Lucerne: a choir of Ukrainian refugees sings the European anthem

Lucerne: a choir of Ukrainian refugees sings the European anthem
Lucerne: a choir of Ukrainian refugees sings the European anthem

The Israeli army bombarded the devastated and besieged Gaza Strip on Friday. The prospect of a quick truce in the war between Israel and Palestinian Hamas appears to be receding, despite international efforts.

In the ninth month of the war, Israel’s northern front, on the border with Lebanon, is experiencing a new outbreak of violence with intense cross-border firefights between Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas, and the Israeli army.

Once again, hopes for a ceasefire in the conflict triggered by an unprecedented attack by the Islamist movement Hamas against Israel on October 7 seem dashed, with the protagonists sticking to their intangible positions.

In the early hours of Friday, witnesses reported Israeli strikes on the small Palestinian territory, in the grip of a major humanitarian crisis with the threat of famine and where 75% of the approximately 2.4 million inhabitants have been displaced according to the UN.

The army mainly concentrates its operations in Rafah (south), where on May 7 it launched its ground offensive, which it believes is essential to eliminate Hamas. But bombings and fighting continue elsewhere in the Gaza Strip.

“Enough”!

“We were sitting at home and eating. Suddenly the house collapsed on us”, hit by an Israeli nighttime strike on the city of Gaza (north), Anwar Harz, injured and treated at Al-Ahli Hospital. “Enough, enough of war and destruction.”

Several injured Palestinians, including children, were transported to this hospital, one of the few operating, at least, in the Palestinian territory. At the establishment’s morgue, several bodies wrapped in blankets are placed on the ground.

At the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah (center), members of the Hegazi family mourn the death of Eyad, 10, who they believe died of malnutrition. Images show his sister holding his very emaciated body in her arms.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 8,000 children under the age of five have been treated in Gaza for acute malnutrition, “including 1,600 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.”

“There have already been 32 deaths attributed to malnutrition, 28 of them among children under five,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.

According to the army, troops in Rafah “eliminated terrorists, located large quantities of weapons and underground tunnel openings” and “destroyed Hamas infrastructure sites.”

In central and northern Gaza, Israeli warplanes targeted “terrorist structures or cells,” she added.

Biden blames Hamas

A truce plan in Gaza announced on May 31 by American President Joe Biden, Israel’s main ally, has so far remained a dead letter, with the Israeli government and Hamas sticking to their positions.

The plan provides, in a first phase, a six-week ceasefire accompanied by an Israeli withdrawal from densely populated areas of Gaza, the release of certain hostages held in Gaza and the release of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

Mr. Biden presented this plan as coming from Israel. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu deemed it incomplete, reaffirming his government’s determination to continue the war until Hamas is defeated and all hostages are released.

Hamas sent the mediating countries a first response, which according to a source close to the discussions, contains “amendments” to the plan, including “a timetable for a permanent ceasefire and the total withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza.” . Demands that Israel has always rejected.

On the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy, Mr. Biden blamed Hamas on Thursday. “I submitted a proposal approved by the Security Council, by the G7, by the Israelis, and the main obstacle at this point is Hamas refusing to sign, even though they proposed something similar.”

According to a draft declaration, the G7 called on Friday for UN agencies, including that for Palestinian refugees Unrwa, to be able to work without hindrance in Gaza.

Warning sirens

Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007, two years after Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Palestinian territory which it occupied for 38 years. This movement is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union.

Accused by the Israeli authorities of supporting Hamas, the Qatari channel Al Jazeera saw its ban in Israel extended by 35 days by the courts.

In northern Israel, rocket warning sirens sounded on Friday, with police speaking of “around 35 projectiles” fired from Lebanon falling in the vicinity of the towns of Kiryat Shmona and Kfar Szold. A certain “number” of projectiles were intercepted and no one was injured during these attacks, said the same source.

During the night, Israeli strikes cost the lives of two civilians in southern Lebanon, according to the Lebanese National Agency, after Hezbollah rocket and drone attacks against military targets in northern Israel.

This article was automatically published. Sources: ats / afp

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