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Gaza Civil Defense announces death of ten relatives of Hamas leader in strike

Photo: Bashar Taleb Agence France-Presse A woman mourns her son killed in an Israeli strike in al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip.

France Media Agency in the Gaza Strip

Posted at 7:06 a.m.

  • Middle East

The Israeli army bombarded the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, where a strike killed ten relatives of the Hamas leader, according to Civil Defense, while the United States is pressing Israel to avoid a new escalation on the border with Lebanon.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant continues his visit to Washington, two days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the “intense” phase » of the war against the Palestinian Islamist movement was close.

Gaza Civil Defense announced Tuesday that ten members of the family of Ismail Haniyeh, the political leader of Hamas, who lives in exile in Qatar, were killed in an Israeli strike on a refugee camp in the northern city of Gaza.

Requested by AFP , the Israeli army indicated that it was unable to confirm this information.

“A number of martyrs are still under the rubble,” said Civil Defense spokesman Mahmoud Bassal, adding that the Hamas leader's sister, Zahr Haniyeh, was killed along with nine others in the strike on the Chati camp.

In April, three sons and four grandchildren of Mr. Haniyeh were killed in a strike in Chati. Ismaïl Haniyeh then indicated that around 60 members of his family had been killed since the start of the war on October 7.

According to an AFP correspondent, a The strike also left five people dead, including two children, near al-Chifa hospital in Gaza City. Their bodies lay in a pool of blood before rescuers evacuated them.

In the south, two airstrikes targeted the center of Rafah, where military vehicles opened fire, while western neighborhoods of the city, which borders Egypt, were the target of shelling and tank fire, according to witnesses.

“Uproot” Hamas

Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that the “intense” phase of the fighting was coming to an end, particularly in Rafah where the army launched a ground offensive on May 7, but that the war against Hamas would continue.

He repeated that “the objective” was “to recover the hostages” held in Gaza and to “uproot the Hamas regime,” in place since 2007 and considered terrorist by the United States, the European Union and Israel.

The prime minister also said that after the end of this phase, Israel would be “able to redeploy some forces to the north”, near the border with Lebanon, adding to fears of an extension of the conflict.< /p>

In Washington, the head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, spoke on Monday with the Israeli Minister of Defense about tensions in Lebanon and the efforts made to reach an agreement on the release of the hostages.

The Secretary of State “stressed the importance of avoiding a further escalation of the conflict and of reaching a diplomatic solution that allows Israeli and Lebanese families to return home,” said its spokesperson, Matthew Miller.

Exchanges of fire between the Israeli army and Lebanese Hezbollah, a powerful Islamist movement allied with Hamas, armed and financed by Iran, have increased since the start of the war in Gaza and have led to the displacement of tens of thousands residents of the border areas of southern Lebanon and northern Israel.

Mr. Gallant's visit follows a week of tensions between the United States and Israel, after Israeli criticism of delays in US arms deliveries.

“The alliance between Israel and the United States […] is extremely important” , said the Israeli minister on Monday, who is due to meet his American counterpart Lloyd Austin on Tuesday.

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“Completely trapped”

The war was triggered on October 7 by an attack by Hamas commandos in 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, 116 are still being held hostage in Gaza, 42 of whom are dead, according to the army.

In response, the Israeli army launched an offensive in the Palestinian territory that has so far left 37,626 dead, mostly civilians, according to data from the Health Ministry of the Gaza government, led by by Hamas.

Mr. Blinken “insisted” to Mr. Gallant on the need for Israel to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip.

« There is no more water or food. We are completely trapped,” testified Haitham Abu Taha, among the few Palestinians who returned to Rafah.

The head of the UN agency in charge of Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, said Monday that looting and smuggling were “widespread” in the Gaza Strip, and “preventing” the delivery of aid that the population “desperately needs”.

UNRWA has been in crisis since Israel accused 12 of its employees of involvement in the October 7 attack. On Monday, families of those killed in the attack filed a complaint against the agency, accusing it of contributing to this unprecedented massacre.

In Israel, where Benjamin Netanyahu is strongly criticized for his management of the war, demonstrations are increasing to demand the return of hostages and the holding of early elections.

But international mediation attempts with a view to a truce associated with the release of the hostages encountered the intransigence of both camps. Hamas reaffirmed Monday that any agreement must “include a permanent ceasefire and a complete Israeli withdrawal” from Gaza, conditions that Israel has consistently rejected.

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