The Israeli army bombs the Gaza Strip on Saturday where the death toll rises, 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 Islamic Jihad, an affiliated movement, also announced that they had fired “barrages of rockets” on Saturday targeting several cities in Israel, notably Tel Aviv, without causing any casualties.
The Israeli army indicated that it had struck “more than 400 targets” in the small, overpopulated Palestinian territory since the resumption of hostilities on Friday morning, including 50 in the region of Khan Younes (south), where the morgue of the main hospital was clogged, according to an AFP correspondent. The Health Ministry of Hamas, in power in the besieged Palestinian territory, now reports a toll of more than 240 dead and 650 injured since the end of the truce. The war between Israel and Hamas was triggered by an unprecedented attack carried out by the Palestinian Islamist movement in Israel on October 7, which left 1,200 people dead, mostly civilians, according to authorities.
In retaliation, Israel carried out devastating bombings against the Palestinian territory, where it launched a ground offensive on October 27. 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 October 7.
Information to remember:
- Intense bombardments have resumed in the Gaza Strip since the end of the truce
- 240 Palestinians were killed, according to Hamas, and 650 injured
- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he “deeply regrets” the resumption of clashes
- Emmanuel Macron called for “redoubled efforts to achieve a lasting ceasefire”; the head of state also warned that the “total destruction of Hamas” would lead to “ten years” of war
- The armed wing of Hamas and that of Islamic Jihad, an affiliated movement, also announced that they had fired “barrages of rockets” on Saturday targeting several cities in Israel, notably Tel Aviv, without causing any casualties.
Netanyahu: War will continue ‘until all its objectives are achieved’
Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip will continue until “all its objectives are achieved”, including the destruction of the Palestinian Islamist movement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday evening.
“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, Friday morning, of a one-week truce between Israel and Hamas and the resumption of Israeli military operations, including bombings, in the Gaza Strip.
Macron calls for “redoubled efforts to achieve a lasting ceasefire”
French President Emmanuel Macron called on Saturday to “redouble efforts to achieve a lasting ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip, shelled again by the Israeli army after the expiration of a truce on Friday with the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.
“The resumption of fighting in the Gaza Strip (…) is a subject of concern which has been in many discussions” during the COP28 in which Emmanuel Macron is participating in Dubai. “This situation requires redoubled efforts to achieve a lasting ceasefire, to obtain the release of all hostages still held by Hamas and to provide the people of Gaza with the aid they urgently need, and to give Israel the certainty that its security has been restored,” the head of state underlined during a press conference.
He also warned Israel on Saturday that the objective of a “total destruction of Hamas” must be “specified”, because it risked generating “ten years” of war, thus calling for “redoubled efforts to achieve a lasting ceasefire. “The total destruction of Hamas”, “does anyone think that is possible?”, launched the head of state during a press conference on the sidelines of COP28 in Dubai.
“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 as well as the acceleration of humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip . 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 “firing rockets” towards Israel. Since the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, French President Emmanuel Macron also judged on Saturday that Israel’s objective of “total destruction of Hamas” must be “specified”, because it risks generating “ten years” of war.
He called for “redoubled efforts to achieve a lasting ceasefire”, believing that Israel’s “lasting security” cannot be guaranteed if it “comes at the cost of Palestinian lives, and therefore resentment of all public opinions in the region”.
Pro-Iran fighters killed
In addition to Gaza, Israel 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, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. man (OSDH). The Israeli army, questioned by AFP, did not comment. Clashes on the Lebanese-Israeli border also resumed on Friday after the end of the truce. Hamas ally Hezbollah, which has claimed responsibility for attacks against Israel, deplored the death of two of its members in Israeli bombings in the south, where a civilian was also killed.
“If violence resumes at this scale and intensity, we can assume that hundreds more children will be killed and injured every day,” warned UNICEF executive director Catherine Russell. Especially since humanitarian aid, which had arrived more widely during the seven-day truce even if it remained very insufficient according to the UN, was once again almost severely restricted by the resumption of hostilities. On Saturday, the Palestinian Red Crescent, however, indicated that it had “received aid trucks” via the Egyptian Rafah terminal, the border post with Gaza, the first since the end of the temporary ceasefire.
The needs are immense in the territory in the territory that Israel now subjects 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 million inhabitants — displaced by the war according to the UN. On Saturday, the NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF) announced that the al-Awda hospital, one of the few still operational in the north of the Gaza Strip, had been partly hit by a strike on Friday. Fadel Naïm, chief doctor at the Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, told AFP that he received 30 bodies at the morgue on Saturday, including those of seven children.
“The planes bombed our houses: three bombs, three houses destroyed,” Nemr al-Bel, 43, told AFP, saying he counted 10 dead in his family and “13 others still under the rubble”. Almost no more drinking water, no more electricity and very little food: the UN has warned of an “immediate” risk of famine.
“Glimpse a chance”
In Israel, families and loved ones of hostages continue to mobilize to demand the release of their loved ones after confirmation Friday evening by the Israeli army of the death of five hostages held in the Gaza Strip. After the release of 110 hostages since the start of the conflict, including 105 during the truce, mostly women and minors, 136 hostages remain in the hands of Hamas and other groups affiliated with Gaza, according to the Israeli authorities.
On Friday, relatives and supporters of the hostages gathered in a Tel Aviv square, now known as Hostages Square, with Torah scrolls representing the number of hostages remaining in Gaza. “We were given a chance that people would come out, join us and resume their previous lives,” testified, moved, Ilan Zecharya, uncle of hostage Eden Yerushalmi, aged around twenty. “To all, to our country, we ask for a new system” for the “liberation of everyone”, he implored.