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Hamas calls for stopping humanitarian aid drops

Photo: Agence France-Presse Hamas says it has “always warned countries conducting airdrop operations of the danger”, in particular “because part of this aid falls into the sea”. Here we see some falling west of Gaza City, with an Israeli power station in the background.

Adel Zaanoun – Agence France-Presse and Catherine Hours – Agence France-Presse respectively in the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem

12:18 p.m.

  • Middle East

Eighteen Palestinians died, including twelve drowned at sea, while trying to recover food parachuted into the Gaza Strip threatened by famine, Hamas announced on Tuesday, calling for an end to these humanitarian airdrops and to open access. terrestrial.

In the sixth month of the conflict sparked by an unprecedented attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement against Israel on October 7, the Hamas Health Ministry reported more than 80 deaths in recent Israeli airstrikes 24 hours in the besieged and devastated Palestinian territory.

Despite Monday's vote on a UN Security Council resolution calling for an “immediate” ceasefire, the war still rages in the narrow strip of land controlled by the Hamas since 2007.

“We heard a huge explosion. The rubble fell on us. […] There were 22 or 23 martyrs,” said Houssam Qazaat, a displaced person, amid destruction in the southern town of Rafah.

“For a can of tuna”

New sign of a desperate humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, where most of the 2.4 million inhabitants are threatened with famine according to the UN, the Hamas Ministry of Health announced Tuesday the death of eighteen people who tried to recover parachuted food, including twelve drowned at sea “in the last few hours”. Six others died in stampedes also linked to the arrival of aid by parachute.

Shortly after the announcement of this assessment, Hamas called for an end to airdrops and to open land access to humanitarian aid, strictly controlled by Israel. It was this situation that pushed foreign governments, including the United Kingdom, France and the United States, to opt for airdropping food packages to Gaza.

In a press release, the movement said it had “always warned countries conducting airdrop operations of the danger”, in particular “because part of this aid falls into the sea”.

“People die for a can of tuna,” exclaims Mohamad Al-Sabaawi, a resident of Gaza, brandishing the only can of tuna he was able to collect at the camera.

Not far away, another man says he is risking his life for a can of beans “which will be shared with 18 people”.

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Israel furious

On October 7, Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza carried out an unprecedented attack in southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of at least 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to a count of AFP established from official data. According to Israel, around 250 people were kidnapped and 130 of them are still hostages in Gaza, 33 of whom are believed to have died.

Israel has sworn to destroy Hamas and has since led a major offensive in the Gaza Strip which has so far left 32,414 dead, mostly civilians, according to a latest report from the Hamas health ministry.< /p>

On Monday, and for the first time since the start of the war, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for a ceasefire, with 14 votes in favor and one abstention, that of the United States, which had until then blocked three resolution texts mentioning a “ceasefire”.

Failing to implement this resolution would be “unforgivable”, warned UN Secretary-General Antònio Guterres.

Furious with the United States, Israel canceled an expected delegation's visit to Washington, declaring that American abstention was “harming” both its war effort and its efforts to free the hostages.

“We do not have the moral right to stop the war as long as there are hostages in Gaza,” declared its Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, visiting the United States, insisting on the need to “ defeat” Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada and the European Union.

Hamas welcomed the call for a ceasefire and also accused Israel of causing the “failure” of the talks in Doha involving international mediators – Qatar, Egypt, United States – United — for a truce accompanied by the release of the hostages.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for his part, rejected responsibility for the blockade, accusing Hamas of having reiterated “extreme demands”.

Qatar, however, stressed on Tuesday that talks were continuing in Doha.

Operations in three hospitals

Despite the fears of the international community, Mr. Netanyahu says he is determined to carry out a ground offensive in Rafah, a city of nearly a million and a half people, according to the UN, the majority displaced by the war, but who Israel presents itself as Hamas' “last bastion” in Gaza.

While less than a third of hospitals in the Gaza Strip are operational, and only partially according to the UN, three hospitals, where Hamas members are believed to be hiding according to Israel, are targeted by army operations.

In and around the al-Shifa hospital complex in the northern Gaza City, more than 170 Palestinian fighters have been killed since March 18, according to the army. In Khan Younes (south), soldiers surround the al-Nasser hospital, according to Hamas, and others operate around al-Amal hospital.

The humanitarian situation is particularly catastrophic in the north of the Gaza Strip, besieged by Israel since October 9 and already subject to a total Israeli blockade since 2007.

In Jabaliya, residents, many of them women and children, queue daily to fill water containers which they carry in wheelbarrows, carts or in their arms and wait to receive food at distribution points.

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