Israel shells Gaza, Hamas sends “a barrage of rockets”

The Israeli army bombed the Gaza Strip on Saturday where the death toll rose, with the Israeli government deploring an “impasse” in negotiations with Hamas the day after the expiration of a truce with the Palestinian Islamist movement.

The armed wing of Hamas and that of the affiliated Islamic Jihad also announced that they had fired “barrages of rockets” on Saturday targeting several cities in Israel, including Tel Aviv, without causing any casualties.

An Israeli army spokesperson reported “more than 250 rockets”, the vast majority of which failed to reach their destination.

In the northern Gaza Strip, clouds of smoke obscured the sky on Saturday. The Israeli army says it has struck “more than 400 targets” in the small Palestinian territory since the resumption of hostilities Friday morning.

The Hamas Ministry of Health deplores more than 240 deaths and 650 wounded since the resumption of fighting.

The war between Israel and Hamas was triggered by an unprecedented bloody attack carried out by the Palestinian Islamist movement in Israel on October 7, which left 1,200 dead, mostly civilians, according to authorities.

In retaliation, Israel launched devastating bombings against the Palestinian territory, then on October 27 a ground offensive.

According to the Hamas government, more than 15,000 people, including more than 6,150 under the age of 18, have died in Israeli strikes since the start of hostilities.

“Redouble your efforts”

Israel and Hamas blame each other for the end of the truce, which allowed the release of around a hundred hostages in exchange for that of 240 Palestinian prisoners.

Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel in particular, said it had “proposed an exchange of prisoners and elderly people” among the hostages, as well as the handing over of the bodies of captives to Israel. “died in Israeli bombings”.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Islamist movement of having “violated the agreement” and “fired rockets” towards Israel.

Since the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, French President Emmanuel Macron judged on Saturday that Israel’s objective of “total destruction of Hamas” must be “specified”, because it risked generating “ten years” of war.

He called for “redoubled efforts to achieve a lasting ceasefire,” saying that Israel’s “security” cannot be guaranteed if it “comes at the cost of Palestinian lives, and therefore resentment.” from the entire region.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for his part, reiterated on Saturday evening that his country would continue its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip until “all its objectives are achieved”, including the destruction of the Islamist movement and the release of all the hostages.

“We cannot achieve these objectives without continuing ground operations” which “have been essential to achieving the results so far,” he added, during his first press conference since the end of the truce.

Aid trucks

Beyond Gaza, the Israeli army said soldiers killed a man at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank, near Nablus, after he “pulled out a knife and started advancing towards them.”

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), Israel also carried out strikes in Syria, near Damascus, against sites belonging to Lebanese Hezbollah in which four fighters, including two members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards , were killed. The Israeli army has not commented.

Clashes on the border with Lebanon resumed on Friday. Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas, deplored the death of two of its members in Israeli bombings in the south, where a civilian was also killed.

On Saturday, the executive director of Unicef, Catherine Russell, expressed alarm at the “intensity” of the fighting since the end of the truce, fearing “that hundreds more children (are) killed and injured every day “. Especially since humanitarian aid, very insufficient according to the UN, has once again been severely restricted by the resumption of fighting.

On Saturday, the Palestinian Red Crescent, however, indicated that it had received the first “aid trucks” since the end of the temporary ceasefire, via the Egyptian Rafah terminal, a border post with Gaza.

The needs are immense in the territory that Israel is now subjecting to a “complete siege” after 16 years of blockade, and where more than half of the homes have been damaged or destroyed, with 1.7 million people — out of 2.4 millions of people — displaced by war, according to the UN.

The international organization also warned of an “immediate” risk of famine for Gazans.

Congested morgue

At the Nasser hospital in Khan Younes, in the south of the Gaza Strip, the morgue is once again overcrowded.

“My son Mohammed was trying to get the women and children out of our tent” from a makeshift camp set up in a school, Joumana Saïd tells AFPTV. “But a bomb shrapnel hit him in the head, it exploded,” she says again, before bursting into tears.

In Khan Younes, massively targeted by Israeli bombings on Saturday, part of “Hamad city”, a brand new district financed by Qatar, was destroyed and the displaced people who had taken refuge there had only a few minutes to leave. while running.

Nader Abou Warda, 26, wonders how he is still alive after five Israeli air raids in less than two minutes.

The Israelis “told us ‘Gaza City is a war zone’; now it’s Khan Younes, the war zone, where are we going now? in the sea ? » he gets carried away.

“Bring back my Sasha”

In Israel, hundreds of people demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Saturday to demand the release of 137 people still detained in Gaza by Hamas and other groups. Many carried posters with photos of the captives.

Four former prisoners of Hamas and its affiliates addressed the crowd via video broadcast. They spoke of fear, hunger, lack of sleep during their captivity.

“Our daughters saw things that children of this age, or any age, should not see,” said Danielle Aloni, 45, released on November 24 with her five-year-old daughter.

Elena Trupanov, released on Wednesday and who was at the Tel Aviv rally, pleaded: “we must bring back my Sasha and the rest” of the detainees, she said, referring to her son, still a prisoner.

One hundred and ten hostages have been released since the start of the conflict, including 105 during the truce, the majority women and minors, according to the Israeli authorities.

To watch on video

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