Israel claims to have regained control of the areas around Gaza and the death toll rises to 1,600

The death toll in Israel in the last three days has risen to more than 900, in addition to 2,400 injured, in what is the largest escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in decades. Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip there are at least 687 deaths, including 140 children, and more than 2,500 injured in the Israeli bombings that have not stopped during the night from Monday to Tuesday.

This Tuesday, the Israeli Army claimed to have counted 1,500 bodies of Hamas militiamen killed in Israel after the surprise attack by the Palestinian armed group last Saturday. Hundreds of fighters participated in that assault, infiltrating Israeli territory through the fence that isolates the Gaza Strip, governed by the Islamic movement Hamas since 2007.

Since the militants’ irruption early on Saturday, Israeli troops have been confronting Hamas gunmen in numerous towns and areas around Gaza, which they managed to regain control of on Tuesday. In addition, the Army has announced that the infiltration of Hamas militiamen into its territory has been stopped, after about 72 hours, and there are no longer any clashes with these militiamen on Israeli soil.

“We have practically restored complete control at the border fence with Gaza, we are restoring [la valla] and organizing the perimeter,” said Richard Hecht, Army spokesman, according to Agencia EFE. Although new infiltrations by militiamen may occur, there have been no incidents of this type during the night, the spokesperson added.

After ensuring control over their territory, the next objective of the Israeli troops is the rescue of about 100 people who were kidnapped by the militants in the towns and communities they entered over the weekend, and who are now in Gaza. , in the hands of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group. The hostages are exposed to both Israeli bombing and Hamas threats.

The Islamist group has threatened to “publicly” execute Israeli citizens if its Army continues to carry out indiscriminate bombings on Gaza, without prior warning to residents. “Any attack against innocent homes in Gaza without prior warning and alert will be met with the public execution of a hostage,” Abu Obeida, spokesman for the Al Qasam brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said in a statement yesterday.

“The enemy does not understand the language of humanity and morality, and we will address him in the language he knows. We hold the occupation responsible before the world for this decision, and the ball is in their court,” Obeida warned.

Residents of the strip have denounced that Israel has stopped using a method by which the Army warns that it is going to bomb, throwing non-explosive devices on the roofs of houses a few minutes before releasing the bombs, so that the population can leave. , often with just the right amount of time.

It is believed that among the hostages there are foreigners, in addition to fifty uniformed personnel, including officers, who will be the most valuable bargaining chip for the Palestinian militiamen – therefore, Obeida has assured that only civilians will be executed, not the military. This Tuesday, Army spokesman Daniel Hagari confirmed that 50 soldiers have been kidnapped and 123 have lost their lives. The Israeli Police, for its part, has reported that more than 40 of its troops have died.

Incessant bombings

Despite the presence of these hostages in Gaza, Israel has not stopped launching bombings and missiles on the strip, destroying entire blocks of the capital, Gaza, and other areas, such as the town of Khan Younis, in the south of the enclave. , where 2.3 million people live overcrowded. According to the Arab television network Al Jazeera, this Tuesday’s attacks are concentrating in the south of the strip, where the only border crossing not controlled by Israel is located: Rafah, which leads to Egypt.

Since Israel began bombing Gaza in response to the Hamas attack on Saturday, 187,518 people have been displaced and, of them, nearly 137,500 are taking refuge in 83 schools run by the UN Refugee Agency (UNRWA). after having abandoned their homes for fear of being targeted by airstrikes. UNRWA in Spain has assured that last night has been “terrifying” due to the incessant bombings. “The civilian population is trapped under bombardments and with hardly any electricity and drinking water,” the Spanish UNRWA committee has denounced on the social network X (formerly Twitter).

Among the Palestinian victims are three reporters, according to the international Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The three died on Saturday, while they were reporting on the Hamas attack and the beginning of the escalation with Israel. Two other journalists are missing and a sixth was injured by shrapnel.

Humanitarian organizations have also warned about the situation of the health system in Gaza, which is already collapsed due to the large number of injuries and, in addition, faces a shortage of supplies, electricity and water. Yesterday Israel ordered the total blockade of the strip, which has no reserves to resist for long.

“There will be no electricity, food or fuel” coming from Israel, he assured yesterday Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. “I have given an order: Gaza will be under a total closure. “We are fighting against human animals and we act accordingly.” Electricity in the strip is already rationed and, according to Al Jazeera, reserves will not last more than two days if more fuel does not arrive to power the power plants and generators, on which hospitals and clinics largely depend.

The general coordinator of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Gaza has assured in a statement that “The situation is horrible” in the strip. “There are a large number of Israeli and Palestinian victims. Our Palestinian colleagues are working day and night to cope with the influx of injured people,” explained Matthias Kannes.

“Many of our Palestinian colleagues left their homes for fear of being attacked, some of them reported the total destruction of the building in which they lived,” lamented the coordinator of the NGO that offers medical assistance and support to several hospitals in the strip.

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