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Israeli strikes in Gaza after ceasefire call

Photo: Bashar Taleb Agence France-Presse A Palestinian woman reacted to the death of a relative, killed in a strike in the Deir al-Balah area, in the center of the Gaza Strip.

France Media Agency to Rafah

Posted at 3:13 p.m. Updated at 6:47 p.m.

  • Middle East

Deadly Israeli bombings targeted the Gaza Strip on Sunday, notably the town of Rafah, the day after an appeal by international mediators to Israel and Hamas to conclude a ceasefire, after almost eight months of war. .

Despite protests from the international community, the Israeli army continues its offensive in Rafah, a border town with Egypt in the south of the Palestinian territory, launched on May 7 in order, according to her, to destroy the last battalions of the Islamist movement.

After the presentation on Friday by American President Joe Biden of an Israeli plan in sight of a ceasefire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed his determination to continue the war until the elimination of Hamas.

Approximately a million Palestinians, according to the UN, have already fled Rafah in the face of advancing Israeli troops.

“Thousands of families were forced to flee. The 36 shelters in Rafah of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees [UNRWA] are now empty,” the organization announced on Sunday.

The Israeli offensive has left at least 60 dead in 24 hours in the besieged territory, according to the Health Ministry of the Hamas-led Gaza government.

Calls for help

On Sunday, witnesses told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that they saw Israeli military vehicles in the west and center from Rafah. They reported heavy explosions, fighting, continuous shooting with drones and Apache helicopters.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said it was receiving calls to aid to civilians, but added that it was “very difficult” to reach them, “due to continued Israeli bombardment.”

In the north of the territory, three Palestinians were killed, including a child, in a bombing on Gaza City, according to a hospital source. In the center, the areas of Deir al-Balah, Bureij and Nousseirat were targeted by strikes.

In the devastated landscape of the Jabalia camp in the north, residents, returning after the end of an Israeli ground operation, were searching the ruins for some belongings.

“We want to reclaim our lives. We refuse to stay in schools and shelters. We will clean as much as we can and we will stay here,” Fares Jabr, a resident of the camp, told AFP.

The war broke out on October 7 when Hamas commandos infiltrated from the Gaza Strip carried out an unprecedented attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,189 people, mostly civilians, according to a count by the 'AFP based on official Israeli figures.

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Of the 252 people kidnapped during the attack, 121 are still held hostage in Gaza, of whom 37 are dead, according to the Israeli army.

In response, Israel declared war on Hamas, which it considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union. Its army launched an offensive in the Gaza Strip that has killed 36,439 people so far, according to data from the Hamas Health Ministry.

Qatar , the United States and Egypt, mediators in the conflict, jointly called on Saturday “Hamas and Israel to conclude the ceasefire agreement based on the principles set out by President Joe Biden”.

This road map proposed by Israel provides in a first phase, according to Joe Biden, a six-week ceasefire accompanied in particular by an Israeli withdrawal from densely populated areas of Gaza, the release of certain hostages, women and the sick, and the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

The contours of the second phase of the plan will be negotiated during the ceasefire, according to Mr. Biden. In the event of successful negotiations, the fighting would stop definitively, all the hostages would return home, including soldiers, and the army would completely withdraw from the territory.

Netanyahu under pressure

But Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed on Saturday that the “conditions” to achieve a “permanent ceasefire” did not have changed and included the “destruction” of the Islamist movement, in power in Gaza since 2007, as well as the “release of all hostages”.

Mr. Netanyahu is under great pressure at home. His far-right ministers, Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, have threatened to leave the government if it ends the war before ending Hamas, while many Israelis continue to take to the streets to demand an agreement ensuring the release of the hostages.

He nevertheless received the support of the leader of the opposition, Yaïr Lapid, and President Isaac Herzog.

Hamas said it considered “positively” the road map announced by Mr. Biden, after having reiterated its demands for a permanent ceasefire and a total Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

In the territory hit by a major humanitarian disaster, the Rafah crossing point, crucial for the delivery of international aid, has been closed since the The army took control of it on May 7 from the Palestinian side.

On Sunday, a meeting between Egypt, the United States and Israel was held in Cairo to discuss its reopening, without any agreement having been announced.

Cairo reiterated its refusal to see the Palestinian side of the crossing point controlled by Israel, according to a senior official cited by Al-Qahera News television, close to Egyptian intelligence.

According to Israeli authorities, 764 Egyptian trucks carrying humanitarian aid entered the Gaza Strip from Israel this week, via the Kerem Shalom crossing.

But according to the UN, the Gaza Strip is expected to receive at least 500 aid trucks daily to meet the immense needs of its 2.4 million residents.

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