Funeral of a Franco-Israeli soldier, Eli Valentin Ghenassia, killed during the Hamas attack, on October 12, 2023 at the Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem © AFP – RONALDO SCHEMIDT < p>At dawn on October 7, the last day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, hundreds of Hamas fighters infiltrated Israel in vehicles, by air and sea, to kill more than a thousand civilians in the streets. , at home or in the middle of a music festival, sowing terror under a deluge of rockets. Hamas also took dozens of hostages to Gaza.
This extremely violent attack stunned the country and traumatized the survivors and the people who came to help the victims.
– Breaking point –
In the town of Sderot, near the border with Gaza, Yossi Landau, a volunteer with the Israeli relief organization Zaka, almost reached breaking point while recovering the bodies victims, and says he witnessed violence he had never seen before.
As fighting raged between Hamas and Israeli forces, “a stretch of road that should have taken 15 minutes took us 11 hours because we went and picked everyone up and put them in bags,” said this man. 55-year-old man.
Israeli police officers and a journalist take shelter during a rocket scare in Sderot, Israel, October 12, 2023 © AFP – Menahem KAHANA
“I felt like I was collapsing, not just me, but my entire team,” he recalls, describing the abominable scenes.
After the attack, the army claimed to have recovered the bodies of 1,500 infiltrated Hamas fighters.
The Islamist movement has also kidnapped several dozen Israelis, foreigners and dual nationals. Israel has around 150 hostages, while hundreds of people are still missing and bodies are being identified.
Israel responded by declaring war to destroy Hamas. The Israeli army announced Thursday that it had dropped around 6,000 bombs on the Gaza Strip for a total of 4,000 tons of explosives since Saturday.
– More than 423,000 displaced –
In the Palestinian enclave, the din of explosions, drones and other blasts is incessant, day and night.
“Why? We didn't do anything!”, screams a man as he watches stretcher bearers take away the lifeless body of a relative, just out of the rubble in a bombed neighborhood.
Bombings Israeli troops on Gaza City, October 12, 2023 © AFP – IBRAHIM HAMS
More than 423,000 Palestinians have been displaced in recent days in the Gaza Strip to flee the bombings, according to the UN, which has launched an emergency appeal for donations worth $294 million to meet the “urgent needs” of the Palestinians. Palestinian territories.
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) welcomes around 64% of these displaced people in 102 of its establishments.
Thursday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi urged Gazans to be “unwavering” and “stay on their land” as calls grow for Egypt to allow safe passage for civilians from the Gaza Strip. p>
Egypt, which advocates a diplomatic solution and calls for restraint on both sides, opposes the idea of letting Palestinians fleeing the war enter its territory.
– Drink sea water –
“The only power plant in the Gaza Strip ran out of fuel and stopped working, cutting off the only source of electricity” in the enclave where most residents “no longer have access to electricity.” “drinking water”, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported in a statement.
According to this organization, a water reservoir and a desalination plant were affected by airstrikes.
A resident of Gaza in front of Al-Shifa hospital in the Palestinian enclave, October 12, 2023 © AFP – Mahmud HAMS
“UNICEF indicated that some began to drink sea water, very salty, and contaminated by 120,000 m3 of untreated wastewater every day,” adds the text.
The band of Gaza, a poor and cramped enclave crowded with 2.4 million inhabitants who have suffered a land, air and sea blockade since 2006, is now in a state of siege, deprived of supplies of water, electricity and food, cut off by Israel.
In addition to the bombings, the Israeli army has deployed tens of thousands of soldiers around Gaza and on the border with Lebanon, a country from which pro-Iranian Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas, regularly launches rockets against Israel.
– Blinken in Jordan –
During his whirlwind visit to Israel, Antony Blinken said he discussed “ways to address the humanitarian needs of Gaza residents in order to protect them, while Israel conducts its legitimate security operations to defend itself against terrorism and attempt to make sure this never happens again.”
The Gaza Strip © AFP – Clement KASSER, Laurence SAUBADU
“We will always be at your side”, said assured Mr. Netanyahu the head of American diplomacy.
In Jordan, where he arrived on the night of Thursday to Friday, the Secretary of State must meet King Abdullah II and the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. He is then expected in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
The UN Security Council is due to meet on Friday to address the situation in the Gaza Strip. A first meeting of the Council, on October 8, did not result in any unanimous condemnation of the Hamas attack.
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