May 28, 2024

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Israel and Hamas at war, day 220 | Violent fighting in Gaza, US warns against risk of “anarchy”.

Israel and Hamas at war, day 220 |  Violent fighting in Gaza, US warns against risk of “anarchy”.

(Raffa) On Monday, the Israeli army engaged in violent fighting against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, particularly in Rafah, despite US warnings against a major offensive in the populous city and the risk of “anarchy” in the Palestinian territories after the war. .

What is there to know?

  • According to Antony Blinken, a broader operation on Rafah would risk creating “chaos”, “anarchy” and “massive damage” to civilians without “solving the problem” of Hamas;
  • Violent clashes between Israeli soldiers and Hamas fighters in different parts of Gaza and helicopter fire and shelling in East Rafah were reported on Monday;
  • The health care system in Gaza is “hours away from collapse” due to fuel shortages.

AFP reporters and witnesses report violent clashes between Israeli soldiers and Hamas militants in different parts of Gaza as Israel prepares to celebrate the 76e The anniversary of its creation has been overshadowed by more than seven months of war in the Palestinian territories.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the attack came less than a week after the Israeli army began an incursion into the Egyptian border town of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, home to 1.4 million Palestinians. The goal of eliminating Hamas cannot be achieved in a crowded city.

AFP reporters reported helicopter fire and bombings in eastern Rafah, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is threatening to launch a major ground offensive, which he says will hit the last battalions of Hamas that have taken refuge there.

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Risk of “confusion”.

Fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants has also flared in the northern Gaza Strip in recent days, months after Hamas announced the collapse of its command structure, as a military spokesman said the Israeli government was trying to rebuild its military capabilities. .”

According to AFP reporters and witnesses, clashes took place in the center and north of the Gaza Strip in Zeitoun and Jabalia, respectively.

Last week, Israeli forces ordered people to evacuate East Rafah, and the army said 300,000 Palestinians heeded the calls.

But Mr. In Blinken’s view, a broader crackdown on Rafah would risk creating “confusion”, “anarchy” and “massive damage” to the public without “solving the problem” of Hamas.

Photo by Mohammed Salem, Reuters

Last week, Israeli forces ordered people to evacuate East Rafah, and the army said 300,000 Palestinians heeded the calls.

“We’ve seen Hamas return to areas that Israel liberated in the north, even as far as Khan Yunis,” he told NBC in an interview in a devastated town near Rafah.

“There is no safe place in Gaza”

On foot, in vehicles or on tricycles, Palestinians continue to flee Rafah to seek refuge elsewhere in the Palestinian Territory.

“We’ve been through three days and terrible nights of hell since the war started,” said 24-year-old Mohammed Hamad, who fled east of Rafah after being bombed by the army after evacuation orders.

Hamas’ military wing has claimed responsibility for shelling Israeli soldiers and vehicles near the Rafah crossing.

“Israeli authorities continue to issue mandatory relocation orders […]. This makes the residents of Rafah flee everywhere,” the head of the UN Organization for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, wrote on the social network.

“Talking about safe zones is false and misleading. “No place in Gaza is safe for the approximately 2.4 million residents,” he said.

By attacking Rafa, the Israeli prime minister wants to “undercut” talks on a cease-fire and the release of hostages in Gaza, which allegedly broke out on Sunday.

The Islamic movement said it had accepted a proposal from mediators – Egypt, Qatar and the United States – for a ceasefire, but Israel responded that the accepted plan fell far short of “(its) demands”.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres again called for a ceasefire and the release of hostages at a conference in Kuwait, where donors pledged more than $2 billion over two years for humanitarian operations in Gaza.

On the verge of “collapse”.

An October 7 incursion by Hamas commandos from Gaza in southern Israel killed more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP report based on data from Israeli officials. More than 250 people were abducted during the attack and 128 were held captive in Gaza, 36 of whom are believed to have died, the military said.

In response, the military launched a ground offensive on October 27 following intense bombardments that devastated Gaza, displaced the majority of the population and caused a humanitarian catastrophe with an imminent threat of famine according to the UN and a high population toll: 35,034 deaths. , the majority of civilians according to the Hamas Health Ministry.

He warned on Monday that the Palestinian Territory’s health care system is “hours away from collapse” due to a lack of fuel to power hospital generators, ambulances and staff transport.

Israel’s military says 272 soldiers have died since the war began.

After sounding for the first time in Israel on Sunday evening, the sirens sounded again at 11 a.m. Monday to mark the start of the annual commemoration for soldiers who fell in defense of the country and those killed in the attack. In 76e The anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel was darkened by the war in Gaza. They will be followed by a series of ceremonies at Israel’s military cemeteries.

On May 15, Palestinians commemorate the Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”, editor’s note), which evokes the exodus of 760,000 people during the 1948 war that followed the creation of their state of Israel.