Israel announced Thursday to be entered with tanks in the Gaza Strip, to "prepare the battlefield" of a ground offensive, on the 20th day of its war against Hamas which left more than 7,000 people dead. Gaza, according to the Palestinian movement.
This probable operation, mentioned numerous times since the unprecedented deadly attack by Hamas on Israeli soil on October 7, worries a large part of the international community. The latter fears a significant number of civilian victims in this small, densely populated territory where some 2.4 million inhabitants are crowded together.
The bloody attack carried out by Hamas in Israel on October 7 and retaliation by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip has so far left more than 1,400 dead in Israel, according to the authorities, and more than 7,000, including nearly 3,000 children, in the Palestinian territory, according to Hamas. p>
“Overnight, the army carried out a targeted raid with tanks in the northern Gaza Strip, as part of its preparations for the next stages of the fight,” said a statement from the military spokesperson on Thursday morning. .
The soldiers “left the area” at the end of the operation, he assured.
Black and white images released by the Israeli army show armored vehicles and bulldozers passing through a protective fence, similar to the one separating Israel from the Gaza Strip.
According to the Israeli army, during their nighttime incursion, the soldiers “located and struck numerous terrorists, their infrastructure and anti-tank rocket launch positions, and operated to prepare the battlefield” before a ground offensive confirmed the day before by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Screenshot taken from a video released by the Israeli army showing a “targeted raid” in northern Gaza with tanks and infantry, October 26, 2023 © Israeli Army – –
And as a prelude to this operation, the Israeli army has been relentlessly bombing the Gaza Strip since October 7, also subject to “a total siege” which deprives it of water, food and electricity.
Satellite images released Thursday show the extent of the destruction in Gaza where entire neighborhoods were razed by bombs.
– “Two-state solution” –
< /p> Neighborhoods destroyed in the north of the Gaza Strip © AFP – Sylvie HUSSON, Jean-Michel CORNU
A ground offensive promises to be difficult in this very densely populated territory, riddled with tunnels where Hamas hides weapons and fighters, and in the presence of more than 200 hostages.
French President Emmanuel Macron judged on Wednesday, in Cairo, that such an operation, if it were to be “massive”, would be an “error”. His Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, called for avoiding a “land invasion of Gaza”.
In the United States, President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that Israel had “the right” and “the responsibility” to defend itself, but that it must do everything possible “to protect innocent civilians.”
During his visit to Israel on October 18, Mr. Biden also warned his ally not to repeat the “mistakes” made by the United States in the aftermath of September 11.
“When the crisis is behind us, there must be a vision of what comes after. And for us, this must go through a two-state solution”, a Palestinian and an Israeli, the American president said on Wednesday. . Emmanuel Macron also called on Wednesday from Cairo to “finally achieve the two-state solution”.
Mr. Biden, however, assured that he had not “demanded” that Mr. Netanyahu delay his possible offensive until the release of the hostages in the hands of Hamas.
Palestinians wait to fill water in Khan Younes, in the south of the Gaza Strip, on October 26, 2023 © AFP – MOHAMMED ABED
Some 224 hostages were taken to Gaza by the movement's fighters Palestinian Islamist, classified as terrorist by the United States, Israel and the European Union, according to the latest figures from the Israeli authorities made public Thursday. Four women have been released since Friday evening.
“We are sick with anxiety, sick with anxiety,” repeats in Paris, France, Moran Betzer Tayar, a 54-year-old woman whose nephew and his wife were taken hostage at Kibbutz Nirim, urging Hamas to ” demonstrate humanity.”
– Humanitarian “Pauses” –
Palestinians wait to collect the bodies of their loved ones in front of the Nasser hospital in Khan Younes in the south of the Gaza Strip, October 26, 2023 © AFP – MOHAMMED ABED
For the United States, a cease -the fire “at this stage would only benefit Hamas”. The White House instead suggested “pauses” to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid. Meeting at a summit on Thursday in Brussels, the 27 countries of the European Union will debate this call for a humanitarian pause.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on Tuesday for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” and condemned the “clear violations of humanitarian law” in the Palestinian territory, provoking the anger of Israel.
Only a few dozen trucks of humanitarian aid have arrived in Gaza since October 21 via Egypt, while at least a hundred trucks per day would be needed, estimates the UN.
Israelis demonstrate in Tel Aviv brandishing portraits of hostages held by Palestinian Hamas and signs calling for their release, October 26, 2023 © AFP – AHMAD GHARABLI
This The latter urgently calls for the delivery of fuel to run generators in hospitals, pump and purify water. Which Israel excludes, saying it would benefit Hamas.
According to Mohammed Abu Selmeya, the director of Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, the largest in the territory, “ten hospitals are already out of service” and “more than 90% of medicines and products are exhausted.”
– “No safe place” –
Palestinians search for survivors in the rubble of buildings destroyed in Israeli bombings in Khan Younes in the south of the Gaza Strip, October 26, 2023 © AFP – Mahmud HAMS
October 7, in the middle of Shabbat , the weekly Jewish rest, hundreds of Hamas fighters had infiltrated Israel from the Gaza Strip, sowing terror during this attack of unprecedented violence and scale since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.
The Israeli Prime Minister recognized on Wednesday that he too should “be held accountable” after this attack which stunned the country, but “later” after the war.
Since October 15, the Israeli army has called on the population of the northern Gaza Strip, where the bombardments are most intense, to evacuate to the south, and at least 1.4 million Palestinians have fled their homes since the start of the war, according to the UN.
A child and his injured mother taken on a stretcher to Nasser hospital in Khan Younes, in the south of the Gaza Strip, on October 26, 2023 © AFP – MOHAMMED ABED
However, strikes also continue to affect the south, where several hundred thousand civilians are massed. On Thursday, a teenage girl was pulled out from the rubble of a building in Khan Younes, in the south of the Gaza Strip. She was taken to hospital after 35 hours under the rubble.
“No place is safe in Gaza,” the UN humanitarian affairs coordinator for the Palestinian territories said on Thursday , Lynn Hastings.
“I survived five wars and a million escalations,” says Jawaher al-Aqraa, an English teacher who took refuge with her brother in the Deir el-Balah camp (center). “But with this war, I feel like I’m just waiting for my turn to die.”
Young Israelis wave national flags near the Western Wall in East Jerusalem, October 26, 2023 © AFP – Aris MESSINIS
While a part of the international community fears a regional conflagration, the Israeli army announced Wednesday evening strikes against Lebanon in response to a surface-to-air missile attack. Earlier, she said she had struck military infrastructure in Syria after shots fired towards her territory.
Tension is also very high in the occupied West Bank where more than a hundred Palestinians have been killed in violence since the 7th. October, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
All reproduction and representation rights reserved. © (2023) Agence France-Presse