Israel and Hamas at war, day 101 | Israel says ‘intensive phase’ of fighting in southern Gaza is coming to an end

The “intensive” phase of the fighting in southern Gaza “will end soon”, Israel now estimates at a time when the Hamas administration puts the death toll from this war at 24,000, 1% of the local population. still spreading in the region.



During the night, the Israeli plane bombed the Khan Younes sector (south), the epicenter of ground fighting and air raids in recent weeks where, according to the army, the local leadership of Hamas is hiding.

According to the press office of the Palestinian Islamist movement, Israeli strikes across Gaza left a total of 78 dead and many injured during the evening and night.

At the start of the war, which crossed the milestone of its 100th on Sundaye Today, “we clearly said that the intensive stage of operations would last approximately three months,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said.

“In northern Gaza, this phase is coming to an end. In the south, we will achieve this and it will end soon,” Mr. Gallant added, saying that Hamas’s Khan Yunis Brigade was “disintegrating.”

PHOTO ALBERTO PIZZOLI, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE ARCHIVES

Yakov Argamani, the father of hostage Noa Argamani, speaks to the media outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, now unofficially called “Hostage Square,” on December 16.

“Our enemies and our friends alike are following the war in Gaza and watching us. The future of the State of Israel, here on our land, depends on the outcome of this war,” added the minister whose government earlier approved an amended budget for 2024, adding $15 billion in spending to deal with at the cost of the conflict.

Hamas, for its part, reported on Monday the death of two Israeli hostages, broadcasting a video in which we see a young woman – also a hostage and visibly under pressure – announcing the deaths. No indication of the filming date is given in the video.

“They were killed in Zionist bombings on Gaza,” the armed wing of Hamas said in a statement. The Israeli army rejected these “lies” and denounced the “brutal use of hostages of innocent people”.

“Risk of famine”?

The Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, launched a new call for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire”, necessary according to him to ensure humanitarian aid, but also “to facilitate the release of the hostages”.

“We continue to call for rapid, safe, unimpeded, extensive, and continuous humanitarian access into and through Gaza,” he told reporters, adding that “nothing can justify the collective punishment inflicted on the Palestinian people.” “.

PHOTO THAIER AL-SUDANI, REUTERS ARCHIVES

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

The war was sparked by an unprecedented attack by Hamas on October 7 in southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of around 1,140 people on the Israeli side, the majority civilians killed the same day, according to a count from AFP based on official Israeli figures.

Some 250 people were then taken hostage, and 132 are still in Gaza, of whom at least 25 were killed, according to recent estimates by Israeli authorities. Around a hundred were released during a truce at the end of November.

In this context of violence, a woman was killed and at least 13 people injured Monday in a car attack in Ra’anana, Tel Aviv, said police, who said they had arrested two Palestinian suspects. Two young French people are among the injured, according to Paris.

In the Gaza Strip, 24,100 people were killed by Israeli bombings and military operations, the vast majority of them women, children and adolescents, according to the Ministry of Health of the Hamas movement, in power in Gaza.

PHOTO MUSSA ISSA QAWASMA, REUTERS

Mohammed Abu Sba’a, 22, was killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank.

However, this number corresponds to 1% of the population of this microterritory estimated at around 2.4 million inhabitants who now lack everything and the vast majority of whom have been displaced by air raids and fighting.

In a joint statement, UNICEF, the World Food Program (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Monday of a “risk of famine” and “epidemics of deadly diseases », And this, in the middle of the cold of winter.

“The children are constantly sick. They keep coughing and getting colds, their clothes are not thick enough to warm them,” describes Raidah Aouad, whose husband, Nabil, lit a fire with firewood and plastic in front of their shelter makeshift camp in Rafah, at the southern tip of Gaza.

PHOTO SALEH SALEM, REUTERS

Mysara Abu Telakh, a displaced Palestinian boy who was injured in an Israeli strike, is surrounded by other children in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, January 15.

Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen

The war is also exacerbating regional tensions between Israel and its allies on the one hand, and Iran and its “resistance axis” on the other, made up of armed movements such as Palestinian Hamas, Lebanese Hezbollah and the Yemeni Houthi rebels.

On the Israeli-Lebanese border, where exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israeli forces are daily. And the Israeli army announced during the night new air raids against Hezbollah “positions” in the border town of Maroun ar-Ras.

Off the coast of Yemen, an American cargo ship was hit on Monday in the Gulf of Aden by a Houthi missile. Early Tuesday, the British maritime safety agency UKMTO reported a new “incident” in the Red Sea, specifying that a small aircraft had flown above a ship without causing damage.

At the end of last week, the United States and the United Kingdom bombed Houthi positions in Yemen to try to dissuade them from continuing their attacks in the Red Sea aimed at curbing traffic in this strategic axis in “solidarity” with the Palestinians in Gaza.

And the Iranian Revolutionary Guards announced early Tuesday that they had launched several salvos of ballistic missiles in Syria and especially near Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, claiming to have destroyed a “spy” center attributed to Israel by the agency. official press release IRNA. As of early Tuesday, Israel had not commented on the allegations.


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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