Israel and Hamas at war, day 147 | Calls for investigation after Israeli shooting during aid distribution in Gaza

The international community has stressed the urgency of a humanitarian ceasefire and called for an investigation after Israeli shooting of Palestinian civilians and a stampede during an aid distribution Thursday in Gaza, which left more than 110 people dead. according to Hamas.




Nearly five months after the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, incessant Israeli strikes against the devastated Palestinian territory left more than 80 dead overnight, the Palestinian Islamist movement’s Ministry of Health said on Friday.

While the human toll continues to rise with more than 30,200 deaths in Gaza since the start of the conflict on October 7, according to the ministry, 2.2 million of the 2.4 million inhabitants of this small territory besieged by Israel, are threatened with famine, according to the UN.

On Thursday, a doctor at al-Chifa hospital and witnesses said Israeli soldiers fired on a hungry crowd rushing toward aid trucks in the northern Gaza City. The death toll is 112 dead and 760 injured, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

An Israeli army official confirmed “limited shooting” from soldiers feeling “threatened” and spoke of “a stampede during which dozens of residents were killed and injured, some run over by aid trucks”.

PHOTO ALINE MANOUKIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

An Israeli army official confirmed “limited shooting” from soldiers feeling “threatened”.

In the eyes of American President Joe Biden, this tragedy will complicate talks for a truce in the war triggered by an unprecedented Hamas attack on October 7 in southern Israel from the Gaza Strip, where this movement took power in 2007.

A faithful ally of Israel, Washington demanded “answers” ​​from the government of Benjamin Netanyahu after the tragedy and pleaded for “an agreement on a temporary ceasefire (…)”.

“Effective investigation”

Italy and Spain have stressed the urgency of a ceasefire. France called for an “independent investigation” and Germany called for a “humanitarian truce”.

The European Union also called for an investigation and a ceasefire for the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, subject to the green light from Israel.

The UN Security Council is to continue discussions on a draft declaration on the tragedy in Gaza. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for “an effective independent investigation”.

On Thursday, a witness said, some “aid trucks got too close to army tanks deployed in the area and the crowd stormed the trucks. The soldiers fired into the crowd because people were getting too close to the tanks.”

The tragedy occurred the day Hamas’s health ministry announced that the death toll from the war had passed the threshold of 30,000 deaths in Gaza, most of them civilians. A latest report published on Friday shows 30,228 deaths since October 7.

That day, infiltrated Hamas commandos carried out an attack in southern Israel which caused the death of at least 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data. .

Around 250 people were kidnapped and taken to Gaza during the attack. According to Israel, 130 hostages are still being held there, 31 of whom are believed to have died, after the release of 105 hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel during a truce at the end of November.

New Israeli raids

PHOTO MOHAMMED SALEM, REUTERS

Palestinians attend Friday prayers near the ruins of a mosque destroyed by Israeli strikes in Rafah.

Israel has vowed to annihilate Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

Its army has been relentlessly shelling the Gaza Strip for almost five months and launched a ground offensive there on October 27 during which soldiers gradually advanced from the north to the south of this strip of land approximately 40 km long and 10 wide.

On Friday, dozens of strikes targeted the Palestinian territory, notably in Khan Younes and Rafah in the south, according to the Hamas government. Ground fighting continues in Gaza City as well as in Khan Younes where the Israeli army said it had killed several Palestinian fighters in recent hours.

For Joe Biden, there will “probably” be no truce agreement before the start of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, which begins around March 10 or 11.

Qatar, the United States and Egypt are trying to reach an agreement providing for a six-week truce associated with the release of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners and the entry into Gaza of significant quantities of aid.

In a video, Hamas said it would provide information Friday evening on the fate of three of the hostages, elderly men, it is holding.

“Almost inevitable”

PHOTO LAURENCE SAUBADU, AFP

Map showing the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, al-Arich airport in Egypt and the inspection points for aid trucks destined for Gaza located at Nizzana and Kerem Shalom

The Israeli offensive has destroyed entire neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip and forced 1.7 million people to flee their homes.

A famine “is almost inevitable, if nothing changes,” warned the spokesperson for the UN agency for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (OCHA), Jens Laerke.

According to the spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO), citing statistics from the Hamas authorities, around ten children were recorded as having died from malnutrition, a number according to him certainly below the target. reality.

Nearly 1.5 million displaced people according to the UN have reached Rafah, backed by the closed border with Egypt, where the population massed with no escape fears a ground offensive by Israel.

“We were at home and suddenly we saw stones falling on our heads and my children under the rubble, I started screaming for help and we were able to save them,” said crying at the hospital al-Najjar of Rafah, Duaa Khaled al-Kablawi, where she took her children injured in an Israeli bombing.


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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