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Deadly raids and fighting in Gaza, fears of war between Israel and Hezbollah

The Israeli army bombed Wednesday the Gaza Strip, where battles took place between soldiers in Hamas à Rafah, after a new warning from the United States Israel on the risk of a regional conflict in the event of war against Lebanese Hezbollah.

In the north of the Palestinian territory, devastated by nearly nine months of war, Civil Defense said three children and a woman were killed early Wednesday in an Israeli strike on a home in Beit Lahia. Tank fire was reported in Gaza City.

According to witnesses, fighting took place between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian Hamas in the west of Rafah, in the south of the territory, where the Israeli army launched a ground offensive on May 7.

Mohammad al-Moughayyir, an official with the Hamas-run Gaza Civil Defense, told AFP that rescuers had recovered the bodies of “15 martyrs from various areas of Rafah town over the last few hours.”

But the agency's spokesperson, Mahmoud Bassal, said the Israeli bombings were less intense on Wednesday. “Only a few areas have been targeted and the rest of the areas of the territory are calm” for the moment, he said.

Deadly raids and fighting in Gaza, fears of war between Israel and Hezbollah

A man and woman comfort an injured boy who mourns his father killed in an Israeli bombardment, at a hospital in Deir el-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, June 25, 2024 © AFP – Bashar TALEB

The war in the Gaza Strip, sparked by an unprecedented Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, has led to violence on Israel's northern border with Lebanon, where there are almost daily exchanges of fire between Hezbollah, a ally of the Palestinian Islamist movement, and the Israeli army.

– “All possible scenarios” –

Although the exchanges of fire have decreased in intensity in recent days, an escalation last week in attacks on both sides of the border and threats exchanged between Israel and Hezbollah have raised fears of a new war.< /p>

Deadly raids and fighting in Gaza, fears of war between Israel and Hezbollah

A plume of smoke rises during an Israeli bombardment on the village of Khiam in southern Lebanon, near the border with Israel, June 26, 2024 © AFP – Rabih DAHER

“A war between Israel and Hezbollah could easily become a regional war, with disastrous consequences for the Middle East,” warned American Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, receiving his counterpart on Tuesday Israeli, Yoav Gallant, in Washington.

“We are working closely to reach an agreement, but we must also prepare for all possible scenarios,” said Mr. Gallant.

Deadly raids and fighting in Gaza, fears of war between Israel and Hezbollah

An Israeli Air Force F-16 fighter jet flies over the border area between northern Israel and southern Lebanon, June 25, 2024. © AFP – JACK GUEZ

On June 19, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, an Islamist movement that exercises major influence in Lebanon, warned that “no place” in Israel would be spared by his movement's missiles, the day after an announcement of the Israeli army according to which “operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon” had been “validated”.

Four days later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, announced that the “intense” phase of fighting was coming to an end in the Gaza Strip, saying that afterward, Israel could “redeploy some forces to the north,” on the border with Lebanon, “for defensive purposes.”

Deadly raids and fighting in Gaza, fears of war between Israel and Hezbollah

A young Palestinian woman watches over the bodies of her loved ones killed in an Israeli bombardment on the Chati camp, in the north of the Gaza Strip, June 25, 2024 © AFP – Omar AL-QATTAA

“It seems that Israel, which devastated Gaza, is now setting its sights on Lebanon. We see that Western powers support Israel behind the scenes,” accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday .

Speaking of an “unpredictable situation”, Canada called on its nationals to leave Lebanon as quickly as possible.

– “Uproot Hamas” –

Deadly raids and fighting in Gaza, fears of war between Israel and Hezbollah

Southern Lebanon and Northern Israel © AFP – Nalini LEPETIT-CHELLA, Paz PIZARRO

Hezbollah opened the front with Israel in support of Hamas the day after the attack carried out by the Palestinian movement on October 7 in southern Israel, which resulted in the death of 1,195 people, mainly civilians, according to an AFP count established from official Israeli data.

Of 251 people kidnapped during the attack, 116 are still being held hostage in Gaza, of whom 42 are dead, according to the army.

In retaliation, Israel launched a offensive on the Gaza Strip, which has so far left 37,718 dead, mostly civilians, according to data from the Hamas-led government's Health Ministry.

Deadly raids and fighting in Gaza, fears of war between Israel and Hezbollah

Destructions in Khan Younes, in the south of the Gaza Strip, June 23, 2024 © AFP – Eyad BABA

By announcing that the “intense” phase of the fighting, notably in Rafah, was “about to end”, Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed that the war would continue in order to destroy Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007 and considered a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel.

The objective”, according to Mr. Netanyahu, is “to recover the hostages” held in Gaza and “uproot the Hamas regime”.

– “Catastrophic level of hunger” –

Deadly raids and fighting in Gaza, fears of war between Israel and Hezbollah

Food crisis in Gaza © AFP – Nalini LEPETIT-CHELLA, Laurence SAUBADU, Sylvie HUSSON

The war has plunged the Gaza Strip, besieged by Israel, into a humanitarian catastrophe and there is a “high and sustained risk” of famine in the territory of 2.4 million people, according to a report published Tuesday by the Integrated Food Security Classification Framework (IPC), on which UN agencies are based.

According to this report, 495,000 people still suffer from hunger at a “catastrophic” level.

According to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) , “every day, 10 children lose one or two legs on average” in Gaza. “Ten a day means around 2,000 children after more than 260 days of this brutal war,” the agency said.

Deadly raids and fighting in Gaza, fears of war between Israel and Hezbollah

Palestinians gather around a truck loaded with water tanks to fill their cans in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, June 25, 2024 © AFP – Eyad BABA

Humanitarian workers are not spared from war. Doctors Without Borders said on X that one of its members, Fadi al-Wadiya, had been “killed along with five other people, including three children, in an attack in Gaza City while he was cycling his work”.

The army confirmed having eliminated Fadi al-Wadiya, presenting him as an “important agent” of Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian group fighting in sides 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