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Relative calm in the Gaza Strip for the second day in a row

Photo: Omar Al-Qattaa Agence France-Presse Children stock up on a pot of food at an UNRWA school in the Jabalia camp for Palestinian refugees in the northern Gaza Strip, June 17, 2024.

France Media Agency in the Gaza Strip

Posted at 10:18 a.m.

  • Middle East

Israel carried out strikes on the northern Gaza Strip on Monday, and witnesses reported explosions in the south, but the situation there is relatively calmer after the Israeli military reported a “pause” in one area of ​​the south.

This pause, the announcement of which coincided on Sunday with the first day of the Muslim festival of sacrifice, is supposed to facilitate the delivery into the Palestinian territory of humanitarian aid, which Gazans sorely need after eight months of war. devastating relationship between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas.

In a message to Muslims for Eid al-Adha, American President Joe Biden defended on Sunday a plan to ceasefire, seeing it as the best way to help victims of the “horrors” of the war.

The Israeli army reported a pause “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 which extends from the Israeli crossing point of Kerem Shalom, at the southern end of the Gaza Strip, to the European hospital in Rafah, further north.

« Close combat »

An army spokesperson confirmed that the pause was still in place on Monday but an official reminded AFP that there was “no change in the Israeli army's policy”, particularly in Rafah (south) where it launched a ground operation at the beginning of May, causing hundreds of thousands of people to flee.

In a press release, the army indicated that it continued its attacks in Rafah and the central Gaza Strip, and was engaged in “close combat” with Palestinian fighters, several of whom it said were killed.

Doctors at the Baptist Hospital in the northern Gaza City reported five deaths and several wounded in two airstrikes.

Gaza Civil Defense spokesperson Mahmoud Basal told AFP that the Israeli army had carried out two nighttime strikes on an apartment and a house, “causing martyrs including a child and an elderly man”, transferred to this hospital.

“The rest of the Gaza Strip is relatively calm,” he added.

Tanks fired on areas east and south of Rafah, according to local officials. Witnesses reported explosions in the city.

The center of the Palestinian territory was also targeted by an airstrike in the Boureij camp, according to residents .

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“It’s not Eid”

“We are not in an Eid state of mind, Eid is when we return home, when the war ends […]. When every day there is a martyr, it is not Eid,” says Amer Ajour, a resident of Rafah displaced to Deir el-Balah (center).

The “tactical” and “local” pause should allow an “increase in the volume of humanitarian aid entering Gaza”, the army announced on Sunday, the day after the death of 11 soldiers in the territory, including eight in the explosion of a bomb.

This death toll is one of the heaviest for the Israeli army in the Palestinian territory in a single day since the start of the war .

This erupted on October 7 when Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza into southern Israel carried out an attack that resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people , mostly civilians, according to an AFP count established from official Israeli data.

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

In retaliation, the Israeli army launched an offensive on the Gaza Strip which has so far left 37,347 dead, mostly civilians, according to data from the Health Ministry of the Hamas-led Gaza government.

Need “concrete measures”

The UN welcomed the Israeli “pause” announcement but called for it to “lead to other concrete measures” to facilitate deliveries of humanitarian aid.

Kerem Shalom has become the sole humanitarian crossing point in the southern Gaza Strip since the army launched its ground offensive on Rafah, on the border with Egypt, and took control of the crossing.

Despite international mediation efforts, hopes for a ceasefire continue to clash with conflicting demands from Israel and Hamas.

An Israeli official also confirmed on Monday the dissolution of the war cabinet, created after the October 7 attack, following the resignation last week of centrist Benny Gantz. Decisions on the war will be made by the security cabinet.

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