More wounded Palestinians and foreigners — several hundred — must be evacuated ;s Thursday in Egypt, from the Gaza Strip, bombarded relentlessly by Israel and where Ground fighting is deadly between the Israeli army and Palestinian Hamas.
On the 27th day of this war triggered by the bloody attack by Hamas in Israel on October 7, these “ferocious” fighting continue in the ruins of Gaza, as do the incessant bombings on the Palestinian territory, where the humanitarian situation is considered catastrophic . Dozens of people were killed Tuesday and Wednesday in Israeli strikes on the Jabiliya camp (north), in possible “war crimes” according to the UN, while Israel says it wants to “annihilate” Hamas.
Thursday morning, a rare positive development in this war which has already left thousands dead, an additional group of “100 travelers holding foreign nationalities”, aboard two buses, was able to leave Gaza towards Egypt, according to a spokesperson. word from the terminal on the Palestinian side, Wael Abou Mohsen.
In total, dozens of injured and up to 400 dual nationals and foreigners must leave the territory this Thursday, the day after the first evacuations.
Civilians cross one of the gates of the Rafah border crossing, between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, November 1, 2023 © AFP – Mohammed ABED
“We saw things we have never seen before, this war is the worst the Palestinian people have ever known,” Shams Shaath, a teenager with an American passport, still waiting, told AFP. /p>
Around them, in a large covered area, dozens of people, including women, children and the elderly, are also waiting, many of them with their passports in hand. A clearly exhausted boy is dozing, his head resting on his schoolbag, not far from a large white bus ready to evacuate them.
– “Up to 7,000 foreigners” will be evacuated, according to Egypt –
Binational residents of Gaza show their passports in order to be able to evacuate the Palestinian territory towards Egypt, on November 2, 2023 at the Rafah border crossing © AFP – SAID KHATIB
As the day before, the injured will be treated and transported by ambulance to Egyptian hospitals located a few dozen km away, notably in Al-Arich, capital of the North Sinai province.
Egypt said Thursday that it was preparing to welcome “up to 7,000” foreigners of “more than 60” nationalities, via the Rafah crossing point, the only window on the world for the Palestinian territory ruled by Hamas and subject to a “complete siege” of Israel since October 9.
The Rafah border post © AFP – Maxence D'AVERSA, Laurence SAUBADU
The timetable and details of this Egyptian plan have not been revealed.
From source Egyptian official, among the 361 dual nationals and foreigners evacuated on Wednesday were around thirty Austrians, four Italians, five French and a few Germans whose number was not specified. The United States also reported the presence of Americans.
Meanwhile, fighting continues to rage in the north of the Gaza Strip, where the Israeli army claimed Thursday to have killed “dozens” of Hamas fighters during the night, after “terrorist cells (… ) fired anti-tank missiles, detonated explosive devices and threw grenades.”
An Israeli army tank advances towards a position near the border with the Gaza Strip, October 31, 2023 © AFP – Yuri CORTEZ
Thursday morning, its spokesperson Daniel Hagari said that the forces Israeli forces “continued to break through the defense lines” of the Palestinian Islamist movement.
He added that 332 soldiers had been killed since October 7.
The number of hostages, Israeli or foreign, still in the hands of Hamas is 242, this spokesperson further indicated.
– “High number of victims” in Jabaliya –
According to Israeli authorities, at least 1,400 people have been killed in Israel since the start of the war, the majority civilians and most of them on the day of the Hamas attack, of unprecedented scale and violence.< /p>
Photo taken at Israel's southern border showing destruction in the northern Gaza Strip shortly after a bombing, November 2, 2023 © AFP – JACK GUEZ
In the Gaza Strip, 9,061 people, including 3,648 children, were killed in Israeli bombings, according to a new report from Hamas on Thursday. More than 2,000 people are missing, according to the same source.
Also on Thursday, Hamas claimed that Israeli strikes on Tuesday and Wednesday against a refugee camp in Jabaliya (north) had left 195 dead and 120 missing. This assessment could not be verified from an independent source.
Tuesday's bombing made it possible, according to Israel, to eliminate one of the Hamas leaders responsible for the October 7 attack, Ibrahim Biari.
But the UN described this bombing as a new “atrocity”, and its Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was “appalled”. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights estimated Wednesday evening that these bombings could constitute “war crimes”, “given the high number of civilian victims and the scale of the destruction”.
In the United States, while welcoming Wednesday's evacuation operation, made possible according to him thanks to the “leading role” of Washington, President Joe Biden for his part called for the first time to a “humanitarian pause” in Gaza, where the “complete siege” deprives the population of deliveries of water, food and electricity.
– “Last call” –
Sixty-one trucks carrying medicine and food arrived on Wednesday, after 59 the day before, according to Israeli authorities, and more than 200 since October 21 after the UN, which is calling for even more massive aid.
And while more than “20,000 injured” have “limited access to care” according to Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Hamas claims that 16 hospitals are no longer operational, out of the 35 in the territory according to the WHO.
A screenshot from an AFPTV video shows Palestinians inspecting the widespread destruction after an Israeli strike on the Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, November 1, 2023 © ; AFP – –
Mohammed Abu Selmeya, the director of al-Shifa hospital, the largest in Gaza, made a “final appeal” on Wednesday, warning that the main generator risked shutting down due to lack of fuel. If this is the case, “the next announcement will be the death of babies in incubators, of patients on respirators, in intensive care and in operating rooms,” he said.
In the Palestinian territory, according to the Israeli authorities, at least 242 hostages are still in the hands of Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel.
While their relatives live in anguish, Hamas claimed that seven hostages, “including three holders of foreign passports”, had been killed Tuesday in the first bombing in Jabaliya.
There is no respite either to fears of regional conflagration, while the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken is due to arrive in Israel on Friday, then go to Jordan, a country which has just recalled its ambassador to Tel Aviv.
In Iraq, a conference on regional stability in which French President Emmanuel Macron was to participate at the end of November was postponed indefinitely.
The head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken during a press conference in Tel Aviv, October 17, 2023 © POOL – Jacquelyn Martin
On the northern border of Israel, where armed clashes are daily between the Israeli army on the one hand and Lebanese Hezbollah and its allies on the other, the Lebanese army on Thursday found the bodies of two shepherds, killed by Israeli fire according to official Lebanese media.
This violence has left 66 dead in southern Lebanon since October 7, according to an AFP count, including 48 Hezbollah fighters. Seven civilians were killed. Eight soldiers and a civilian were killed on the Israeli side, according to authorities.
The war has also exacerbated tensions in the occupied West Bank, where two Palestinians and an Israeli were killed in violence on Thursday, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health and Israeli relief.
Nearly 130 Palestinians have been killed since October 7 by fire from Israeli soldiers or settlers, according to the Palestinian Authority.
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