Israel and Hamas at war, day 211 | Northern Gaza hit by “real famine”

The north of the Gaza Strip is being hit by a “real famine”, which is progressing towards the south of the Palestinian territory, warned the director of the World Food Program (WFP), Cindy McCain.

The north of the Gaza Strip is being hit by a “real famine”, which is progressing towards the south of the Palestinian territory, warned the director of the World Food Program (WFP), Cindy McCain.

In Gaza, “the famine is there, a real famine in the north, and which is moving towards the south,” declared the head of this UN agency in the extract broadcast Friday from an interview with the American channel NBC which will be broadcast in full on Sunday.

“When you have conflicts like this, with so much emotion, where so much is happening, famine happens,” she said.

“What we are asking for, what we have continued to ask for, is a ceasefire and the ability to have unhindered access to enter” Gaza to deliver aid humanitarian, Cindy McCain told NBC.

The WFP is one of many humanitarian agencies and organizations trying to get food into Gaza.

The food situation is improving slightly in the Palestinian territory, but the risk of famine remains, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated on Friday.

International aid, strictly controlled by Israel, arrives in trickles, mainly from Egypt via Rafah, but remains very insufficient given the immense needs of the 2.4 million Gazans.

The World Food Program, Nobel Peace Prize 2020, describes itself as “the world’s leading humanitarian organization”.

Hamas in Egypt


Palestinians pray next to the bodies of their loved ones killed in an Israeli airstrike in Deir al-Balah.

A Hamas delegation discusses Saturday in Cairo with mediators an offer of a truce in the war between the Palestinian Islamist movement and Israel in Gaza, at a time when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is threatening to launch an assault in Rafah.

On the ground, new Israeli strikes were carried out in the Gaza Strip, particularly on Rafah, a crowded town in the south of the Palestinian territory, killing 32 people in the last 24 hours, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

After almost seven months of a devastating war, the truce offer on the table includes a 40-day pause in the Israeli offensive in Gaza accompanied by the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of hostages kidnapped during the attack without precedent of Hamas on October 7 against Israel, which started the war.

The Hamas delegation led by Khalil al-Hayya, number two in the political branch in Gaza, arrived in Egypt, a movement official said.

A first round of negotiations was to begin at the beginning of the afternoon with “the presence of delegations from Qatar, Egypt and the United States”, the mediating countries, he added on condition of anonymity. emphasizing that several points still remained to be resolved.

According to the American site Axios, the head of the CIA, William Burns, is in the Egyptian capital.

In Jerusalem, an Israeli official said the discussions in Cairo focused on the “framework” for a possible exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners.

Israel will only send a delegation if there is progress on this subject, he indicated, saying he then expected “difficult negotiations” to reach an actual agreement.

“Positive spirit”

In power in Gaza since 2007, Hamas said on Friday it was going to Cairo “in a positive spirit”, while insisting on its demands: “a total cessation of Israeli aggression”, “the withdrawal” of Israeli forces from Gaza and “a serious arrangement for the exchange” of hostages for Palestinian prisoners.

Israel refuses a definitive ceasefire and Mr. Netanyahu says he is determined to carry out a ground offensive on Rafah, which according to him constitutes the last major bastion of the Islamist movement where 1.2 million Palestinians are crowded together, most of them displaced by the war.

“We will do what is necessary to win and defeat our enemy, including in Rafah,” Benjamin Netanyahu repeated this week, reaffirming his intention to launch this offensive “with or without an agreement” of truce.

For Hossam Badran, member of the Hamas political bureau, Mr. Netanyahu’s threats against Rafah “clearly aim to derail any possibility of an agreement” of truce.

“Beyond acceptable”

The United States, Israel’s great ally, has repeatedly expressed its opposition to an assault on Rafah.

According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Israel has presented no plan to protect civilians and therefore the United States cannot support such an operation “because the damage it would cause would be beyond what is possible.” is acceptable.”

“A large-scale military operation in Rafah could lead to bloodshed,” warned Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), on Friday.

Rafah, located on Egypt’s closed border, is the main land crossing point for humanitarian aid for the Palestinian territory besieged by Israel.

An offensive would be “a major blow to humanitarian operations across the Gaza Strip,” the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs warned.


In Beit Lahya, in the northern Gaza Strip

On October 7, Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza in southern Israel launched an attack which left more than 1,170 dead, mainly civilians, according to an AFP report based on official Israeli data.

During the attack, more than 250 people were kidnapped and 128 remain captive in Gaza, including 35 who died, according to the army.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to destroy Hamas, which it considers a terrorist organization, along with the United States and the European Union. And its army launched a large-scale offensive – air then land – in Gaza which has so far left 34,654 dead, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.


On Saturday, Israeli strikes targeted Gaza and clashes pitted Israeli soldiers against Palestinian fighters in this city in the north of the Palestinian territory, according to an AFP correspondent on site.

Three bodies and three injured people were removed from the rubble of a bombed house, according to Gaza Civil Defense.

Israeli strikes also took place in Rafah, where a hospital said it received a body and several wounded after a bombing on a house, as well as in the center of the Gaza Strip.

“A neighbor came knocking on the door to tell us to evacuate the area. We just had time to take our children (…) and we left,” declared Tarek Soufiya, after an Israeli strike on the al-Maghazi refugee camp (center).

“The whole area is nothing but ruins,” he added.

According to the Israeli army, planes struck “terrorist targets” in the Khan Younes sector (south) after a device launched towards a kibbutz in southern Israel fell near the “security fence”.


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