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Deadly strikes in Gaza, Israeli green light for negotiations to free hostages

Photo: Bashar Taleb Agence France-Presse A Palestinian woman cries after identifying a deceased relative at al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital on Thursday in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip.

France Media Agency

Posted at 8:51 a.m.

  • Middle East

Twenty-six people, including 15 children, died Thursday in Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip, according to Civil Defense, shortly after Israel gave the green light to the resumption of negotiations for the release of hostages held in the Palestinian territory.

The decision to continue these discussions comes after the release of a video showing the kidnapping of Israeli female soldiers by fighters from the Islamist movement Hamas on October 7, during its unprecedented attack in Israel that sparked the war.

On the ground, airstrikes and artillery fire were heard overnight across the Strip Gaza, particularly in Rafah, Jabalia or Gaza City, according to AFP journalists, doctors and witnesses.

Gaza City Civil Defense said two airstrikes before dawn left 26 people dead, including 15 children. Sixteen people were killed by a strike that hit their house and ten others in a bombing of a mosque and a school, according to the same source.

Requested by AFP , the Israeli army did not immediately respond.

In Jabalia, the Israeli army said it had “targeted several Hamas terrorists in strikes on military infrastructure used to store weapons.”

“Never Again”

In Nousseirat, children inspected the rubble of a house destroyed by an Israeli airstrike on Thursday. “When I saw the flames, I was in the school transformed into a shelter, I said to myself “poor people were hit by the missile”, without knowing that it was in fact my husband, his first wife and their children,” says Fatima Hathat.

In Rafah, Israeli forces continued to operate in the neighborhoods of Brazil and Shabura, according to the army.

They began ground operations in this city on the 7th. May, which caused the flight of 800,000 people according to the UN, with the stated objective of annihilating the last Hamas battalions and saving the hostages.

The families of five soldiers held hostage in Gaza on Wednesday authorized the broadcast of images, taken from a video filmed by Hamas commandos, on which we can see these young women, some with bloody faces, sitting on the ground in their pajamas, their hands tied behind their backs.

“The images reveal the violent, humiliating and traumatic treatment that the girls suffered on the day of their abduction,” says the Families Forum hostages in a press release.

These images will “strengthen my determination to fight with all my strength until the elimination of Hamas, to guarantee that what we saw this evening will never happen again”, responded for his part the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin. Netanyahu, on his Telegram account, before meeting his war cabinet late on Wednesday.

He “instructed the team of negotiators to return to the table negotiations to obtain the return of the hostages”, according to a senior government official.

At the beginning of May, indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israel, via Qatari mediators, of Egypt and the United States, had failed to reach an agreement for a truce in Gaza combined with the release of Palestinian hostages and prisoners held by Israel.

Deadly strikes in Gaza, Israeli green light for negotiations to free hostages

Photo: Oded Balilty Associated Press Relatives of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip demonstrated Thursday in Tel Aviv.

Aid delivery hampered

The October 7 attack, carried out by Hamas from the Gaza Strip , led to the death of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data. Of the 252 people taken as hostages on October 7, 124 are still being held in Gaza, including 37 dead, according to the army.

In response to the attack, Mr. Netanyahu vowed to wipe out Hamas, with his army launching a devastating offensive in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the European Union and the United States, United, took power in 2007.

At least 35,709 Palestinians, the majority civilians, died in this offensive, according to data from the Ministry of Health of government in Gaza led by Hamas.

More than seven months of war have caused a disastrous humanitarian situation in Gaza. Since the deployment on May 7 of the Israeli army on the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing, Israelis and Egyptians have blamed each other for the paralysis of this crossing through which most of the fuel essential to hospitals and humanitarian logistics entered. .

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Decision expected from the ICJ

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the highest court of the The UN also announced on Thursday that it would rule on Friday on a request from South Africa to order Israel a ceasefire in Gaza.

Pretoria wants the court to order Israel to “immediately” cease all military operations in Gaza, including in Rafah, where Israel launched ground operations on May 7 despite opposition from the international community.< /p>

“A public session will take place at 3 p.m. (1 p.m. GMT) at the Peace Palace in The Hague,” where the court sits, the ICJ announced in a statement.

The orders of the court, which decides disputes between states, are legally binding, but it has no means of enforcing them.

A decision in favor of Pretoria, however, would constitute a new legal setback for Israel after International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan on Monday requested arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Minister of Defense, along with three Hamas leaders, for alleged crimes committed in the Gaza Strip and in Israel.

Since Israel took control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on May 7, the delivery of humanitarian aid has virtually come to a standstill, particularly fuel, essential for hospitals and the humanitarian logistics.

Before its ground incursion, the Israeli army had ordered massive evacuations from Rafah where it claims to want to destroy the last battalions of Hamas, its network of tunnels , and rescue the hostages.

According to the UN, these operations have caused the displacement of 800,000 people, while a million Palestinians in Gaza face “catastrophic hunger levels.”


South Africa calls for urgent action pending resolution of the merits of the case, the accusation that Israel is violating the 1948 UN Genocide Convention.

< p>The ICJ, seized at the end of December by South Africa, ordered Israel in January to do everything in its power to prevent any act of genocide and allow the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

But she did not go so far as to order a cease-fire. However, for Pretoria, the evolution of the situation on the ground – particularly in Rafah – requires a new order from the ICJ.

Pretoria, which is requesting for the fourth time ICJ in this case declared in hearings last week that “the genocide” committed by Israel had reached a “horrific level”, referring in particular to mass graves, acts of torture and a blockage of humanitarian aid.

The Israeli operation in Rafah “is the latest stage in the destruction of Gaza and its Palestinian people,” said Vaughan Lowe, a South African lawyer.

Israel retorted before the judges the next day that the “genocide” case is “completely disconnected” from reality.

Gilad Noam, deputy attorney general, had argued that there was no “large-scale” assault in Rafah, but “specific and localized operations, preceded by evacuation efforts and support for humanitarian activities.”

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