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Intense Israeli bombings on Gaza, thousands of residents flee

Photo: Bashar Taleb Agence France-Presse Young girls carry water tanks through the ruins of Khan Yunis.

France Media Agency in the Gaza Strip

Posted at 7:49 a.m.

  • Middle East

Israeli soldiers in tanks stormed and shelled several neighborhoods in Gaza City on Monday, once again pushing thousands of Palestinians to flee in the tenth month of a devastating war.

Triggered by an unprecedented attack by Hamas against Israel on October 7, the war has not let up despite the redoubled efforts of mediators and a gesture by the Palestinian Islamist movement to restart negotiations on a ceasefire and liberation of Israeli hostages held in Gaza.

In recent months, hopes for a truce agreement have been repeatedly dashed due to the differences between the protagonists, despite international pressure to end a war which has caused a humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip, which is threatened with famine, according to the UN.

This war risks causing a new conflict in Lebanon, Israel's neighbor, after an intensification of shooting between the Israeli army and the Lebanese Islamist movement Hezbollah, which opened this front on October 8 in support of its ally Hamas.

In the north of the Palestinian territory, Israeli soldiers stormed several neighborhoods in Gaza City, and thousands of residents fled, according to witnesses and the Civil Defense Monday.

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The latter indicated that it had received information about “dozens of martyrs and wounded” in some neighborhoods, but said it could not reach them due to the intensity of the shooting. “Dozens of families are surrounded by Israeli troops,” it said.

Tanks have taken up positions in several neighborhoods and others continue to advance, aided by airstrikes and drones, the witnesses added.

Evacuation order

Via loudspeakers, the army called on residents to evacuate the neighborhoods of Al-Daraj and Al-Tuffah in Gaza City. Some 2.4 million people are under siege by Israel in the Gaza Strip, where water and food are lacking and more than 80 percent of the population is displaced, according to the UN.

In the Choujaiya district, “dozens of terrorists were eliminated,” according to the army.

In the south, the army said having “eliminated more than 30 terrorists” in Rafah and struck rocket launch sites in Khan Yunis.

On October 7, Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza into southern Israel launched an attack that resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on data official. Of the 251 people then kidnapped, 116 are still being held in Gaza, of whom 42 are dead, according to the Israeli army.

Israel has sworn to destroy Hamas, which took over power in Gaza in 2007 and classifies it as a terrorist organization, along with the United States and the European Union.

His army launched a major offensive air and then land which devastated the Palestinian territory and left 38,153 dead, mostly civilians, according to the Ministry of Health of the Hamas-led Gaza government.

In the midst of a ground offensive launched on May 7 in Rafah to eliminate, according to Israel, “the last battalions of Hamas,” the army faced a resurgence of the Islamist movement in the north of the Palestinian territory, raising the specter of a long confrontation .

However, she announced at the beginning of January that she had “completed the dismantling of the military structure” of Hamas in the north.

“He blocks everything”

On truce efforts, caution remains in order.

On Sunday, a senior Hamas official speaking on condition of anonymity said “the ball was in the Israeli court” after asserting that his movement no longer demanded a ceasefire -continuous fire before launching negotiations on a truce and a release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners.

This “point has been overcome,” and in exchange, the mediators — United States, Qatar, Egypt — “committed to the fact that a ceasefire would remain in effect as long as negotiations are ongoing,” he said.

Hamas, he added, informed the mediators that it wanted to see three steps taken towards a ceasefire -fire, including the entry into Gaza of 400 aid trucks per day and the Israeli withdrawal from the “Philadelphia corridor and the Rafah crossing”, between southern Gaza and Egypt.

Hamas had until then demanded a total Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and a permanent ceasefire.

But the office of Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to Hamas' offer by saying that “any agreement would allow Israel to fight until all the objectives of the war are achieved”, in this case the destruction of Hamas and the liberation of 'all the hostages.

He had previously said that Israeli envoys would return to Doha in the coming days for talks.

“Netanyahu's intentions have become clear. Every time there is a breakthrough towards an agreement, he blocks everything and intensifies the aggression against our people,” a Hamas official said on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

To increase pressure for an agreement, new protests are planned for Monday in Israel.

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