The Israeli army continues its offensive against Hamas in Gaza on Thursday. Gaza with the capture of the port and remains deployed in the largest hospital where Thousands of Palestinian civilians are crowding in, despite the violence. criticism and calls from the UN "extended humanitarian breaks".
Fighting has been raging for days in western Gaza City where the army announced that it had taken “operational control” of the port, located in the north of the Gaza Strip, in the 41st day of the war.
The Palestinian movement, classified as a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union, used it “as a training center for its naval commando forces to plan and execute naval terrorist attacks”, according to the military.
The port of Gaza is a small fishing port whose activity is limited by the blockade imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip since Hamas took power in this Palestinian territory in 2007 .
The army has already taken the Parliament as well as the government and military police buildings in Gaza, “empty” buildings according to Hamas.
Bombings Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip, November 16, 2023 © AFP – JACK GUEZ
The army also confirmed to AFP that its soldiers were still deployed in the al-Chifa hospital compound, in the same sector of the port, where, according to the UN, there are around 2,300 people (patients, caregivers, displaced people).
A “targeted” operation began Wednesday in the immense al-Chifa hospital complex, presented by Israel as a strategic and military center of Hamas, something the Islamist movement denies.
– Strike on a gas station –
Israel has vowed to “annihilate” Hamas since the bloody attack launched by the Palestinian movement on its soil on October 7, unprecedented since the creation of Israel.
The Israeli army entered the al-Chifa hospital on Wednesday © AFP – Sophie RAMIS, Sylvie HUSSON
On the Israeli side, this attack left around 1,200 dead, mainly civilians killed that day, according to the authorities .
Since the attack, 51 soldiers have also been killed in the Palestinian territory, according to the Israeli army.
In retaliation, Israel relentlessly shelled the Gaza Strip, which was subjected to an almost total siege. Israeli bombings left 11,500 dead, mostly civilians, including 4,710 children, according to the Hamas government.
According to it, several dozen people were killed in nighttime Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. Nine civilians died in an attack on a gas station in the Nousseirat camp, in the center, where dozens of displaced people had found refuge.
Photo broadcast by the Israeli army, November 15, 2023, showing Israeli soldiers during an operation in the al-Chifa hospital in Gaza © Israeli army – –
In al-Chifa, “Israeli bulldozers partly destroyed the southern entrance” to the complex, “near the maternity ward”, already damaged by tank shell fire in recent days, the Ministry of Defense reported overnight. Hamas Health.
Dozens of Israeli soldiers, some hooded, burst into the hospital early Wednesday, according to an AFP journalist on site.
– L UN calls for pauses –
The Israeli army claims to have found Hamas “ammunition, weapons and military equipment” there, publishing images of what it claims are weapons, grenades and other equipment.
Photo broadcast by the Israeli army, November 15, 2023, showing a soldier next to boxes of medical supplies that the army says it delivered to Al-Shifa hospital during its operation in Gaza © Israeli Army – –
The Hamas Health Ministry denied the Israeli announcements, saying it “does not authorize” the presence of weapons in its establishments.
AFP was not able to independently verify claims from both camps.
Breaking silence for the first time since the start of the conflict, the UN Security Council called for “urgent and prolonged humanitarian pauses” in the Gaza Strip . On X, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan considered this resolution “disconnected from reality”.
The raid on al-Chifa hospital sparked international condemnation and urgent calls to protect Palestinian civilians.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said called on Thursday for an international investigation to verify the “extremely serious allegations” of violations of international law “whoever their perpetrators may be.”
US President Joe Biden, a key supporter of Israel in its war against Hamas, called on his ally to be “extremely careful” in conducting his hospital operation.
In Israel, the Pressure is increasing on the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the hostage issue. A march of relatives of the hostages who left Tel Aviv on Tuesday to demand an agreement on their release was due to arrive in Jerusalem on Friday.
– “Immediate” release of the hostages –
Israel recorded some 240 people kidnapped on October 7, including foreign nationals. One of them gave birth in captivity in the Gaza Strip, Mr. Netanyahu's wife said on Wednesday.
The head of European Union diplomacy, Josep Borrell (c) in Kibbutz Beeri, in southern Israel, near the border with the Gaza Strip, on November 16, 2023 © ; AFP – Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD
While talks are being held via Qatari mediation for the release of the hostages, Joe Biden said he was “relatively optimistic”.
The head of diplomacy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, said for his part demanded the “immediate release” of the hostages, during a visit to Beeri, in the south of Israel.
Fighting in Gaza © AFP – Sophie RAMIS, Maxence D'AVERSA, Olivia BUGAULT
In this devastated kibbutz where at least 85 people were killed by Hamas commandos and around thirty others taken hostage, there called on the government to “not let itself be consumed by rage.”
Israel has so far refused any ceasefire without prior release of the hostages.
According to the UN humanitarian agency (Ocha), 1.65 of the 2.4 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip have been displaced by the war, many fleeing the north of the territory where the fighting rages, towards the south.
– Attack in the West Bank –
In the territory, subjected since October 9 by Israel to an almost total siege, the population is deprived of water deliveries , electricity, food and medicine and international aid arrives there in dribs and drabs by truck from Egypt.
An Egyptian tanker truck waits on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with the southern Gaza Strip, November 15, 2023 © AFP – –
Despite a first delivery of just over 23,000 liters of fuel on Wednesday via the Rafah crossing in the south of the territory, the UN warned that its aid operations in Gaza were “on the brink of collapse” and the head of UN humanitarian affairs called on Wednesday for an end “the carnage in Gaza”.
Due to lack of fuel, the Palestinian telecoms operator Paltel announced on Wednesday “a suspension of all telecommunications services within a few hours”. This could “further threaten the lives of the population of Gaza,” the Human Rights Watch organization warned on Thursday.
On Wednesday, nearly 650 people, foreigners, dual nationals and injured Palestinians, were evacuated to Egypt through Rafah, reported the Palestinian authority in charge of operations at the border terminal.
The war in Gaza has also made the situation “potentially explosive” in the occupied West Bank, warned Volker Türk, where the Israeli army is increasing raids and incursions.
The entry of trucks into the Gaza Strip © AFP – Omar KAMAL, Gal ROMA
She claims to be responding to a “significant increase in terrorist attacks” since the Hamas attack. More than 190 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli settlers and soldiers since October 7.
Israeli police announced Thursday that they had killed three attackers after a “shootout” near a security checkpoint linking Jerusalem in the West Bank, Israeli emergency services reporting “four gunshot wounds” including “one in critical condition”.
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