France Media Agency Triggered on October 7 by the unprecedented attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement on Israeli soil from the Gaza Strip, the war shows no sign of respite despite civilian casualties increasing every day and international calls for a ceasefire. fire.
Adel Zaanoun – Agence France-Presse and Margaux Bergey Respectively in the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem
- Middle East
The war between Israel and Hamas, which entered its 13th week on Saturday, continues without respite in the Gaza Strip, to the great despair of a Palestinian population “exhausted” in the face of army bombardments Israeli and in the absence of any concrete prospect of a ceasefire.
The south of the Gaza Strip, where there are a large number of displaced Palestinians, but also the center of the besieged territory continue to be the scene of intense bombardments, day and night. And “the war will continue for several months,” reaffirmed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, despite increasingly pressing calls to put an end to it.
On Saturday, residents of al-Zawayda, in the center of the Gaza Strip, continued to extract bodies from the rubble, including those of nine members of the same family according to the director of Civil Protection, Rami al-Aidi.
In the far south of the territory, columns of smoke caused by Israeli strikes continued to rise in the sky over Rafah. Oum Louay Abou Khater, who fled his home in Khan Younès, summed up the feeling of despondency. ” That's enough ! We are totally exhausted,” the 49-year-old exclaimed.
According to the Health Ministry of Hamas, which rules Gaza, 21,672 people, mostly women, adolescents and children, have been killed since the war began on October 7.
All our texts on the war between Israel and Hamas
This devastating war was sparked by an unprecedented Hamas attack on Israeli soil, which resulted in the deaths of around 1,140 people, most of them civilians, according to an AFP count made from official Israeli data. Approximately 250 people were also kidnapped, of whom 129 are still held hostage in Gaza.
In response, Israel has vowed to destroy the Palestinian Islamist movement and is shelling the Gaza Strip. It has also been carrying out ground operations since the end of October, in which 170 Israeli soldiers were killed, according to the army.
Destruction of tunnels
While the north of the Gaza Strip was largely destroyed in the first weeks of war, the Israeli army on Saturday published images of Hamas tunnels, equipped according to it with electricity, ventilation systems and wastewater disposal, rest rooms and prayer rooms. In a press release, it claimed to have detonated this underground network on Friday, with aerial images showing the impressive blast of the explosion.
Across the Gaza Strip, 85% of the approximately 2.4 million residents have had to flee their homes since October 7 according to the UN, and face a dire humanitarian situation .
In a statement, the territory's Ministry of Health “warned of the risk of famine among the more than 1.9 million displaced people, who lack water, food, medicine and basic infrastructure.” .
A few dozen aid trucks enter daily the territory subject to a complete siege by Israel, via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, a clearly insufficient figure.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated his call for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire.” The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of the growing threat of the spread of infectious diseases.
“Bring Them Back”
During a press conference on Saturday evening, the Israeli Prime Minister did not deviate: “The war will continue for many months, until Hamas is eliminated and the hostages released.”
At the same time, more than a thousand people demonstrated in Tel Aviv in support of the hostages and their loved ones, chanting “bring them home!” “.
International mediators, who managed to negotiate a one-week truce at the end of November which allowed the release of more than 100 hostages and the entry of limited aid into Gaza, are continuing their efforts.< /p>
According to the American sites Axios and Israeli Ynet, citing anonymous Israeli sources, Qatar indicated to Israel that Hamas accepted the principle of resuming talks with a view to the release of more than 40 hostages in exchange for a ceasefire.
At the same time, a delegation from Hamas, a movement classified as terrorist by the EU, the United States and Israel in particular, arrived in Cairo on Friday to convey “the response of the Palestinian factions” to an Egyptian peace plan.
This response will be given “in the coming days,” said Muhammad al-Hindi, deputy secretary general of Islamic Jihad, an armed group fighting alongside Hamas, in a statement.
Questioned on Saturday evening, Benjamin Netanyahu remained evasive. “Hamas was issuing a whole series of ultimatums that we rejected,” he said, before adding: “We see a change, [but] I don't want to create expectations.”< /p>
Pro-Iran fighters killed in Syria
On Saturday, Hamas condemned the “emergency” sale announced the day before by the United States of ammunition and military equipment to Israel, for an amount of $147.5 million.
The war between Israel and Hamas has reignited tensions in the region.
On Saturday, a Palestinian was killed in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. The Israeli army had previously indicated that it had “neutralized” a person suspected of a car-ramming attack on a military checkpoint near Hebron.
At least 317 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank by soldiers, and in some cases by Israeli settlers, since October 7, according to a tally by the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry.
On the northern border with Lebanon, scene of almost daily deadly incidents, the army said on Saturday that it had “identified” shots towards Israel, and in exchange targeted several positions of the Lebanese Shiite movement.
Hezbollah, close to Iran and which supports Hamas, announced that four of its fighters had been killed “on the road to Jerusalem”, a term used to designate its members who have fallen since October 7, without providing further details. .
In eastern Syria, at least 23 fighters affiliated with Iran, Israel's sworn enemy, were killed on Saturday in “probably Israeli” airstrikes, according to the Syrian Observatory human rights (OSDH).