Middle East war: Israel continues preparations for offensive

Middle East war: Israel continues preparations for offensive

Israel’s attacks have damaged or destroyed nearly half of all homes in the Gaza Strip, according to Hamas authorities. Israel is currently rejecting calls for a humanitarian ceasefire. The News.

With further attacks on Hamas’ military infrastructure and a renewed advance of individual troops into the Gaza Strip, Israel is continuing to prepare for the expected ground offensive.

The Israeli army said it attacked more than 250 targets in the Gaza Strip within 24 hours. These included tunnels belonging to the Islamist Hamas as well as command centers and rocket launch pads, the army said.

According to the health authority controlled by the Islamist Hamas, the death toll in the Gaza Strip has now risen to 7,326. These include 3,038 children and young people and 1,792 women, the ministry announced. According to reports, 18,967 Palestinians were injured. On Thursday, the authorities spoke of a total of 7,028 deaths. The ministry’s figures could not initially be independently verified.

The UN emergency agency OCHA, citing Hamas authorities, said that almost half of all houses in the Gaza Strip had been destroyed, uninhabitable or damaged by Israeli attacks.

Israel: “Dozens” of Hamas fighters hit

Israeli officials said “dozens” of Hamas members were hit in the attacks. A senior Hamas commander was also killed. The commander, Madhat Mubashar, was involved in several explosive and sniper attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers.

Meanwhile, after a break of around ten hours, there were renewed rocket alarms in several Israeli towns. In the afternoon, sirens also wailed in the coastal city of Tel Aviv. According to helpers, three people were injured when a rocket hit there. According to Israel, more than 8,000 rockets have been fired by Palestinian extremists from the Gaza Strip since the war began. The vast majority of them are intercepted by Israel’s missile defense system.

Israel “currently” continues to reject humanitarian ceasefires

Israel rejected EU heads of state and government’s call on Thursday evening for “humanitarian corridors and breaks for humanitarian purposes” in the Gaza Strip. “Israel currently rejects a humanitarian ceasefire,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said. This includes “any kind of requested ceasefire.”

Macron accuses Israel of “indiscriminate bombardment”.

French President Emmanuel Macron has spoken of an “undifferentiated bombardment” in view of the massive Israeli attacks on targets in the Gaza Strip. France fully recognizes Israel’s will and right to fight against Hamas terrorists and is ready to help. “But we are of the opinion that the complete blockade, the indiscriminate bombardment and even more so the prospect of a massive ground offensive are not suitable for adequately protecting the civilian population,” he said after a meeting with the heads of state and government of the EU countries in Brussels.

UN Human Rights Office sees war crimes committed by Israel

The UN human rights office accuses Israel of war crimes. Withholding electricity and fuel from the more than two million people in the Gaza Strip is a collective punishment. “Collective punishment is a war crime,” said spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani in Geneva.

The lack of fuel is forcing hospitals and bakeries to close. People lived in devastating conditions, without clean drinking water and inadequate sanitation. “A humanitarian catastrophe is looming for the 2.2 million people trapped in the Gaza Strip and being punished collectively,” Shamdasani said.

She added that kidnapping civilians was also a war crime. As a result of the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, more than 1,400 people were killed and more than 200 hostages were kidnapped in the Gaza Strip. Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the EU and the USA.

Number of hostages higher than previously assumed

The number of hostages held in the Gaza Strip is higher than Israel previously estimated. The families of 229 hostages had been informed by Friday, said Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari. That was five more than the day before. It is expected that the number could increase.

According to the military, the four hostages already released by the Islamist Hamas are not included in the number. According to Israeli information, the hostages include citizens from 25 countries, including Germans.

WHO: Discussion about the number of victims is not appropriate

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers the discussion about the reliability of the number of victims, which come from the Palestinian organization Hamas, which rules in the Gaza Strip, to be cynical. For years, the WHO had no reason to doubt the numbers of these health authorities, said the WHO representative for the occupied Palestinian territories, Richard Peeperkorn.

It makes no difference whether there are a thousand more or fewer victims – the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is catastrophic and the number of victims from Israeli attacks is enormous. According to Peeperkorn, 23 of the 35 hospitals in the Gaza Strip are still partially functioning. Some operations had to be carried out on the floor, he said.

Dead in the West Bank

According to Palestinian reports, four people were killed in confrontations with the Israeli military in the West Bank. It was said that three Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire in the city of Jenin. Another Palestinian was killed in the city of Kalkilija. According to the Israeli military, at least one person killed in Jenin was a member of a Palestinian militant organization.

Third EU aid flight for Gaza launched

A third EU-funded flight carrying 51 tonnes of aid for the people of the Gaza Strip has made its way to the region. The EU Commission announced that a plane took off from Copenhagen on Friday. Among other things, she brings medicine to Egypt. The EU is financing the total costs of all flights, it was said.

The aid supplies are to be transported from Egypt to Gaza. According to the information, the goods are processed through partner organizations such as the International Red Cross. So far, however, very little relief goods have arrived in the sealed-off coastal area.

There are still many Germans in the crisis region

Despite the Gaza war, there are still several thousand German citizens in the crisis region in the Middle East. According to the Foreign Office, there are currently around 2,700 Germans in Israel. In neighboring Lebanon, where the Federal Republic has expressly called on its citizens to leave the country, there are almost 1,100.

The Berlin ministry assumes there will be a “low three-digit” number of people in the Gaza Strip. In total there are said to be around 490 people in the Palestinian territories. However, only those German citizens who have voluntarily registered on a crisis preparedness list run by the Foreign Office are counted.

Source: Stern

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