hostages.

Hamas is ready for a prisoner exchange, but after a ceasefire, said an official of the Islamist movement.

A seven-day break allowed the release of 105 hostages in Gaza at the end of November, including 80 in exchange for 240 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.

Monday , Hamas released video of three living elderly Israeli hostages, three days after the Israeli army admitted to mistakenly killing three other hostages, aged 25 to 28.

This recording is a criminal terror video that shows Hamas' brutality towards elderly and innocent civilians in need of medical attention, an Israeli army spokesperson, Daniel Hagari, denounced on Monday. p>

The Israeli army is also currently preparing an airstrike against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, he added.< /p>Open in mode full screen

The Lebanese village of Marwahin bombed by the Israeli army.

Since At the start of the war in Gaza, this Islamist movement allied with Hamas increased its shooting from southern Lebanon bordering Israel, and the Israeli army responded with bombings. This raises fears of an extension of the conflict.

In Beirut, the head of French diplomacy Catherine Colonna urged Lebanon on Monday to show restraint, after a similar call the day before to Israeli officials.

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin, for his part, called on Lebanese Hezbollah not to provoke a broader conflict.

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