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Israeli-Hamas War: 20 ;000 Palestinians killed in Gaza | Middle East, the eternal conflict

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Gazans in the rubble of a house destroyed after Israeli strikes in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, on December 20, 2023.

Agence France-Presse

Israel ordered further evacuations in southern Gaza's largest city, as efforts continued Thursday to secure a truce in the territory where the death toll has now reached 20,000, according to Hamas.

The Israeli army on Wednesday ordered on social media the immediate evacuation of an area covering around 20% of the city of Khan Younes, according to a report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The extent of displacement resulting from the evacuation order is unclear.

A quote from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

The Gaza Strip is deprived of electricity by the total blockade exercised by Israel and many residents no longer have than radio and word of mouth to get information.

According to OCHA, the area to be evacuated housed more than 111,000 inhabitants before the start of the Israeli offensive two months ago, and now has some 141,000 Palestinians taking refuge in 32 camps fleeing the fighting. /p>

Middle East, the eternal conflict

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On Monday, the Israeli army indicated that it was intensifying its operations in Khan Younes.

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Palestinians gather at the site of an Israeli strike on a house in Khan Younes, in the southern Gaza Strip, on the 20 December 2023.

Israel has promised to destroy Hamas in retaliation for 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 latest official Israeli figures.

Around 250 people were also taken hostage, of whom 129 are still detained in Gaza, according to Israel.< /p>

The Hamas government announced on Wednesday that Israeli military operations had left 20,000 dead in Gaza since the start of the war, including at least 8,000 children and 6200 women.

Diplomatic efforts are currently taking place on several fronts to try to achieve a new truce and deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.

A first One-week break between November 24 and December 1 allowed the release of 105 hostages and 240 Palestinians held by Israel.

On the one hand, Hamas is talking with Egypt: the leader of the Palestinian movement, Ismaïl Haniyeh, went to Cairo on Wednesday to discuss a new temporary truce of week in exchange for the release by Hamas of 40 Israeli prisoners, women, children and men, a source close to Hamas told AFP.

But these negotiations have not yet delivered any results, sources close to the matter told the BBC and Wall Street Journal.

According to a source from Islamic Jihad, another Islamist movement that fights alongside Hamas and holds hostages, his leader Ziad al-Nakhala will also go to Cairo early next week.

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Tal Goldstein-Almog, 9, was released from the Gaza Strip on November 26.

On the other side, Israel is maintaining a dialogue with Qatar and the United States to try to reach a truce allowing the release of hostages.

The positions of the two camps, however, still remain very far apart.

Hamas demands a complete end to the fighting as a prerequisite for any negotiations on the fate of the hostages. Israel is open to the idea of ​​a truce, but rules out any ceasefire before the elimination of Hamas, in power since 2007 in Gaza and classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, #x27;European Union and Israel.

The war will continue until the elimination of Hamas, until the elimination of Hamas, until ;to victory. Those who think we are going to stop are out of touch with reality.

A quote from Benyamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister

US President Joe Biden, whose country is Israel's main ally, acknowledged that there was still a long way to go before reaching a possible truce.

We are not expecting an agreement at this stage, but we are keeping up the pressure, he said on Wednesday.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (File photo)

Tough negotiations must also continue on Thursday at the UN Security Council, which has postponed a vote since the beginning of the week on a resolution intended to accelerate the delivery of humanitarian aid in Gaza, but likely to face a new American veto if it uses too strong terms.

This veto power was denounced by the Hamas on Thursday.

The Biden administration is killing our people twice, once once with his bombs, another by depriving him of food and medicine.

A quote from Excerpt from a Hamas communiqué

The United Nations services continue to warn of the deep humanitarian crisis shaking Gaza. Half the population there suffers from extreme or severe hunger, and 90% regularly go without food for an entire day, according to OCHA.

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The United Nations Security Council (Archive photo)

The World Health Organization is organizing a press briefing on Thursday in Geneva, devoted to health conditions in Gaza.

The war has caused immense destruction in this territory, most hospitals are out of service and 1.9 million people, or 85% of the population, according to the UN, have fled their homes. p>

The assault by the Israeli occupation forces against the health system in Gaza is taking the most sadistic forms, Francesca Albanese, the United Nations rapporteur on the situation of human rights, told X in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Hospitals and medical personnel are sacred, she added, denouncing a senseless war against the population of Gaza.

On the spot, Israeli strikes continue, to the great despair of the residents.

Where are we safe? Where should we go? a Palestinian who fled northern Gaza for Rafah asked AFP on Wednesday, after a strike near the school where he took refuge in this southern town.

They said it was a safe area . […] There is no other place to go, we are trapped in a square only 5 km on a side.

A quote from A Palestinian who fled the north of Gaza

The Israeli army announced Thursday that it had lost three new soldiers, bringing to 137 the number of soldiers killed since the start of the ground offensive on the 27th. October.

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A grieving family mourns the death of loved ones after a bombing in Rafah, December 19, 2023.

She claimed Wednesday to have discovered a network of tunnels used by senior Hamas leaders in the northern Gaza City and located in direct proximity to shops, government buildings, residences and a school.

According to the Palestinian agency Wafa, the army also carried out operations in the West Bank on Wednesday evening, which led to the arrest of several people.

Beyond the war in Gaza, the conflict continues to fuel tensions in the Middle East.

On Thursday, Hezbollah, Hamas' Islamist ally in Lebanon, announced that it had fired rockets into northern Israel.

Earlier, the Israeli army explained that it had struck a Hezbollah operational command center and fired on fighters heading towards the border near Metula.< /p>

Hezbollah confirmed the death of a fighter, killed while on his way to Jerusalem.

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