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Under Israeli bombardment, Gaza enters ninth month of war

Photo: Bashar Taleb Agence France-Presse Palestinians watch the smoke billowing from an Israeli airstrike in Deir al-Balah that killed at least six people, in the central Gaza Strip, on June 6, 2024.

France Media Agency in the Palestinian territories

Posted at 8:45 a.m.

  • Middle East

Israeli strikes hit a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip after a deadly attack on a UN-run school, amid Israel's war following the October 7 Hamas attack entered her ninth month on Friday.

The conflict has left tens of thousands dead, ravaged much of the Gaza Strip and uprooted most of its 2.4 million people, who are at risk of starvation.

Diplomatic efforts to reach the first ceasefire since a week-long pause in fighting in November appear to have stalled, just a week after US President Joe Biden announced a new road map.

On the ground, air, artillery and naval bombardments continued across the territory controlled since 2007 by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, according to witnesses and local sources.

In Deir el-Balah (central Gaza), six people were killed and six others injured overnight by a missile strike on the a family's house in Al-Maghazi camp, according to a medical source.

A Palestinian Red Crescent official, Osama Al-Kahlout, reported the presence of “snipers positioned on several buildings […] east of Deir el-Balah” and added that “several wounded had been evacuated from the area due to gunfire.”

The Israeli army said its troops “continued their operational activities in the eastern regions of 'Al-Bureij and east of Deir el-Balah”, in the center of the territory.

The army “eliminated dozens of terrorists, identified tunnels and destroyed terrorist infrastructure in the region” […] as well as in Rafah, where weapons caches were notably discovered, she added in a press release.

“The smell of corpses”

According to an AFP correspondent, Israeli warships fired several shells on Friday at homes in the area of ​​the fishing port of Sheikh Ajlin, west of Gaza City.

Military operations in Rafah, a crowded city in the south of the Gaza Strip, have pushed a million Palestinians to flee, according to the UN, and led to the closure of the crossing point with Egypt , essential for the entry of international aid into the besieged territory.

Fleeing the fighting and bombings, Palestinians displaced in the Gaza Strip go to refresh themselves at the Deir el-Balah beach, even if it is polluted by sewage, according to images from AFPTV.

The sea offers them a respite “from insects , the heat […] and the smell of corpses,” Mohamed Ghaben, displaced multiple times within the territory since the start of the war, told AFP.

The war in the Gaza Strip was sparked by the attack in southern Israel by Hamas commandos infiltrating from Palestinian territory on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians killed that that day, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data.

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“Hamas Base”

During this attack, 251 people were taken as hostages. After a truce in November which notably allowed the release of around a hundred of them, 120 hostages are still being held in Gaza, 41 of whom are dead, according to the Israeli army.

In response to the October 7 attack, the Israeli army launched a deadly offensive in the small coastal territory where Hamas took power in 2007. At least 36,731 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed , according to a latest report Friday from the Ministry of Health of the Hamas-led Gaza government.

On Thursday, a hospital in the Gaza Strip reported the death at least 37 people in a bombing against a school run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), with the Israeli army claiming responsibility for the strike which targeted “a Hamas base”.

The Israeli military said in a statement that “army warplanes… carried out a precise strike on a Hamas base located inside an UNRWA school in the Nousseirat area » (center).

Little hopes for a truce

Sur on the diplomatic level, Joe Biden presented on May 31 a road map proposed according to him by Israel which provides, in a first phase, a six-week ceasefire accompanied by an Israeli withdrawal from the densely populated areas of Gaza, of the release of certain hostages kidnapped during the Hamas attack and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Hamas will present its response to this proposal “within days to come,” said a “senior official” on Thursday quoted by Al-Qahera News, a media outlet close to the Egyptian intelligence services.

But the contradictory demands of the two camps leave little hope of seeing the plan announced by Mr. Biden come to fruition.

Hamas says it is ready to accept an agreement only if it includes a permanent ceasefire and the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip.

Despite international pressure, Israel for its part assures that it wants destroy Hamas, which it considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union.

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