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Dozens of bodies discovered after Israeli operation in Gaza City

Photo: Omar Al-Qattaa Agence France-Presse In the east of Gaza City, where the Israeli army has been conducting an operation since June 27, residents who returned to the Shujaiya neighborhood found themselves in a field of desolation.

Agence France-Presse in the Gaza Strip

Published at 12:41

  • Middle East

Around sixty bodies were discovered Thursday under rubble in Shujaiya, an eastern neighborhood of Gaza City, after the end of a vast Israeli operation which devastated the area, according to the Civil Defense of the Palestinian Territory.

In the tenth month of war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, new discussions were held Thursday in Qatar, a mediator country with the United States and Egypt, to try to resolve 'move towards a ceasefire and release of hostages kidnapped during Hamas' October 7 attack on Israel, which sparked the war.

In the north of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army announced Wednesday evening that it had completed its operations launched on June 27 in Shujaiya, east of Gaza City, which allowed the dismantling of “eight tunnels” and the elimination of “dozens of terrorists”, according to a press release.

On Thursday, residents began to return to the ruins of this neighborhood, according to AFPTV. Among them, Mohamad Nairi discovered “immense destruction” beyond “anything that could be described.”

After the withdrawal of Israeli forces, the Civil Defense of the Gaza Strip reported the discovery under the rubble of “around sixty martyrs”.

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From now on, “85% of the buildings [in the neighborhood] are uninhabitable,” not to mention all of the infrastructure that has been “demolished,” Civil Defense spokesperson Mahmoud Basal said in a statement.

The army called on Wednesday all residents to evacuate, some 300,000 to 350,000 people according to the UN.

In leaflets, she warned that the city, where she had announced in early January that she had “completed the dismantling of the military structure” of Hamas, remained “a dangerous combat zone”.

< p>It announced on Thursday that it was continuing its operation in the center of Gaza City against fighters “in the headquarters of UNRWA”, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees.

In Gaza City, clashes also took place in Tal al-Hawa, in the south, and bombings in Sabra (west), according to the army and AFP journalists.< /p>

The war broke out on October 7 after an unprecedented attack by Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza into southern Israel, which resulted in the death of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data.

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

“Dozens of terrorists eliminated”

In response, Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas, which has taken power in Gaza since 2007, and launched a military offensive that has so far left 38,345 dead, including 50 in recent years. 24 hours, mostly civilians, according to data from the Health Ministry of the Hamas-run Gaza government.

The Israeli army also indicated Thursday that it was continuing its operations in the Rafah region (south) bordering Egypt, affirming that its troops had “eliminated dozens of terrorists”, including Hassan Abou Kouik, described as a leader of the forces of Hamas security force having “carried out numerous terrorist attacks” against Israel.

Four dead, including a child, were taken to Nasser Hospital in Rafah after Israeli raids in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood, in the west of the city, according to the direction of the establishment.

In the center of the Gaza Strip, four People were also killed in an Israeli strike on the Nusseirat refugee camp, according to the Hamas health ministry.

The situation in the besieged territory is dire: humanitarian aid is waiting on the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom checkpoint (south). The United Nations and Israel blame each other for blocking distributions.

Samantha Power, administrator of the American development agency (USAID), arrived in Israel on Thursday to advocate for an increase in the humanitarian flow.

Discussions on a truce

On the diplomatic level, the mediators have relaunched their efforts to move towards a ceasefire.

Hamas announced a concession on Sunday, saying it agreed to negotiate on the release of the hostages in the absence of a permanent ceasefire with Israel, which he had until now always demanded.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Wednesday his commitment to a ceasefire agreement “as long as Israel's red lines are respected”.

Mr. Netanyahu has always said he wants to continue the war until the destruction of Hamas — considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union — and the release of all hostages.

Mossad Chief David Barnea and CIA Director William Burns visited Doha on Wednesday for truce talks.

Announcing the return of the Israeli delegation from Doha on Thursday, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office announced that “a delegation led by the head of the Shin Bet [the Israeli internal security agency] and representatives of the Israeli army is to leave this evening for Cairo to continue the talks.”

An official of the Palestinian Islamist movement, Hossam Badran, told AFP on Wednesday that the “intensification” of Israeli “massacres” in the Gaza Strip in recent days had the effect of reinforcing the demands of the Islamist movement.< /p>

On another front, Israel claimed to have intercepted several drones coming from Lebanon on Thursday, on its northern border, the scene of recurring exchanges of fire between the Israeli army and the movement Lebanese Islamist Hezbollah, ally of Hamas.

More than 60 international media outlets call on Israel for “independent” access to Gaza

NEW YORK — More than sixty international media outlets published an open letter Thursday calling on Israeli authorities to allow the press “immediate and independent access” to the besieged Gaza Strip after nine months of devastating war.

CNN, BBC and Agence France-Presse call on “the Israeli authorities to immediately end the restrictions imposed on foreign media entering the Gaza Strip” as well as “to grant independent access to international press organizations wishing to visit the territory,” reads the letter.

In nine months of war, “international journalists still do not have access to Gaza, with the exception of rare trips under escort organized by the Israeli army”, denounce the 64 signatories, which include also the Guardian or the New York Times.

These restrictions have imposed an “impossible and unreasonable burden” on local journalists to document the war they themselves are facing, they add.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based group that coordinated the open letter, more than 100 journalists have been killed since the start of the war, making them one of the the deadliest conflicts for the press. Those who remain work in conditions of “extreme deprivation”.

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