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War in Gaza: American aid "sends a strong message", says Israel

Israel thanked Wednesday the American Senate for having voted military aid of 13 billion dollars, believing that this sent "a strong message" &agrav; his "enemies", à the time when war à Gaza knows no respite.

More than six months after the start of the war, triggered by the unprecedented attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas against Israel on October 7, many foreign capitals are concerned about the ongoing preparations for an operation Israeli on Rafah.

The Israeli Prime Minister has assured for weeks that this city, located at the southern end of the ravaged Palestinian territory and where a million and a half people have found refuge, is the last stronghold of Hamas.

Early Wednesday, hospital and security sources in Gaza reported Israeli airstrikes in the Nuseirat (center) and Rafah sectors. An AFP correspondent also reported intense airstrikes and artillery fire in Gaza City and the north of the besieged territory.

War in Gaza: American aid "sends a strong message", says Israel

Senate Democratic Caucus Leader Chuck Schumer (D) speaks after the U.S. Senate approved $13 billion in military assistance to Israel April 23, 2024 in Washington, DC © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA – Kevin Dietsch

On the diplomatic front, Israel thanked its American ally for the package of military aid it granted. This aid of 13 billion dollars should notably make it possible to strengthen its “Iron Dome” anti-missile shield, deployed at its borders.

This aid to Israel “is a clear guarantee of the strength of our alliance and it sends a strong message to all our enemies”, a reference to Hamas, but also to Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah, the head of Israeli diplomacy Israel Katz.

The American plan also includes more than nine billion dollars to “respond to the urgent need for humanitarian aid in Gaza and other vulnerable populations around the world”, particularly in Sudan, also at war for more than a year.

– “Apocalyptic situation” –

War in Gaza: American aid "sends a strong message", says Israel

A pro-Israeli student in the middle of a pro-Palestinian encampment on the campus of Columbia University on April 23, 2024 in New York © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA – STEPHANIE KEITH

This aid comes against a backdrop of pro-Palestinian demonstrations on American campuses and as fears of an operation in Rafah only grow.

According to Egyptian officials, cited by the Wall Street Journal, Israel is preparing to move civilians to the nearby town of Khan Younes, in particular, where it plans to set up shelters and food distribution centers.< /p>

War in Gaza: American aid "sends a strong message", says Israel

This evacuation operation would last two to three weeks and would be carried out in coordination with the United States, Egypt and other Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates, according to these officials.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said he was studying a “series of measures to be taken in preparation for operations in Rafah, in particular on the evacuation civilians”.

“We do not see for the moment any evacuation plan for civilians” from Rafah, Fabrizio Carboni, director, told AFP on Tuesday. of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), for whom a mass evacuation is “not possible” in current conditions.

For Jan Egeland, the secretary general of the NGO Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), an offensive on Rafah, “the largest camp for displaced people on earth,” would lead to an “apocalyptic situation”.

– “Impunity” –

War in Gaza: American aid "sends a strong message", says Israel

A car drives through the ruins of the town of Khan Younes, in the south of the territory, on April 24, 2024. © AFP – –

In the meantime, the war knows no respite. The Israeli army said on Wednesday it had struck two Hamas launching posts in the south of the Gaza Strip overnight.

Over the past day, “more than 50 targets” were struck, she added.

< p>The war was sparked on October 7 by an unprecedented attack carried out from Gaza against Israel by Hamas commandos, which resulted in the death of 1,170 people, mainly civilians, according to an AFP report based on official data. Israelis.

More than 250 people have been kidnapped and 129 remain captive in Gaza, 34 of whom have died according to Israeli officials.

War in Gaza: American aid "sends a strong message", says Israel

Gaza Civil Defense personnel exhume bodies found in mass graves at Khan Yunis hospital on April 24, 2024 © AFP – –

In response to the attack, Israel promised to destroy Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007, and launched a vast military operation which has so far left 34,183 dead, mostly civilians, according to Hamas.

On Tuesday, the UN called for an international investigation into mass graves discovered in the two main hospitals of these cities, al-Chifa in Gaza and Nasser in Khan Younès, stressing the need to put an end to the current “climate of impunity”.

– 340 bodies exhumed –

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, said he was “horrified by the destruction” of these two hospitals “and by the announced discovery of mass graves in and around these sites”.

War in Gaza: American aid "sends a strong message", says Israel

People mourn the body of a relative who was dug up at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younes, southern Gaza Strip, April 23, 2024 © AFP – –

Gaza Civil Defense claimed to have exhumed since Saturday 340 bodies of people killed and buried by Israeli forces in mass graves inside the Nasser hospital.

Israeli military says allegations it buried Palestinian bodies are “baseless.”

Into the Ruins from al-Chifa hospital, a doctor, Amjad Alewah, came to show an AFP correspondent on Tuesday the emergency reception, charred and partially emptied of its furniture. “After 200 days of war, we are now in the middle of the rubble of this large hospital (…) We received thousands of wounded every day,” he remembers.

– By sea and land –

In addition to the heavy human toll and massive destruction, the population of Gaza is facing a risk of famine according to the UN.

War in Gaza: American aid "sends a strong message", says Israel

Men walk among the rubble of buildings carrying humanitarian aid packages dropped over the northern Gaza Strip, April 23, 2024 © AFP – –

The United States will begin construction of a pier in Gaza “very soon” to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian territory, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

In recent days, Israel, which controls the entry of goods into the Gaza Strip, has increased the number of aid trucks allowed into the territory.

Israel and the UN do not always agree on the count of these aid trucks, but the head of the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini welcomed a record number of trucks entering the territory in a single day.

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