Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed his opposition to “Palestinian sovereignty” in Gaza, saying that Israel must maintain “security control” of the territory where fierce fighting continues on Saturday at 106e day of war against Hamas.
Israel must “ensure that Gaza no longer poses a threat” and this requirement “contradicts the demand for Palestinian sovereignty,” explained Mr. Netanyahu during a telephone interview Friday with American President Joe Biden, according to the office of the Palestinian Authority. Prime Minister.
On Thursday, Mr. Netanyahu had already affirmed that Israel must control the security of “the entire territory west of the Jordan”, including the occupied West Bank and Gaza.
The conflict, triggered by an unprecedented attack by Hamas in southern Israel on October 7, is testing Israel’s relations with its main American ally and supporter, particularly on the issue, central to the post-war period. -war, of a “two-state” solution.
Joe Biden “still believes in the prospect and the possibility” of a Palestinian state, but “recognizes that it will take a lot of work to get there,” the White House indicated after the telephone exchange.
“The illusion that Biden is preaching for a state of Palestine […] do not fool our people,” Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union, responded on Saturday.
The bloody attack orchestrated on October 7 by the Islamist movement resulted in the death of 1,140 people, the majority civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli figures. Some 250 people were kidnapped and taken to Gaza, with around 100 released at the end of November.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, for his part, affirmed that “the right of the Palestinian people” to a state must be “recognized by all” and that any “denial” was “unacceptable”
The bloody attack by the Islamist movement resulted in the deaths of 1,140 people, the majority civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli figures. Some 250 people were kidnapped and taken to Gaza, with around 100 released at the end of November.
Israel, which has sworn to “annihilate” Hamas, is shelling in retaliation the small territory where 24,927 people, the vast majority women, children and adolescents, were killed by bombings and military operations, according to a report on Saturday from Hamas Ministry of Health.
At least 1.7 million people have been displaced by the war, according to revised figures from the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).
Mr. Netanyahu has remained deaf to calls from the UN and the international community for a humanitarian ceasefire, while Washington has called on Israel to limit the number of civilian casualties in Gaza.
An AFP correspondent reported intense artillery fire and airstrikes on Saturday, particularly in Khan Younes, in the south, now the epicenter of military operations.
Israeli forces said they had destroyed “terrorist infrastructure” in the territory and struck rocket launchers in Khan Yunis.
Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007, also reported fierce fighting in the north and announced in the evening the death of “five people including a woman” during a “strike against a civilian car” in Rafah, border town of Egypt.
The army dropped leaflets on Saturday showing photos of the hostages and calling on residents of the city, where tens of thousands of displaced people are crowded, to share any information about them.
According to Israel, 132 hostages are still in the territory. At least 27 were killed, according to an AFP count based on Israeli figures.
In Tel Aviv, thousands of Israelis gathered on Saturday in Tel Aviv to demand the return of hostages held since October 7 in the Gaza Strip and to demand the departure of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accused in particular of continuing the war to maintain power.
Raid on Damascus
Entering its fourth month, the conflict is exacerbating tensions between Israel and the “axis of resistance”, bringing together anti-Israeli groups around Iran such as Hamas, Lebanese Hezbollah, Yemeni Houthis and Iraqi groups, raising fears of a regional conflagration.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi threatened Israel with reprisals after the death of at least five Iranian soldiers on Saturday in Damascus in a strike attributed to Israel by the Revolutionary Guards, Tehran’s ideological army. According to Iranian media, the attack notably targeted the head of intelligence in Syria for the Quds Force, the elite unit responsible for external operations.
Asked by AFP, the Israeli army refused to comment.
On the Israeli-Lebanese border where exchanges of fire are daily, a civilian and a member of Hezbollah were killed in an Israeli strike on their car, according to the official ANI agency and the Islamist movement.
In western Iraq, 15 rockets targeted a base housing American soldiers and the international anti-jihadist coalition, seriously injuring one, according to Iraqi and American officials. The attack was claimed by the “Islamic Resistance in Iraq”, a network of fighters from pro-Iran armed groups.
The Pentagon also announced on Saturday that it had “destroyed” a Houthi anti-ship missile, in new strikes described as “self-defense” against these Yemeni rebels who are carrying out repeated attacks against merchant ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden .