new Israeli strikes on Gaza, tensions on the Israel-Lebanon border

new Israeli strikes on Gaza, tensions on the Israel-Lebanon border
new Israeli strikes on Gaza, tensions on the Israel-Lebanon border

As ceasefire talks make no progress, the IDF bombs the Gaza Strip and violence escalates on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

The Israeli army is carrying out bombings in the Gaza Strip on Friday without progress in ceasefire talks, coupled with an outbreak of violence on the border between Israel and Lebanon. In the early hours of Friday, witnesses reported Israeli strikes in different areas of the Gaza Strip, particularly in the center of the enclave. In Lebanon, the National National News Agency (Ani) reported on Friday the death of a civilian and numerous injured in a strike by Israeli jets near Tyre, in the south of the country, after strikes on Thursday by Hezbollah Lebanese in northern Israel.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced Thursday at the G7 summit that France, the United States and Israel would work in a format “trilateral” on the French road map to contain tensions on the Israeli-Lebanese border. The plan notably proposes an end to violence on both sides and the withdrawal of Al Radwan forces, the elite unit of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, and other armed groups ten kilometers from the border with Israel, according to Lebanese officials.

However, Hezbollah, which says it has carried out bombings over the past two days in retaliation for the death of one of its senior commanders in an Israeli strike, is refusing at this stage to engage in talks as long as there is no lasting ceasefire in Gaza. A truce plan in Gaza announced on May 31 by Joe Biden, Israel’s main ally, has so far failed to materialize, with the Israeli government and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas sticking to their intangible positions.

“Killings and famine”

“What have we gained from this war other than killings, destruction, extermination and famine?” exclaims Oum Chadi, a 50-year-old Palestinian woman, urging Hamas to “end the war immediately, without seeking to control and direct Gaza”. While hopes for a ceasefire have been regularly dashed, Gaza residents like Oum Chadi criticize Hamas and call for a truce at a time when the devastated Palestinian territory is in the grip of a major humanitarian crisis. with a threat of famine.

In Jerusalem, students brandishing photos of Israelis kidnapped during Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel and held in Gaza, also called on Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to stop the war and repatriate the hostages during of a demonstration in front of Parliament. But Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly expressed his determination to continue the war until the defeat of Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007 and considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union.

“Street fights”

On Thursday, heavy artillery fire and airstrikes targeted several areas, notably Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip, according to AFP correspondents on site. Hamas’ military wing said it was engaged in street fighting in western Rafah where witnesses reported fire from Apache helicopters. Others have described “a very violent night” in the city.

Israel had presented its ground offensive launched on May 7 in Rafah as essential to eliminate Hamas, but fighting has resumed in recent weeks in several other regions of Gaza, notably in the center where three bodies were found in a bombed house according to the Civil defense. The war was sparked on October 7 by the attack launched by Hamas from Gaza in southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count established from official Israeli data. Of 251 people kidnapped, 116 are still held hostage in Gaza, of whom 41 are dead, according to the army.

In response, the Israeli army launched a large-scale offensive in Gaza which left 37,232 dead, including 30 in the last 24 hours, the majority civilians, according to data from the Ministry of Health of the Hamas-led Gaza government.

“Main obstacle”

The United States is striving to obtain an agreement based on the plan announced by Joe Biden which 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. Joe Biden presented this plan as coming from Israel. But Benjamin Netanyahu deemed it incomplete by reaffirming his government’s determination to destroy Hamas and free all the hostages.

For its part, Hamas sent the mediating countries an initial response which was not disclosed. According to a source close to the discussions, it contains “amendments” to the plan, including “a timetable for a permanent ceasefire and the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza”. Demands that Israel has always rejected. Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared Wednesday in Doha, the last stop of yet another tour of the Middle East since October 7, that “some changes” claimed by Hamas were “feasible, others not”.

On the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy, Joe Biden accused Hamas of blocking any truce agreement. “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”he said.



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