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New strikes on Gaza, where hunger is worsening according to the UN | Middle East, the eternal conflict

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A Palestinian woman and two girls, injured by an Israeli strike, come for treatment at the Khan Younes hospital, in the south of the Gaza Strip, an area considered by the Israeli army to be a Hamas stronghold.

Agence France-Presse

The Israeli army again bombarded the Gaza Strip on Thursday, relentlessly continuing its offensive against Hamas in the territory besieged Palestinian region where “hunger and despair” are worsening, according to the UN, after more than two and a half months of war.

The war, sparked on October 7 by the Palestinian Islamist movement's bloody attack on Israel, shows no sign of respite despite heavy civilian casualties and international calls for a ceasefire.

It has also reignited tensions across the Middle East, notably on Israel's northern border with Lebanon, where the Israeli general staff has mentioned on Thursday a possible expansion of the fighting.

According to an AFP journalist, artillery fire hit several places in the territory during the night, including Khan Younes, the large city in the south of Gaza where many civilians who fled the war further south have taken refuge. north.

The Hamas Ministry of Health announced Thursday that 21,320 people, mostly civilians, had been killed in Gaza since the start of military operations Israelis.

Middle East, the eternal conflict

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In Israel, the attack on October 7 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.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to destroy Hamas, in power since 2007 in the Gaza Strip. The army is shelling the small territory and launched a ground offensive there on October 27 that has so far cost the lives of 167 of its soldiers, she said.

The army announced Thursday that it was continuing its operations in Khan Younes, which it considers to be an important Hamas stronghold, and in the refugee camps in the center of the territory, which also shelter many displaced people.

In this region, the Hamas Ministry of Health reported deadly strikes overnight in Nousseirat and Deir el-Balah. The army broadcast images of its soldiers advancing in tunnels dug, it said, by Hamas near the al-Rantissi pediatric hospital, in the west of Gaza City.

The population of Gaza is in great danger and suffering from terrible injuries, acute hunger and serious risk of diseases, warned on Wednesday the World Health Organization (WHO), present on the ground.

Hungry people blocked our convoy in the hope of finding food, the organization reported, saying hunger and desperation are worsening in the territory, which has been under total siege by Israel since on October 9.

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At the southern tip of the territory, the town of Rafah, on the border with Egypt, is home to huge camps where refugees try to protect themselves from the winter cold in makeshift shelters.

The war caused immense destruction, knocked out most hospitals and drove 1.9 million people from their homes, or 85% of the population, according to the UN.

Many fled several times, pushed onto the roads by the advance of the fighting and the army's evacuation orders, without you might as well escape the incessant bombardments.

At the southern tip of the territory, the town of Rafah, on the border with Egypt, is home to huge camps where refugees are trying to protect themselves from the winter cold in makeshift shelters.

We went to the market to buy a mattress, but we couldn't find one . We are two families of 16. We sleep on nylon, without mattresses or blankets. Even if it's a second-hand mattress, we'll sleep on it. The most important thing is to protect children from the cold.

A quote from Balqees Sulaiman Abu Shehab, moved to the city of Rafah.

Palestinians who had found refuge in a UN school in the Nousseirat camp fled once again to the south on Wednesday, loading mattresses, blankets and luggage on carts or on the roof of their cars.

Even UN schools are no longer safe. First we were moved to Nousseirat, then to Rafah. People don't know where to go anymore, said one man, adding: Our message to the whole world is: put in place a ceasefire.

Humanitarian aid, whose entry into Gaza is controlled by Israel, only arrives in very limited quantities. A resolution adopted on December 22 by the UN Security Council, demanding the delivery of immediate and large-scale aid, remains ineffective.

In addition to the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces increased raids in the occupied West Bank during the night, particularly in Jenin and Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority is headquartered , according to the official Wafa agency.

A Palestinian was killed at dawn on Thursday during an army incursion into Ramallah, during which exchange houses accused by Israel of transferring money to Hamas been searched, according to the agency.

Israeli Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi indicated that his army was at a very high level of readiness for an expansion of fighting in the north, where exchanges of fire between Israel and Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas and supported by Iran, are daily.

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Deployed on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army also says it is preparing to an expansion of fighting in the north, where exchanges of fire with Hezbollah are daily.

Near the Lebanese border, in the Golan annexed by Israel, a drone crashed during the night, AFP told AFP on Thursday. #x27;Israeli army after a nebula of fighters from pro-Iran armed groups claimed an attack on this sector.

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

After a one-week truce at the end of November, negotiated by Qatar with the support of the United States and Egypt, efforts to achieve a new pause in the fighting remain ineffective. This truce allowed the release of 105 hostages and 240 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, as well as the entry into Gaza of a large volume of humanitarian aid.

A new call for a ceasefire came Thursday from Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. We demand an end to hostilities and a permanent ceasefire, he declared during a visit to Iraq. Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani met this week with US President Joe Biden to discuss the efforts needed to achieve a permanent ceasefire, according to Doha.

But both camps remain intransigent. Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel in particular, demands an end to the fighting before any negotiations on new releases of hostages. Israel is open to the idea of ​​a truce, but rules out any ceasefire before the elimination of the Islamist movement.

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