Israel and Hamas at war, day 221 | Israeli raids and fighting in Gaza, 450,000 displaced in Rafah

(Rafah) Incessant Israeli bombardments on the Gaza Strip have left more than 80 dead in the past 24 hours, Hamas said on Tuesday, at a time when nearly 450,000 Palestinians had to flee shelled areas of the city of Rafah. threatened with a major offensive.


Posted at 6:39 a.m.

Updated at 9:07 a.m.

What there is to know

  • At least 82 Palestinians have died in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 35,173;
  • “Nearly 450,000 people have been forcibly displaced” in the city of Rafah
  • Humanitarian aid has no longer reached the inhabitants of Gaza since May 9 according to Qatar;
  • The ICJ announced the holding of hearings on Thursday and Friday at the request of South Africa, which seized the court to ask Israel to withdraw its troops from Rafah.

In the eighth month of the war started on October 7 by an unprecedented attack on Israeli soil by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, Israelis commemorate the 76e anniversary of the creation of their State after paying tribute to fallen soldiers.

In the small Palestinian territory besieged and ravaged by bombings and fighting between soldiers and Hamas, the civilian population, displaced several times since the start of the war, is once again on the roads trying to find refuge, even if the UN says “there is no safe place in Gaza”.

Before dawn, strikes targeted different sectors of the Gaza Strip, including Rafah, a city in the far south of the territory where nearly 1.4 million Palestinians, the vast majority of whom are displaced, are crowded together, according to witnesses. and AFP correspondents.

In the past 24 hours, at least 82 Palestinians have died, bringing the death toll, mostly civilians, in the Gaza Strip to 35,173 in just over seven months of war, the Health Ministry said. of Hamas. Civil defense counted at least eight dead in a strike on a building in Nousseirat (center).

Fierce fighting is taking place in eastern Rafah, where Hamas said it fired shells at soldiers deployed at the Rafah crossing after they entered the eastern border town on May 7. southern Israel.

They closed this crucial passage for convoys transporting aid to a population threatened with famine in Gaza according to the UN.

” Very scary “

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PHOTO ABDEL KAREEM HANA, ASSOCIATED PRESS

The army ordered civilians in this area to leave on May 6, and according to the UN nearly 450,000 were displaced.

Since the army ordered civilians to leave eastern areas of Rafah on May 6, “nearly 450,000 people have been forcibly displaced” in the city, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said ( Unrwa). They “are exhausted, hungry, and constantly afraid,” said UNRWA without specifying whether these displaced people had gone elsewhere in Rafah or outside the city.

Israeli bombings also affected the west of Rafah, a town constantly overflown by aircraft, according to witnesses.

“The shelling and air raids are continuous. It’s very scary. I am afraid for my children,” says Hadil Radwane, 32, displaced from Gaza in western Rafah.

“We fled the north of the territory to Rafah because of the bombings and now we have packed our things to flee again, but we have nowhere to go,” she said.

In the north of the Gaza Strip, Palestinians were also ordered to leave certain areas after violent fighting resumed, notably in Jabalia and Gaza City, where according to the army Hamas is trying to “reconstitute its military capabilities”.

After the bloody attack on October 7, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to annihilate Hamas, which took power in Gaza in 2007 and which he considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union.

To do this, he is determined to launch a major operation in Rafah where, according to him, the last battalions of Hamas are entrenched, to the great dismay of the international community worried about the civilian population.

” A mistake “

Israel’s first ally, the United States, has called into question the possibility of eliminating Hamas with such an operation.

“It would be a mistake to launch a major military operation in the heart of Rafah that would endanger enormous numbers of civilians without a clear strategic gain,” said the White House.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced the holding of hearings on Thursday and Friday at the request of South Africa, which seized the court to ask Israel to withdraw its troops from Rafah.

The October 7 attack carried out by Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza into southern Israel left more than 1,170 dead, mostly civilians, according to an AFP report based on official Israeli data. More than 250 people were kidnapped during the attack and 128 remain captive in Gaza, of whom 36 are believed to have died, according to the army.

In response, Israel launched intense aerial and artillery bombardments followed by a ground offensive that ravaged the Gaza Strip.

Aid trucks vandalized

While humanitarian aid has no longer reached the inhabitants of Gaza since May 9 according to Qatar, the Hamas Ministry of Health affirmed that the healthcare system in the territory was on the verge of “collapse” for lack of fuel to run hospital generators and ambulances.

Israeli police have opened an investigation after activists blocked and vandalized aid trucks in Israel destined for Gaza. “No aid should be delivered until our hostages have returned home safely,” said Hana Giat, an activist.

“We are still there, my daughters are still there, Israel is still there, but it is not a real day of independence”, because her husband “Omri is there”, hostage in Gaza, releases Lishay Lavi Miran , on the anniversary of the creation of Israel on May 14, 1948.

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