Israel-Palestine: bombings intensify in Rafah

Israel-Palestine: bombings intensify in Rafah
Israel-Palestine: bombings intensify in Rafah

Israeli bombings intensify in Rafah

Published today at 8:00 p.m.

Deadly Israeli strikes and ground operations show no respite in the besieged Gaza Strip and threatened with famine, more than seven months after the start of the war which has cost the lives of more than 35,000 Palestinians according to Hamas. Sunday.

The major offensive by the Israeli army, triggered by an unprecedented bloody attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas against Israel on October 7, has devastated the small, overpopulated Palestinian territory, where according to the UN there are no safe place” for the approximately 2.4 million inhabitants.

The greatest international fears today concern the town of Rafah, in the far south of the Gaza Strip, and the approximately 1.4 million Palestinians crowded there, the majority displaced by destructive bombings and fighting. .

The city of Rafah particularly targeted

Israel, which has sworn to annihilate Hamas, wants to launch a ground offensive in Rafah, which it considers to be the last bastion of the movement in the Palestinian territory besieged by its army since October 9.

But for American Secretary of State Antony Blinken, whose country is hostile to a major assault in Rafah, “there will always be thousands of armed members of Hamas”, even with such an intervention. An offensive would risk creating “chaos” and ultimately a return of Hamas, he said on NBC.

According to AFP correspondents and witnesses, Israeli air raids targeted several sectors of Palestinian territory including Rafah.

“Israeli military vehicles advanced about 2.5 kilometers deep” from Rafah, said Gaza crossings authority spokesman Hicham Adwan.

The army said its troops were continuing “targeted” operations in eastern Rafah, and “ten Hamas terrorists were eliminated there.”

In the past 24 hours, at least 63 additional deaths have been recorded in Gaza, the Hamas health ministry said. A hospital in Rafah announced that it had received the bodies of 18 people.

300,000 residents left the area

“The artillery fire never stopped (…) For a moment, we had the impression that they (the Israeli soldiers) were at our door,” Mohammed Hamad, an Israeli soldier, told AFP. resident of eastern Rafah who had to flee to the west of the city.

After evacuation orders issued by the army, some 300,000 residents of eastern Rafah left the area, a military statement said, specifying that the areas to be evacuated were “the scene of Hamas terrorist activities.” “.

Warning of “the possibility of new atrocious crimes” in the event of a large-scale offensive in Rafah, Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stressed that “cities supposed to receive displaced people are already “reduced to ruins”.

“The latest evacuation orders affect nearly a million people in Rafah. Where should they go now? There is no safe place in Gaza,” he said.

Netanyahu “derails” talks

By attacking Rafah, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to “derail” talks for a truce and the release of hostages held in Gaza since October 7, Hamas accused in a statement.

Hamas said it had accepted a proposal from mediators (Egypt, Qatar, United States) on a truce, but Israel responded that the accepted proposal was “far from (its) demands.”

In the north of the Gaza Strip, the army also issued orders to evacuate Jabaliya, after reporting “attempts by Hamas to rebuild its military capabilities in Jabaliya.” Troops are carrying out operations in this area as well as in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, she added.

UN boss Antonio Guterres reiterated “the call from the whole world for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, the unconditional release of all hostages” and “an immediate increase in humanitarian aid”.

He was speaking at an international conference in Kuwait where donors pledged more than $2 billion over two years for humanitarian operations in Gaza.

The entry of aid into Gaza has been virtually blocked according to the UN since Israeli troops entered eastern Rafah on Monday and captured the border crossing with Egypt, blocking a key entry point for convoys. help.

AFP/CBD

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