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Strikes on Gaza, Washington criticizes Israel for the conduct of the war

Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip continue early Saturday despite the outbreak of war. criticism from Washington on the conduct of the war and the risks according to the UN of a "colossal humanitarian catastrophe" in the densely populated town of Rafah.

Early Saturday, AFP teams reported strikes in different sectors of Gaza after the broadcast of a State Department report on the situation in this territory at the heart of a war which now stretches over more than seven months.

The United States considers it “reasonable to believe” that Israel has violated international humanitarian law in Gaza without being able to definitively conclude this, and will continue to deliver weapons to this country, according to a State Department report.

At the same time, an overwhelming majority of the UN General Assembly ruled that the Palestinians deserved full membership in the organization, granting them some additional rights in the absence of real membership blocked by the United States, Israel's first ally despite these recent criticisms.

This symbolic vote, welcomed by the Palestinian Authority, angered Israel. “Violence pays,” said its head of diplomacy, Israel Katz, for whom the UN is rewarding Hamas for its October 7 attack.

– “Without delay” –

Indirect talks aimed at achieving a truce and avoiding a major offensive on Rafah ended in Cairo on Thursday without reaching an agreement.

In order to “defeat” Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defends an operation in Rafah (south), where according to him the last battalions of the Islamist movement are entrenched but where according to the UN there are also 1.4 million Palestinians, the majority displaced by the violence.

Defying international warnings, the Israeli army has been carrying out incursions into eastern Rafah since Tuesday, and has took control of the border crossing with Egypt, blocking a key entry point for humanitarian aid convoys.

The army also indicated on Friday that it was continuing its “precision anti-terrorist operation” in certain areas of eastern Rafah, and having “eliminated terrorist cells”.

– Famine –

A large operation in Rafah would lead to a “colossal humanitarian catastrophe”, warned UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, adding that famine was looming in the Palestinian territory.

“We call on the Israeli authorities to cease this military operation without delay and to return to the path of negotiations, the only possible path to lead to the immediate release of the hostages and obtain a lasting ceasefire”, added French diplomacy during the night.

American President Joe Biden threatened to stop certain arms deliveries to Israel in the event of major offensive on this city located on the edge of Egypt.

Strikes on Gaza, Washington criticizes Israel for the conduct of the war

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a press conference at UN headquarters in Nairobi, May 10, 2024 © AFP – Tony KARUMBA

The United States is “observing with concern” the operation in Rafah, but does not consider it “major” at this stage, said Friday a White House spokesperson, John Kirby.

– Fleeing Rafah –

According to the UN, around 110,000 people have fled since Israel called on Monday the population of eastern Rafah to evacuate.

“Some 30,000 people are fleeing the city every day,” said the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), adding that most “have already had to move five or six times” since the start of the war.

Like Oum Soubhi, displaced from Gaza City (north). “At the beginning of the war, we went to Rafah, then we were moved several times to the Rafah area due to threats, strikes and the scary and terrifying situation, before coming to Nuseirat (center),” she told AFP.

Despite the reopening on Wednesday of the Kerem Shalom crossing, neighboring Rafah, closed by Israel for three days after Hamas rocket attacks, the delivery of aid remains “extremely difficult”, Andrea De Domenico told AFP , the head of the Ocha office in the Palestinian territories.

Friday evening, Cogat, the body of the Israeli Ministry of Defense overseeing civil affairs in the Palestinian Territories, nevertheless announced “the transfer of 200,000 liters of fuel to international organizations” via Kerem Shalom.

– Always “possible” –

Strikes on Gaza, Washington criticizes Israel for the conduct of the war

Displaced Palestinians in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, May 10, 2024 © AFP – –

The war broke out on October 7 when Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza carried out an unprecedented attack against Israel, killing more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP report established from official Israeli data.

More than 250 people have been kidnapped and 128 remain captive in Gaza, of whom 36 are believed to have died, according to the army.

In response, Israel promised to destroy Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007, and launched an offensive which has so far left 34,943 dead, according to the Islamist movement's Ministry of Health.

Egypt on Friday urged Hamas and Israel to show “flexibility” as mediators' efforts “continue” towards a truce according to the media Al-Qahera News despite the departure from Cairo of the delegations of the two belligerents.

For Hamas, the “rejection by Israel” of this proposal brings the negotiations back “to the square one”.

On Monday, he gave the green light to an agreement in three phases of 42 days each according to him, including an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza as well as a exchange of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners, with a view to a “permanent ceasefire”.

But Israel is opposed to a definitive ceasefire as long as Hamas, which it considers a terrorist organization, is defeated.< /p> 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