Israel and Hamas at war, day 91 | New strikes on Gaza as three months of war approach

Israel continues its bombings and ground operations in Gaza on Friday, as the date marks three months of the conflict between it and Palestinian Hamas, to which a plan to be examined by the Israeli government intends to leave no room in the after war.

Friday morning, the Israeli army announced “the elimination of a terrorist cell” which wanted to attack one of its tanks in Bureij (center) during the night, and the destruction, at the cost of ground fighting, of several sites of launching rockets towards Israel in Khan Younes, the large southern city, the epicenter of the fighting for several days.

Hours earlier and shortly before US Secretary of State Antony Blinken took off on another tour of the region, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant unveiled his first plan for post-war Gaza. , almost three months after the start of the conflict and after two days of high tension, following the elimination of Hamas number two in Lebanon.

Israel vowed to “destroy” Hamas after its unprecedented attack on Israeli soil on October 7, which left around 1,140 dead, mainly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data. Around 250 people were kidnapped and taken to Gaza, around 100 of whom were released during a truce in late November. Since then, this war has left 22,438 dead in the Gaza Strip, mainly women and minors, according to the report released Thursday by the Hamas Ministry of Health.

“Freedom of action” against threats

The plan presented by Yoav Gallant, which has yet to receive the approval of the government, divided on this thorny subject, provides that operations in Gaza continue until the “return of the hostages”, “dismantling of Hamas’ military and governance capabilities » and “elimination of military threats,” argued Mr. Gallant.

As for the post-war period, Mr. Gallant pleads for a solution without Hamas, but without an Israeli civilian presence either, effectively rejecting proposals from two far-right ministers, who had recently called for the return of Jewish settlers to Gaza and the “emigration” of the Palestinian population – comments notably denounced by the American ally and by the head of European diplomacy.

“There will be no Israeli civilian presence in the Gaza Strip after the objectives of the war have been achieved,” Mr. Gallant declared Thursday evening, specifying that the army would however retain “its freedom of action” in Gaza to curb any possible “threat”.

“The people of Gaza are Palestinian. Therefore, Palestinian entities will be in charge (of management) on the condition that there is no hostile action or threat against the State of Israel,” underlines the plan without saying precisely who should administer this territory. around 2.4 million inhabitants ravaged by bombings and where most hospitals no longer function or only with great difficulty.


On the ground, the situation remains dramatic for the inhabitants, around 1.9 million of whom have been displaced by the conflict, and who are suffering from serious shortages of water, food and medicine.

“Immense pressure”

“Before the war, we treated cases of diabetes or stitches, without any press. Today, we are working under immense pressure and in fear,” Ashraf Al Hamami, a nurse at the Nuseirat refugee camp, in the center of the Gaza Strip, told AFPTV.

“The children in particular are sad, because they are hungry and their families don’t know how to provide them with food, so we try to help them and allow them to queue first. So we prepare a meal every day, but the prices of rice, sugar and firewood are high,” said Ezzedine al-Attar, a 19-year-old resident of Rafah (south), at a food distribution point. .

Some 150 trucks, mostly humanitarian aid, were able to enter the territory on Thursday, according to the Gazan authorities at the border, but NGOs and the UN – whose security council recently adopted a resolution calling for more aid – regularly emphasize that these supplies remain well below the needs of the population.

American Secretary of State Antony Blinken will plead during his fourth tour to the Middle East since the start of the conflict to “considerably” increase aid to Gaza.

Avoiding conflagration

But the diplomat will also work to prevent the conflagration of the region, where tension has increased further in recent days after the elimination – attributed to Israel – of Hamas number two Saleh al-Arouri in Lebanon in a stronghold of Hezbollah, a Shiite Islamist movement supported by Iran and ally of Hamas, and an attack claimed by the Islamic State group which left several dozen dead in Iran.

In Israel, the army chief of staff, Herzi Halevi, recently assured that his troops were on alert on the border with Lebanon, an almost daily scene of exchanges of fire since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Friday morning, the Israeli army announced that it had carried out air raids targeting Hezbollah “terrorist” sites in Lebanon.

In the Red Sea, the Houthi rebels of Yemen, supported by Iran, are increasing attacks to slow down maritime traffic in “support” of Gaza, while tensions are also increasing in Syria and Iraq, where American bases are taken for target.

Antony Blinken left Washington on Thursday evening and will travel to Turkey, then Israel, the occupied West Bank, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Before departure, his spokesperson had already warned: “We do not expect all conversations on this trip to be easy.”


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