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Bloody Israeli raids in Gaza, an American envoy to Israel

Around a hundred Palestinians have died in the last 24 hours in the incessant Israeli bombardments on the Gaza Strip, including in Gaza. Rafah, said Hamas attacked Hamas on Thursday, while an American envoy held discussions in Israel with a view to a possible truce.

More than four months after the start of the war between Israel and Hamas triggered by an unprecedented attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement, 2.2 million people are threatened with famine in the devastated and besieged Gaza Strip according to the UN which speaks of a humanitarian catastrophe.

While the war has left nearly 29,500 dead in the Palestinian territory according to the Hamas Ministry of Health, the international community is concerned of the fate of at least 1.4 million Palestinians massed in Rafah (south) according to the UN and trapped against the closed border with Egypt.

Before At dawn, the Israeli air force carried out around ten strikes in this city, according to an AFP journalist. Bombings also targeted Khan Younès, a few kilometers further north.

Bloody Israeli raids in Gaza, an American envoy to Israel

The rubble of a building destroyed during Israeli bombings in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, February 22, 2024 © AFP – MOHAMMED ABED

According to the Hamas Ministry of Health, in 24 hours the bombings cost the lives of 97 Palestinians in the territory besieged by Israel since October 9.

“I was woken up by a huge explosion, like an earthquake. There were flames, smoke, dust everywhere,” said to Rafah Rami Al-Shaer, a 21-year-old survivor. “They destroyed Rafah.”

– A mosque affected –

Bloody Israeli raids in Gaza, an American envoy to Israel

The al-Faruq mosque in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, after an Israeli bombardment, February 22, 2024 © AFP – SAID KHATIB

The bombings destroyed the al-Faruq mosque in Rafah, of which only the minaret remains standing in the middle of the ruins.

In Khan Younes, the Palestinian Red Crescent reports “multiple attacks” and artillery fire against Al-Amal hospital. The city's other major hospital in ruins, Nasser, was stormed by the army on February 15.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an upcoming ground offensive on Rafah, in order to defeat Hamas in its “last bastion” and free the hostages held in Gaza since the attack on October 7.

That day, Hamas commandos infiltrated from the neighboring Gaza Strip carried out an attack in southern Israel during which 1,160 people were killed, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data.

Bloody Israeli raids in Gaza, an American envoy to Israel

Israeli bombing of Rafah, February 22, 2024 © AFP – MOHAMMED ABED

Some 250 people were also kidnapped and taken to Gaza. According to Israel, 130 hostages are still being held there in Gaza, 30 of whom are believed to have died, after the release, thanks to a truce at the end of November, of 105 hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to annihilate Hamas, which seized power in Gaza in 2007 and is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

– “The discussions are going well” –

Bloody Israeli raids in Gaza, an American envoy to Israel

A Palestinian girl eats a piece of bread in the Rafah region in the southern Gaza Strip on February 22, 2024. © AFP – MOHAMMED ABED

After carrying out a campaign of bombardments by land, sea and air against the territory of 362 km2, the Israeli army launched a ground offensive on October 27 in the north of the Gaza Strip and its soldiers have progressed to Khan Younes where the fighting is concentrated.

According to the Hamas Ministry of Health, 29,410 people were killed in Gaza, the vast majority civilians .

Entire neighborhoods of Palestinian territory were razed and 1.7 million people were displaced out of some 2.4 million inhabitants.

Faced with a human toll that continues to rise, discussions involving international mediators -Qatar, United States, Egypt- with a view to a truce associated with a new release of hostages are continuing.

After a visit to Cairo, US President Joe Biden's advisor for the Middle East, Brett McGurk, held discussions Thursday in Israel with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in particular.

“The initial indications we have from Brett are that the discussions are going well,” the White House said, specifying that the talks are about “an extended pause in order to release all the hostages” and with the aim of “bringing more humanitarian aid” into Gaza.

Bloody Israeli raids in Gaza, an American envoy to Israel

Smoke rises above Khan Younes after an Israeli bombardment, February 22, 2024 © AFP – SAID KHATIB

The release of the hostages is one of the first objectives of the war stated by Benjamin Netanyahu, who wants to continue the offensive in Gaza until the elimination of Hamas.

Hamas is demanding a ceasefire, an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, an end to the Israeli blockade in place since 2007 and greater humanitarian aid.

– “Virtual unanimity” –

Bloody Israeli raids in Gaza, an American envoy to Israel

Rafah: construction of a secure zone on the Egyptian side of the border © AFP – Valentin RAKOVSKY, Jean-Michel CORNU, Laurence SAUBADU

Subject to the green light from Israel, humanitarian aid, still insufficient, enters Gaza mainly through Rafah via Egypt, but its transport to the north is made almost impossible by the destruction and fighting.

The war also led to an outbreak of violence in the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, where three Palestinians fired on vehicles near an Israeli settlement on Thursday, killing one and wounding eight , before being slaughtered.

Bloody Israeli raids in Gaza, an American envoy to Israel

The scene of a deadly Palestinian attack near the Jewish settlement of Maale Adoumim, east of Jerusalem, February 22, 2024 © AFP – AHMAD GHARABLI

In Rio de Janeiro, the head of Brazilian diplomacy Mauro Vieira reported a “virtual unanimity” of the members of the G20 “in support of the two-state solution”, Israeli and Palestinian, for resolve this decades-old conflict.

On Wednesday, the Israeli Parliament passed a resolution opposing any “unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state”, which would amount to the text to reward the “unprecedented terrorism” of Hamas.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116