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Dozens killed in Israeli raids in Gaza, Israeli cabinet meeting

More than 60 Palestinians, including twelve from the same family, died in Israeli nighttime strikes on the Gaza Strip according to Hamas, a few hours before a resurgence. Sunday union of the security cabinet by Benjamin Netanyahu focused on negotiations for a possible truce.

More than five months after the start of the war between Israel and Hamas triggered by a bloody attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement, the human toll continues to rise in Gaza with 31,553 dead since October 7 according to Hamas and the threat of widespread famine according to the UN.

And despite international pressure for a ceasefire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has vowed to destroy Hamas, is determined to continue the war and his army continues to bombard the cramped Palestinian territory it is besieging.

On Sunday, the Hamas Ministry of Health reported at least 61 deaths including women and children in dozens of nighttime strikes by the Israeli army against the Gaza Strip. Among them, 12 members of the Thabet family whose home was hit at dawn by bombs in the Bichara district of Deir al-Balah (center).

The raids were intense in Deir al-Balah, Gaza City in the north and in the towns of Khan Younes and Rafah in the south, according to witnesses. Fierce fighting took place between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters in Khan Younes and Gaza City.

– “In the name of humanity” –

Faced with the devastating war, international mediators – the United States, Qatar, Egypt – are trying to secure a new humanitarian truce agreement, after that at the end of November. In vain so far.

The Israeli security cabinet is to meet at the end of the day to determine the “mandate” of the delegation which must go to Doha for further discussions.

Dozens killed in Israeli raids in Gaza, Israeli cabinet meeting

A boy holds up an empty pan as he queues with other displaced Palestinians to get food provided by a charity ahead of iftar, the meal to break the fast of Ramadan, in Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip, March 16, 2024 © AFP – SAID KHATIB

But Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, a leader of the far right, is opposed to sending this delegation. “Netanyahu must order (…) the army to immediately enter Rafah and intensify military pressure until Hamas is destroyed.”

In this city stuck on the closed border of Egypt and daily bombarded by the Israeli air force, more than 1.5 million Palestinians are crowded together, most of the displaced people living in very harsh conditions.

Benjamin Netanyahu approved “action plans” for a ground offensive in Rafah, involving an “evacuation of the population”, his office said without further details .

“In the name of humanity, we call on Israel not to move forward” in its operation against Rafah, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the leader of the World Health Organization.

The war was triggered by an unprecedented attack carried out on October 7 by Hamas commandos infiltrated from Palestinian territory in the southern Israel, which led to the deaths of at least 1,160 people, most of them civilians, according to an AFP count based on official sources.

According to Israel, around 250 people were kidnapped and 130 of them are still hostages in Gaza, of whom 32 are believed to have died.

In retaliation, Israel launched a massive bombing campaign against Gaza, where Hamas took power in 2007, followed 20 days later by a ground offensive that allowed its soldiers to advance from the north to the south of this strip of land of approximately 40 km long and 10 wide.

– Insufficient aid –

Considered a terrorist organization by the States- United and the European Union, Hamas said it was ready, in a new proposal, for a six-week truce, during which 42 hostages – women, children, elderly and sick people – could be released in exchange for 20 to 50 Palestinian prisoners against each released hostage.

The movement also calls for the “withdrawal of the army from all towns and populated areas”, the “return of the displaced” and the entry of at least 500 aid trucks per day into Gaza, said one of its officials. .

Dozens killed in Israeli raids in Gaza, Israeli cabinet meeting

The 1st boat bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza unloads © AFP – Nalini LEPETIT-CHELLA, Paz PIZARRO

Israel controls the entry of land aid into the Gaza Strip, which remains very insufficient compared to the needs of the 2.4 million inhabitants, the vast majority of whom are threatened with famine according to the UN.

Leaving Cyprus, a boat from the Spanish NGO Open Arms carrying 200 tonnes of food from the organization World Kitchen Central unloaded its cargo in Gaza. Aid must be delivered to the north of the Palestinian territory, where the humanitarian situation is particularly catastrophic.

A second aid boat is ready to leave, according to Cyprus.

In addition, several Arab and Western countries continued to airdrop food into Gaza.

But for the UN, aid by land is vital.

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