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First day of Ramadan in Gaza, under Israeli bombing

Photo: Menahem Kahana Agence France-Presse The UN, which fears widespread famine in the territory, subjected by Israel to a total siege since October 9, affirms that sending aid by sea and airdrops organized by several countries cannot replace the land route. .

Adel Zaanoun – Agence France-Presse and Mathieu Gorse – Agence France-Presse Respectively to the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem


  • Middle East

Ramadan began on Monday in the besieged and devastated Gaza Strip, with no hope of a truce in the war between Israel and Hamas, while the international community increases efforts to deliver aid to the population hit by famine.

Dozens of Israeli bombings targeted several regions of Palestinian territory, according to Hamas authorities, including the cities of Gaza in the north, Khan Younes and Rafah in the south.

“The start of Ramadan is covered in darkness, with the taste of blood and the stench everywhere,” Awni al-Kayyal, a 50-year-old displaced man in Rafah, told AFP.

“I woke up in my tent and started crying over our fate. Suddenly I heard explosions and bombings. I saw ambulances taking away the dead and injured,” he said, adding that his family would have “no food on the dinner table” after breaking the fast Monday evening.

“A boat loaded with aid”

Meanwhile, a ship from the Spanish NGO Open Arms loaded with 200 tonnes of food is ready to leave Cyprus, the closest EU country to Gaza, for the Palestinian territory, in as part of a maritime corridor announced by the European Union.

The ship is due to sail from the port of Larnaca, on the Mediterranean, approximately 370 kilometers from the Gaza Strip.

On Sunday, residents went to the beach in southern Gaza City hoping to see him arrive. “They said that a boat loaded with aid would arrive and that people would be able to eat,” one of them, Mohammed Abou Baïd, told AFP. ” Only God knows. We won’t believe it until we see it,” he added.

But the UN, which fears widespread famine in the territory, subjected by Israel to a total siege since October 9, affirms that the sending of aid by sea and the airdrops organized by several countries cannot replace the land route.

International aid, controlled by Israel, only enters the Gaza Strip in trickles while the needs are immense, particularly in the north of the territory, which is very difficult to access.

This aid arrives mainly from Egypt via Rafah, a town stuck against the Egyptian border, where, according to the UN, nearly a million and a half people living in fear of death are gathered. 'a ground offensive announced by Israel.

The war was sparked on October 7 by an unprecedented attack by Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza into southern Israel, which left at least 1,160 people dead, most of them civilians, according to an AFP count established from official Israeli sources.

In retaliation, Israel promised to annihilate the Islamist movement, in power in Gaza since 2007, which it considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union. His army launched an offensive that has so far killed 31,112 people in the Gaza Strip, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

The bombings killed 67 people in 24 hours, the ministry announced Monday, including four people from the same family killed by a strike on their home during dawn prayers in Rafah.

The army announced that 15 Islamist fighters were killed on Sunday in its operations in central Gaza. “Targeted raids” also targeted houses used for “terrorist activities” in the Hamad neighborhood of Khan Yunis.

“Immense pain”

Despite new discussions in early March in Cairo, the United States, Qatar and Egypt, the three mediating countries, were unable to reach an agreement on a truce.

A source close to the negotiations, however, told AFP on Sunday “that there would be an acceleration of diplomatic efforts in the next 10 days”.

Hamas is demanding in particular a definitive ceasefire and a withdrawal of Israeli troops before any agreement on the release of hostages held in Gaza.

Israel is demanding that Hamas provide a precise list of hostages still alive, but the Palestinian movement has said it does not know who among them is “alive or dead”. According to Israel, 130 hostages remain in Gaza, 31 of whom are believed to be dead, out of approximately 250 people kidnapped on October 7.

The United States fears that the situation could become “very dangerous” particularly in East Jerusalem, where the Esplanade des Mosques, the third holiest site in Islam, is located, if the fighting continues for Ramadan.

American President Joe Biden, who has raised his voice in recent days towards Israel, sent a message of solidarity for the start of Ramadan.

“This year, it comes at a time of immense pain,” he said. “As Muslims gather around the world in the coming days and weeks to break their fast, the suffering of the Palestinian people will be front and center for many. She is for me,” said Joe Biden.

As custodian of two of Islam's holiest sites, King Salman of Saudi Arabia urged the international community “to shoulder its responsibilities to end these heinous crimes and ensure the establishment of humanitarian corridors and safe help.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent “a special message of solidarity and support to all those suffering from the horrors in Gaza.” “In these difficult times, the spirit of Ramadan is a beacon of hope, a reminder of our common humanity,” he said on the social network X.

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