The Israeli army announced on Sunday a campaign of major strikes in the Gaza Strip, which it cut in two, in the middle of a regional tour by American Secretary of State Antony Blinken, focused on humanitarian aid to the Palestinian population. besieged.
“Significant strikes are now underway” in the Gaza Strip, where internet and telephone lines were cut shortly before, and “they will continue tonight and in the days to come,” the spokesperson said on Sunday evening. of the army, Daniel Hagari.
The Hamas government said Israel was carrying out “intense bombing” around several hospitals, including al-Shifa hospital, the largest in Gaza.
According to Daniel Hagari, the troops operating in the Palestinian territory cut it in two: “Gaza South and Gaza North”. “We are still allowing passage for civilians from northern Gaza and Gaza City to the south,” he added, while 300,000 to 400,000 people are still believed to be in the north of the territory, where the humanitarian situation is considered catastrophic.
Since mid-October, Israel has been ordering civilians to evacuate the north of the territory, where the fighting is most intense, to the south.
“The situation is very difficult. There is no bread, no water, nothing, not even salt water. We saw corpses [sur la route], the children were very scared. The situation was very scary,” said Zakaria Akel, who was fleeing with his family to the south of the Gaza Strip.
In Israel, the sirens warning of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip sounded many times in Tel Aviv and in towns near the Palestinian territory. Several rockets were intercepted according to the army. There were no casualties according to the emergency services.
The situation is very difficult. There is no bread, no water, nothing, not even salt water. We saw corpses [sur la route]the children were very scared.
During a new mission in the region, Antony Blinken arrived in Baghdad in the evening after visits to Ramallah in the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, and to Cyprus.
In Ramallah, he warned against the “forced displacement” of Palestinian civilians in Gaza and reaffirmed “the United States’ commitment to the delivery of vital humanitarian assistance and the resumption of essential services in Gaza,” where Israel cut off water, electricity and food deliveries.
Opposite, the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, denounced “the war of genocide” led, according to him, by Israel in Gaza.
In Cyprus, Blinken discussed the creation of “a maritime corridor”, proposed by the eastern Mediterranean island to provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinian territory.
Antony Blinken also called for an end to “extremist violence” in the West Bank, where more than 150 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Authority, have been killed by fire from Israeli soldiers or settlers since October 7.
The fighting continues
Despite multiple calls for a truce, fierce fighting continues between Israeli soldiers and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, where Israel claims to have struck 2,500 targets since October 27.
Telephone and Internet lines in Gaza have been cut by Israel for the third time since October 7, according to the Palestinian operator Paltel.
The Israeli army, once again accusing Hamas of using hospitals in the war, published images showing, among other things according to it, Hamas members firing from a hospital in Gaza. Hamas categorically denied this.
Images released during the day by the army showed soldiers, accompanied by tanks and bulldozers, patrolling the rubble or along the Mediterranean coast of the Gaza Strip.
At least 30 soldiers have been killed since the ground operation began, according to the army.
Israel announced that it had completed the encirclement of Gaza City in the north in order to destroy the “center” of Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel.
In almost a month, Israeli bombings have caused immense destruction in Gaza and led, according to the UN, to the displacement of 1.5 million people.
Nearly 10,000 people have been killed, half of them children, according to the Hamas government, in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war, triggered on October 7 by an attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement on Israeli soil.
More than 1,400 people died in Israel, mostly civilians, killed that day by Hamas commandos who also kidnapped and took more than 240 people to the Gaza Strip which they control, according to the authorities.
Since October 9, Israel has placed this poor territory of 362 km under “complete siege”.2already under Israeli blockade since 2007.
In the south of the Gaza Strip, near the border with Egypt, hundreds of thousands of people who have fled the north are massed.
This border partially opened on October 21 to allow humanitarian convoys to pass through the Rafah crossing point. A total of 450 trucks crossed the border on Saturday, according to the UN, which is calling for more aid.
Several hundred injured Palestinians, foreigners and dual nationals have also been able to leave Gaza for Egypt in recent days. But no evacuations took place Sunday, officials said.
On the Israeli-Lebanese border, there are daily exchanges of fire between the Israeli army and the Hezbollah movement in particular, an ally of Hamas.
Four family members of a Lebanese journalist in a car, including three children, were killed in an Israeli strike in southern Lebanon on Sunday, according to Lebanese state media.
The Israeli army said it had “struck Hezbollah targets” “in response to a missile attack that killed an Israeli civilian” in northern Israel. Among the targets, “vehicles and a missile ramp”, according to her.
Since October 7, 81 people have died on the Lebanese side, according to a count by Agence France-Presse, including 59 Hezbollah fighters. Six soldiers and two civilians were killed on the Israeli side.
Antony Blinken, who also visited Israel and Jordan during his tour, is still expected in Turkey, where the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has decided to break all contact with Benjamin Netanyahu.