Spread the love

Israeli strikes on Rafah, talks for a truce in Gaza

Photo: Mohammed Abed Agence France-Presse A little girl ate bread as Palestinians collected debris after an Israeli strike on Thursday in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.

Adel Zaanoun – Agence France-Presse and Delphine Matthieussent – Agence France-Presse respectively in the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem

7:32 p.m.

  • Middle East

A hundred Palestinians have died in the past 24 hours in incessant Israeli bombardments on the Gaza Strip, including in Rafah, Hamas said Thursday, while an American envoy held discussions in Israel with a view to a possible truce.

More than four months after the start of the war between Israel and Hamas triggered by an unprecedented attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement, 2.2 million people are threatened with famine in the Gaza Strip, which is devastated and besieged, according to the 'UN. This one speaks of a humanitarian catastrophe.

At a time when the war has left nearly 29,500 dead in the Palestinian territory, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health, the international community is concerned about the fate of at least 1.4 million Palestinians massed in Rafah, according to the UN, and trapped against the closed border with Egypt.

Before dawn, the Israeli air force carried out around ten strikes in this city, according to a journalist from Agence France-Presse. Bombings also targeted Khan Younès, a few kilometers further north.

According to the Hamas Ministry of Health, in 24 hours, bombings claimed the lives of 97 Palestinians in territory besieged by Israel since October 9.

“I was woken up by a huge explosion, like an earthquake. There were flames, smoke, dust everywhere, said Rami al-Shaer, a 21-year-old survivor. They destroyed Rafah. » 

A mosque affected

The bombings destroyed the al-Faruq mosque in Rafah, of which only the minaret remains, standing in the middle of the ruins.

As for Khan Younes, the Palestinian Red Crescent reported “multiple attacks” and artillery fire against the al-Amal hospital. The ruined city's other major hospital, Nasser, was stormed by the army on February 15.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an upcoming ground offensive on Rafah. The objective, according to him, is to defeat Hamas in its “last bastion” and free the hostages held in Gaza since the October 7 attack.

That day, Hamas commandos infiltrated from the neighboring Gaza Strip carried out an attack in southern Israel during which 1,160 people were killed, mostly civilians, according to a count of Agence France-Presse based on official Israeli data.

Some 250 people were also kidnapped and taken to Gaza. According to Israel, 130 hostages are still held there, 30 of whom are believed to have died, after the release, thanks to a truce at the end of November, of 105 hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to wipe out Hamas, which seized power in Gaza in 2007 and is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

“The discussions are going well”

After carrying out a campaign of bombardments by land, sea and air against the 362 km2 territory, the Israeli army launched a ground offensive in the north of the Gaza Strip on October 27, and its soldiers have progressed to Khan Younès, where the fighting is concentrated.

According to the Hamas Ministry of Health, 29,410 people were killed in Gaza, the vast majority civilians.

Entire neighborhoods of Palestinian territory were razed, and 1.7 million people were displaced out of the approximately 2.4 million inhabitants.

Faced with a human toll that continues to rise, discussions involving foreign mediators — Qatar, the United States, Egypt — with a view to a truce associated with a new release of hostages are continuing.

After a visit to Cairo, US President Joe Biden's adviser for the Middle East, Brett McGurk, held discussions on Thursday in Israel with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in particular.

“The initial indications we have from Brett are that the discussions are going well,” the White House said, specifying that the talks are about “an extended pause aimed at the release of all hostages ” and “more humanitarian aid entering” Gaza.

The release of the hostages is one of the first objectives of the war stated by Benjamin Netanyahu, who wants to continue the offensive in Gaza until the elimination of Hamas.

Hamas is demanding a ceasefire, a withdrawal of troops from Gaza, an end to the Israeli blockade in place since 2007 and greater humanitarian aid.

“Virtual unanimity”

Subject to the green light from Israel, humanitarian aid, still insufficient, enters Gaza mainly through Rafah via Egypt, but its transport to the north is made almost impossible by the destruction and fighting .

The war also led to an outbreak of violence in the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, where three Palestinians fired on vehicles near an Israeli settlement on Thursday, leaving one dead and eight injured, before being shot dead.

In Rio de Janeiro, the head of Brazilian diplomacy, Mauro Vieira, reported “virtual unanimity” of the G20 members “in support of the two-state solution”, Israeli and Palestinian , to resolve this decades-old conflict.

On Wednesday, the Israeli Parliament passed a resolution opposing any “unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state”, which according to the text would amount to rewarding the “unprecedented terrorism” of Hamas.< /p>

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