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Palestine celebrates Eid al-Adha on 'almost calm' day

Photo: Bashar Taleb Agence France-Presse Palestinians surround sheep prepared for the Eid al-Adha slaughtering ritual in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza, on the first day of the Muslim holiday marking the end of the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

France Media Agency in the Gaza Strip

Posted at 9:22 a.m. Updated at 6:29 p.m.

  • Middle East

The Gaza Strip experienced a day of relative calm on Sunday, after the Israeli army announced a pause in its operations along a road in the south of the Palestinian territory (where the (UN fears widespread famine) to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid.

On the first day of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, the territory bombed by the Israeli army for more than eight months experienced an “almost calm day compared to previous days,” Civil Defense spokesperson Mohamed Basal told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

He reported “a few strikes” on several neighborhoods in Gaza City in the north and artillery fire in Rafah in the south, where the army is carrying out a ground offensive against the Islamist movement Hamas.< /p>

An AFP correspondent indicated that calm remained in the evening in most sectors, after the expiration of the break which will be observed, according to the army, “from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (5 a.m. to 4 p.m. GMT) every day and until further notice”, on a road section of around ten kilometers.

The army stressed, however, that there was “clearly no cessation of hostilities in southern Gaza” and that “operations in Rafah continued.”

< p>This “tactical” and “local” pause should allow an “increase in the volume of humanitarian aid entering Gaza”, announced the army, the day after the death of 11 soldiers in the territory, including 8 in the explosion of 'a bomb.

This toll is one of the heaviest for the Israeli army in a single day since the start of the war, triggered by the attack without precedent launched by Hamas against Israel on October 7.

“Other concrete measures”

The UN “welcomed” the move, but called for it to “lead to other concrete steps” to facilitate humanitarian aid deliveries.

The spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), Jens Laerke, highlighted the extremely difficult conditions in which the population of the Gaza Strip, besieged by Israel, lives, where only 'very insufficient aid.

This break concerns a road that extends north from the Israeli crossing point of Kerem Shalom, at the southern end of the Gaza Strip.

This road section from the border crossing joins the Salaheddine road, which crosses the Gaza Strip from south to north, and extends to the European hospital in Rafah, about 10 kilometers from Kerem Shalom, according to a map published by the army.

Kerem Shalom has become the sole crossing point for humanitarian aid in the southern Gaza Strip since the army launched, on May 7, a ground offensive on the town of Rafah, bordering Egypt, and took control of the border post.

A “different” Eid

In Gaza City, dozens of worshipers prayed on the first day of Eid al-Adha in front of the al-Omari mosque, damaged by bombing.

“Eid is completely different” this year, “we have lost a lot of people, there is a lot of destruction,” Oum Mohammad al-Katri told AFP, in the neighboring Jabalia refugee camp.

The war broke out on October 7 when Hamas commandos infiltrating from Gaza into southern Israel carried out an attack that resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, the majority civilians, according to an AFP count established using official Israeli data.

Of 251 people kidnapped, 116 are still held hostage in Gaza, of which 41 are dead , according to the army.

In retaliation, the Israeli army launched an offensive on the Gaza Strip that has so far killed 37,337 people, mostly civilians, according to data from the Health Ministry of the Hamas-led Gaza government.

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“Terrible losses”

On Saturday, the army announced the death of eight soldiers whose armored vehicle was “hit by a bomb explosion” in Rafah, two soldiers in northern Gaza and another who died of his injuries.

“Our hearts are broken by these terrible losses,” responded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But “we must stick to the objectives of the war: destroy Hamas' capabilities, recover all our hostages, ensure that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel.”

“The person who made the decision to impose a pause while our soldiers are falling in combat is evil and stupid,” denounced far-right Israeli Minister Itamar Ben Gvir.

On Sunday, the army announced the death of a soldier in fighting in the south of the Gaza Strip, bringing the death toll to 310 soldiers since the start of ground operations on the 27th. October.

“We must continue our operational activities until we achieve our objectives, namely the defeat of the Rafah brigade” of Hamas, “and the destruction of all enemy infrastructure here in the region,” launched Sunday the commander of Israeli army in the southern sector, General Yaron Finkelman, visiting the soldiers.

Despite international mediation efforts, hopes for a ceasefire still face contradictory demands from Israel and Hamas.

The person who made the decision to institute a pause while our soldiers are falling in battle is evil and stupid.

— Itamar Ben Gvir

US President Joe Biden announced a plan on May 31 that provides, in a first phase, for a six-week ceasefire accompanied by an Israeli withdrawal from densely populated areas of Gaza , the release of certain hostages and the release of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

Israel has not officially made its position known, but Mr. Netanyahu reaffirmed his determination to continue the war until the elimination of Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007 and considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States. United and the European Union.

Hamas, for its part, demanded “amendments” to the plan, according to a source close to the discussions, including a timetable for a cease-fire. permanent fire and total Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

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