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Israeli strikes on Gaza, fears of a “new escalation” in Lebanon

Israel shells the Gaza Strip on Tuesday the time when his Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu éevokes the end of the "intense&quot phase; fighting with Palestinian Hamas, and whereù fears of a "new escalation" with the Lebanese Hezbollah are growing.

In the early hours of Tuesday, Palestinian civil defense reported 13 dead in Israeli strikes in Gaza City and witnesses of bombings in Rafah (south), near Egypt, where Israel launched a ground operation in early May.

In Washington, the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken spoke with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant about the efforts for a truce agreement in Gaza, associated with the release of hostages, but also tensions in Lebanon.

Blinken “stressed the importance of avoiding a new escalation conflict and reach a diplomatic solution that allows Israeli and Lebanese families to return home,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

– “There will be a war” –

The exchanges of fire in recent months between the Israeli army and the Lebanese Hezbollah, an Islamist movement allied with Hamas, armed and financed by Iran, have led to the displacement of tens of thousands of inhabitants of border areas of southern Lebanon and northern Israel.

Israeli strikes on Gaza, fears of a “new escalation” in Lebanon

Southern Lebanon and Northern Israel © AFP – Nalini LEPETIT-CHELLA, Paz PIZARRO

In an article published on Sunday, the British daily The Telegraph asserts that Hezbollah stored Iranian missiles and explosives at Beirut airport, in an area of ​​the capital where Hezbollah is predominant.

But senior Lebanese officials defended the airport's “reputation” on Monday during a visit organized for the press and diplomats to deny this information which raised the level of regional tensions.

On Monday, the official Lebanese press agency reported that “hostile warplanes carried out three airstrikes on Jurd Massa and Jenta in the Chiaara region” in eastern Lebanon, without reporting any casualties.

For its part, Hezbollah announced that it had targeted three Israeli military sites on the other side of the border on Monday.

Israeli strikes on Gaza, fears of a “new escalation” in Lebanon

Israeli bombing in the village of Khiam, in southern Lebanon, on June 23, 2024 © AFP – Rabih DAHER

“There will be a war,” predicted Helene Abergel, a resident of Kiryat Shmona, in northern Israel, displaced in a Tel Aviv hotel. “A war must take place to push Hezbollah away from the border,” added this 49-year-old woman met by AFP.

“After the end of the intense phase (of the fighting in Gaza, Editor's note), we will be able to redeploy certain forces towards the north, and we will do so, mainly for defensive purposes”, Mr. Netanyahu declared on Sunday, who is facing a vast movement of protest in Israel.

– The day after –

For more than a week, the demonstrations are multiplying to demand the return of the hostages still held in Gaza, and the holding of early elections in the wake of the resignation of two tenors of the war cabinet who demanded from the Prime Minister a concrete plan for the post-war in Gaza.

Israeli strikes on Gaza, fears of a “new escalation” in Lebanon

A building destroyed by Israeli bombardment in the Al-Bureij Palestinian refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip, June 24, 2024 © AFP – Eyad BABA

A plan presented at the end of May by American President Joe Biden, proposed according to him by Israel, provides for a six-week ceasefire accompanied by an Israeli withdrawal from densely populated areas of Gaza, the release of certain hostages, and Palestinian prisoners detained by Israel.

Monday in Parliament, Mr. Netanyahu assured that he was “attached to the Israeli proposal that President Biden approved, our position did not changed”.

But beyond a possible truce of a few weeks, differences still seem to emerge between Israel and the United States on the post-war period. Gaza.

“The Palestinian Authority must be part” of the “day after” in the Gaza Strip, American Ambassador Jacob Lew declared on Monday, emphasizing the need for a “civil administration” in the territory currently ravaged by war.

Israeli strikes on Gaza, fears of a “new escalation” in Lebanon

Destructions in Khan Younes, in the south of the Gaza Strip, June 23, 2024 © AFP – Eyad BABA

Washington is calling for a reform of Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority, which sits in the occupied West Bank, so that it can play a key role in the political reconstruction of Gaza, and a road map towards the recognition of a state Palestinian.

But Benjamin Netanyahu rather suggested that Israel was going to keep “military control” of Gaza in the “near future” while saying he ultimately wanted the creation of a civil administration managed by “Palestinians”, without however calling on the Palestinian Authority to play a political role in Gaza.

– Complaint against Unrwa –

The war was sparked on October 7 by an attack by Hamas commandos in southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians. , according to an AFP count established from official Israeli data. Of 251 people kidnapped that day, 116 are still held hostage in Gaza, of whom 42 are dead, according to the army.

Israeli strikes on Gaza, fears of a “new escalation” in Lebanon

Palestinians evacuate the Al-Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on June 24, 2024. © AFP – Eyad BABA

In response, the Israeli army launched a vast offensive in the Palestinian territory which has so far left 37,626 dead, mostly civilians, according to data from the Gaza government's Ministry of Health , led by Hamas since 2007.

In addition to this toll, the war has caused a humanitarian catastrophe in the Palestinian territory where looting and smuggling “are widespread” and ” prevent” the delivery of aid that the population “desperately needs”, said Philippe Lazzarini, the head of the UN agency in charge of Palestinian refugees (Unrwa), on Monday.

The families of those killed during the Hamas attack in Israel on October 7, however, filed a complaint on Monday against UNRWA, accusing it of having “helped Hamas to establish (its ) terrorist infrastructure” in Gaza, according to court documents seen by AFP.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

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