new Israeli bombings before discussions in Paris on a truce

New Israeli bombings left around a hundred dead last night in the besieged and devastated Gaza Strip, Hamas announced on Saturday February 24, before discussions in Paris on a truce in the presence of an Israeli delegation.

More than four months after the start of the war between Israel and the Islamist movement, the humanitarian situation continues to worsen in the Palestinian territory, where the UN fears “a threat of mass starvation” lack of sufficient supplies of water and food.

Concern is growing every day in Rafah, at the southern end of the Palestinian territory, where there are at least 1.4 million people, most of them displaced, threatened by a large-scale operation by the Israeli army.

Before dawn, Israeli bombardments claimed the lives of at least 103 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, according to the Hamas health ministry, which reports daily reports of around a hundred deaths. Since the start of the war on October 7, 2023, 29,606 people have, according to him, been killed in the enclave.

Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza carried out an attack of unprecedented violence in southern Israel that day, during which at least 1,160 people, mostly civilians, were killed, according to a count by the Agence France-Presse based on Israeli data.

Some 250 people were also kidnapped and taken to the enclave. According to Israel, 130 hostages, 30 of whom are believed to have died, are still being held there, and around a hundred were released following a one-week truce observed at the end of November in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.

After the attack, the Jewish state vowed to annihilate the Islamist movement, which took power in Gaza in 2007 and which it considers, like the United States and the European Union, to be a terrorist organization.

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The United States opposed to a “reoccupation of Gaza”

After carrying out a bombing campaign, the Israeli army launched a ground offensive in the north of the Gaza Strip on October 27, and its soldiers advanced as far as Khan Younes, in the south of the enclave, where they concentrate the fighting.

Determined to continue the war until the elimination of Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented a plan on Thursday” after war “ which plans to keep the Gaza Strip, occupied from 1967 to 2005, under “security control” of Israel.

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This plan was immediately rejected by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. It also sparked a strong reaction from the United States, Israel’s main ally, whose head of diplomacy, Antony Blinken, reaffirmed Washington’s opposition to any “Israeli reoccupation” from Gaza.

New discussions are planned for Saturday in Paris to try to obtain a truce accompanied by the release of the hostages. An Israeli delegation led by David Barnea, head of Mossad, arrived in the French capital.

Mr. Barnea met in Paris at the end of January with his American and Egyptian counterparts and the Prime Minister of Qatar, the main mediators of the conflict. According to a source close to Hamas, the plan then provided for a six-week truce and the release of 200 to 300 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for 35 to 40 hostages. Talks also took place this week in Egypt, and an American envoy has just completed a mission to Israel.

In Israel, families of hostages called for a large mobilization on Saturday to demand their release. “Take them home, that’s all.” We can’t stay here any longer, we’ll end up collapsing.”said Avivit Yablonka, sister of a hostage who comes every week to a square in Tel Aviv that has become a rallying point for families.

In four and a half months, the war has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and pushed around 2.2 million residents, the vast majority of the population of the Gaza Strip, to the brink of famine, according to the ‘UN. Aid, the entry of which is subject to Israeli approval, is still insufficient, and its delivery to the north is difficult due to destruction and fighting.

Read also | UNRWA reached ‘breaking point’, Israeli strikes on Rafah: update on the Israel-Hamas war

The World with AFP

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