Israel says it launched air attack on Hamas camp in Rafah

Israel says it launched air attack on Hamas camp in Rafah
Israel says it launched air attack on Hamas camp in Rafah

AFP

Gaza: strikes on Rafah after ICJ decision

The Israeli army bombed the Gaza Strip, including Rafah, on Saturday, the day after a decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordering it to suspend its operations in this sector amid efforts in Paris to wrest a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The highest court of the UN – whose decisions are legally binding but which lacks mechanisms to implement them – also ordered Israel to keep the Rafah crossing open , essential for the entry of humanitarian aid but closed after the launch of its ground operation in early May. Israel defended itself by asserting that it had “not carried out and will not carry out military operations in the area of Rafah which create living conditions likely to lead to the destruction of the Palestinian civilian population, in whole or in part.” The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, at war against Israel and in power in Gaza since June 2007, welcomed the decision of the ICJ while deploring that it is limited “only to Rafah”. In the wake of Friday’s decision by the ICJ, Israeli bombings continued in the Gaza Strip. Ditto for the clashes between the Israeli army and the armed wing of Hamas. Early Saturday, Palestinian witnesses and AFP teams reported Israeli strikes in Rafah (south), a town on the edge of Egypt, but also in Deir al-Balah (center). “We hope that the Court’s decision will put pressure on Israel to put an end to this war of extermination, because there is nothing left here,” he said. AFP Oum Mohammad Al-Ashqa, a Palestinian from Gaza City displaced by the violence in Deir al-Balah. “But Israel is a state that considers itself above the law. I therefore do not believe that the shooting or the war cannot end otherwise than by force”, underlines Mohammed Saleh, also met by AFP in this city in the center of the Palestinian territory. – Talks in Paris – Seized by South Africa which accuses Israel of “genocide “, the Court not only ordered an immediate ceasefire in Rafah, the opening of the eponymous border post to allow the entry of humanitarian aid, but also the “immediate and unconditional release” of the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. The war began on October 7 after the attack on Israeli soil by Hamas commandos infiltrated from the Gaza Strip, leading to the death of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to a count by the AFP produced from official Israeli data. That day, 252 people were also taken as hostages to the Palestinian territory. Today, 121 are still held in Gaza, of whom 37 have died, according to the army. In response, the Israeli army launched a devastating offensive in the Gaza Strip, which left at least 35,800 dead, mainly civilians. , according to the Health Ministry of Hamas, a movement considered terrorist by Israel, the United States and the European Union. Earlier in the week, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) requested the issuance of warrants for judgment against Hamas and Israeli leaders, including Benjamin Netanyahu, for alleged crimes committed in Israel and the Gaza Strip. Although the Israeli government castigated the prosecutor’s announcement, it nevertheless ordered its negotiators to ” return to the negotiating table to obtain the return of the hostages”, according to a senior official. In early May, indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas, through Qatar, Egypt and the United States, did not had not resulted in a truce agreement associated with the release of Palestinian hostages and prisoners held by Israel. The head of the CIA, William Burns, is expected in Paris Friday or Saturday to try to relaunch talks on a truce in Gaza , AFP learned from a Western Source close to the matter. French President Emmanuel Macron received the Prime Minister of Qatar and the Saudi, Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers on Friday “to press for a cease-fire.” fire”, according to Cairo. According to the French presidency, the leaders discussed, at the Elysée, the implementation of the “two-state solutions”, i.e. a viable State of Palestine on the coast of Israel. Spain, Ireland and Norway recently announced recognition of the State of Palestine. – “Pivotal moment” – The leaders also spoke of “all the levers that could be activated in order to obtain the reopening of all crossing points” to this Palestinian territory and examined how to “increase and deepen their cooperation in terms of humanitarian aid”. At the same time, the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken spoke with Benny Gantz, member of the cabinet of Israeli war, new efforts to achieve a ceasefire and reopen the Rafah terminal “as soon as possible”, Washington said. The security and humanitarian situation in the territory remains alarming with a risk of famine, hospitals out of service and around 800,000 people, according to the UN, who have fled Rafah in the last two weeks. “We are at a pivotal moment”, summarized the head of UN humanitarian operations, Martin Griffiths, overnight. “Humanitarian workers and United Nations personnel must be able to carry out their work in complete safety (…) at a time when the population of Gaza is sinking into famine.”bur-gl/ib

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