The bombing by the Israeli army of the largest refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, to "eliminate" a Hamas leader, left dozens dead and hundreds injured, despite calls to spare civilians.
According to the Ministry of Health of the Hamas government, which has controlled Gaza since 2007, Tuesday's bombing of the Jabaliya camp (116,000 refugees), in the north of the territory, left “more than 50” dead. and hundreds of injured.
In an AFPTV video, it is possible to count at least 47 bodies draped in shrouds lying on the ground in the courtyard of a hospital after being extracted from the rubble.
“It was a scene earthquake,” a resident of the camp, Ragheb Aqel, aged 41, told AFP.
The Israeli army confirmed this bombing, specifying that it had successfully targeted Ibrahim Biari, presented as one of those responsible for the October 7 attack by Hamas against Israel, and who was in “a vast complex of underground tunnels where he directed operations.”
“We were able to reach Ibrahim Biari” and “a large number of terrorists who were with Biari were killed. The underground infrastructure used by the terrorists (…) also collapsed,” said Jonathan Conricus, spokesman for the Israeli forces.
Concerning civilians, he stressed that the army had called on them to evacuate on numerous occasions from the north of the Gaza Strip, a “war zone”. He added that he hoped that they “will make the right decision and evacuate to safer areas in the south.”
But the south has also been regularly subjected to Israeli bombardments since the start of the conflict, leaving ” “no safe place” to take refuge, denounced the UN and humanitarian organizations.
– Ambassadors recalled –
Saudi Arabia on Wednesday condemned “with the greatest firmness” the bombing of Jabaliya, which “killed and injured a large number of innocent civilians.”
Qatar, involved in attempts to resolve the the hostage crisis at the hands of Hamas, condemned “a new massacre”, and warned against operations likely to “undermine mediation efforts”.
Tuesday evening, Bolivia announced that it would end its diplomatic relations with Israel, to denounce “its disproportionate (…) offensive”, according to her. Chile and Colombia have announced that they will recall their ambassadors to Tel Aviv.
The war, triggered by the Hamas attack in Israel on October 7, unprecedented in its violence and scale, has already killed 8,525 people on the Palestinian side, the majority civilians.
A man carries the body of a child pulled from the rubble of a refugee camp in Nuseirat, in the Gaza Strip, on October 31, 2023 © AFP – MAHMUD HAMS
The Gaza Strip, where according to Hamas 3,542 children died, has become “a cemetery for thousands of children”, deplored the United Nations.
Since this weekend, the Israeli army has gradually deployed ground troops in Gaza, where “fierce fighting” pits them against Hamas, and has intensified its airstrikes on Gaza. It said on Tuesday that dozens of Palestinian fighters had been killed in the last few hours and announced on Wednesday the death of nine of its soldiers, after two deaths announced on Tuesday.
For its part, the military branch of the Hamas claimed to have targeted “two armored vehicles” with anti-tank shells, threatening to make the Gaza Strip “a cemetery and a quagmire” for Israeli soldiers.
– “No more tears” –
Relatives of Hamas hostages in the Gaza Strip show photos of Noam Avigdori, Tamar and Elia Toldano, at the National Assembly, in Paris, France, October 31, 2023 © AFP – Emmanuel Dunand
In Israel, according to the authorities, more than 1,400 people have died since October 7, mainly civilians killed on the day of the Hamas attack. At least 240 hostages are still in the hands of the Palestinian Islamist movement that Israel, the United States and the European Union consider a “terrorist” organization.
The military wing of Hamas assured Tuesday that she stood ready to release “a certain number of foreigners in the coming days”.
“We no longer have tears, our eyes are dry, we are empty, three weeks later. I only ask one thing, that they come back,” implores Ayelet Sella, whose seven cousins were kidnapped in the kibbutz of Beeri, during a Tuesday evening organized at the Grande Synagogue de la Victoire, in Paris, France.
Almost a month after the start of the war, calls for a “humanitarian truce” to alleviate the suffering of the 2.4 million inhabitants of Gaza, subjected to a siege which deprives them of deliveries of water, food and electricity, remain without action. The Palestinian telecom operator Paltel also announced on Wednesday a “total” cut of telephone and internet lines.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, on Tuesday implored the Security Council to “overcome” its fractures in order to “demand” a ceasefire.”
“The “The minimum they could give us is a truce, just give us three hours,” begs Ahmed al-Kahlout, 50, in Gaza City.
According to Cogat, the Israeli Defense Ministry body overseeing civilian activities in the Palestinian Territories, 70 humanitarian aid trucks entered Gaza on Tuesday. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) mentioned 143 trucks entering between October 21 and Monday evening.
The situation in hospitals also worries NGOs, while patients lack medicines.
Egyptian authorities announced that they were ready to receive 81 wounded Palestinians via the Rafah crossing on Wednesday.
– Houthi missiles –
© AFP – MAHMUD HAMS
The war has also exacerbated tensions in the occupied West Bank, where two Palestinians, including a septuagenarian, were killed on Tuesday by Israeli army fire , according to the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health.
At least 122 Palestinians have been killed since October 7 by fire from Israeli soldiers and settlers, according to the same source.
The head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell “firmly” condemned Tuesday the attacks committed “by Israeli settlers against Palestinians”.
Israeli advance in the Gaza Strip © AFP – Maxence D'AVERSA, Jean-Michel CORNU, Olivia BUGAULT
As warnings multiply against a regional conflagration, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, close to Iran launched several missiles against Israel on Tuesday – which the Israeli army announced that it had intercepted – and promised to continue their attacks until the end of the war against Hamas.
On the Israeli border -Lebanese, where skirmishes are daily, the Israeli army said on Tuesday that it had carried out new air strikes targeting Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas.
American Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due to visit Friday in Israel, as part of a new regional tour.
During a congressional hearing on Tuesday, he said the Palestinian Authority should regain control of the Gaza Strip from Hamas, and that international third parties could perhaps play a role during an interim period.
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