June 14, 2024

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The Israeli army finds the bodies of 3 more hostages in Gaza

The Israeli army finds the bodies of 3 more hostages in Gaza

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Egypt said Friday it has agreed to send United Nations humanitarian aid trucks through Israel’s main crossing into Gaza, but it remains unclear whether they will be able to enter the Strip as fighting rages in the south of the country. Rafah city Amidst the escalating Israeli aggression there.

On the other hand, the bodies of three other hostages killed on October 7 in Gaza were recovered, the Israeli army announced on Friday. The head of the CIA met in Paris with Israeli and Qatari officials, in an attempt to revive negotiations for a ceasefire and the release of the hostages.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsened after the United Nations and other relief agencies said that the entry of food and other supplies into it had decreased significantly since the start of the Israeli attack on Rafah more than two weeks ago. On Friday, the UN’s highest court – the International Court of Justice – heard… Israel was ordered to stop the attack on RafahAlthough Israel is unlikely to comply.

At the heart of the problem are the two main crossings, through which about 300 trucks of aid were flowing daily into Gaza before the attack began.

Israeli forces took control of the Rafah crossing leading to Egypt, which has since stopped operating. The nearby Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza remains open, and Israel says it sends hundreds of trucks daily to it. But despite the success of commercial trucks crossing, the United Nations says it cannot reach the Kerem Shalom crossing to receive aid when it enters because the fighting in the area makes the area too dangerous.

As a result, the UN says it has received only 143 trucks from the crossing in the past 19 days. Hundreds of loaded trucks are sitting on the Gaza side of the crossing without being retrieved, according to Israeli officials, who say restrictions on UN manpower are to blame. The United Nations and other relief agencies have had to rely on a much smaller number of trucks entering daily from a single crossing in northern Gaza and via a dock built by the United States to bring supplies by sea.

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Humanitarian organizations are striving to deliver food to the Palestinians, with about 900,000 people fleeing Rafah, and are spread across the central and southern Gaza Strip. Aid workers warn that so does Gaza Near starvation. UNRWA, the main UN agency in humanitarian efforts, was forced to stop food distribution in the city of Rafah because supplies ran out.

The Egyptian announcement appears to resolve a political obstacle on one side of the border.

Israel says it kept the Rafah crossing open and asked Egypt to coordinate with it about sending aid convoys through it. Egypt refused, fearing that Israeli control of the facility would remain permanent, and demanded that the Palestinians be returned to responsibility for the facility. The White House is pressuring Egypt to resume the flow of trucks.

Sisi’s office said that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi agreed in a phone call with US President Joe Biden on Friday to allow trucks loaded with humanitarian aid and fuel to go to the Kerem Shalom crossing until a solution to the Rafah crossing is reached. In the current situation.

But it remains unclear whether the UN will have access to additional trucks coming from Egypt.

UNRWA did not immediately respond to requests for comment. “We can resume (food distribution in Rafah) tomorrow if the crossing is reopened and we are provided with safe roads,” she said in a post on social media site X on Thursday.

Mercy Corps, an aid organization working in Gaza, said in a statement on Friday that the attack caused a “functional shutdown…of the main lifeline” of aid and “brought the humanitarian system to its knees.”

“If radical changes do not occur, including opening all border crossings to safely increase aid to these areas, we fear a wave of secondary deaths will result, as people succumb to a combination of hunger, lack of clean water and sanitation,” she added. The spread of the disease in areas where there is little medical care.”

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It appears that fighting is escalating in Rafah. Eyewitnesses said that the bombing intensified on Friday in the eastern parts of the city near the Kerem Shalom crossing, but the bombing also occurred in the central, southern and western areas near the Rafah crossing.

Israeli leaders said they must uproot Hamas fighters from Rafah to complete the destruction of the group after its attack on October 7.

Hamas-led militants killed about 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and kidnapped about 250 others in the October 7 attack. About half of these hostages They have since been releasedMost of them are part of exchanges of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel during a week-long ceasefire in November.

In a video statement, Israeli army spokesman Admiral Daniel Hagari said that the bodies of three other hostages killed on October 7 had been recovered.

The Gaza Health Ministry said on Friday that Israel’s bombing campaign and attacks on Gaza have killed more than 35,800 Palestinians and injured more than 80,200 others. Their number does not differentiate between civilians and combatants.

The Israeli army said that its forces found during the night the bodies of three people killed in the October 7 attack, who were then transported to Gaza and counted among the hostages.

Corpses Tenderness YablonkaThe army said that Michelle Nissenbaum and Orion Hernandez Radox were found in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, where Israeli forces have been fighting Hamas militants since last week.

This announcement comes less than a week after the army announced that it had found him in the same area The bodies of three other Israeli hostages He was also killed on October 7.

Nissenbaum, 59, was an Israeli-Brazilian from the southern city of Sderot. He was killed in his car as he was heading to bring his 4-year-old granddaughter from a location near Gaza that had been attacked by militants.

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Orion Hernandez Radox, 30, and Yablonka, 42, a father of two, were killed while trying to escape from the Nova Music Festival, where the attackers killed hundreds of people. Hernandez Radox was attending the festival with his German-Israeli partner, Shani Luke, whose body was among those found earlier by the army.

Israel says that about 100 hostages are still being held in Gaza, in addition to the bodies of at least 39 others, while the bodies of 17 hostages have been recovered.

The group representing the families of the hostages said the bodies had been returned to their families for burial. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu He said that it is the country’s duty to do everything in its power to return the kidnapped people, whether those who were killed or those who are still alive.

French President Emmanuel Macron He offered his condolences to the family of Hernandez Rado, a French-Mexican citizen, saying that France remains committed to the release of the hostages.

A US official said that CIA Director Bill Burns met in Paris on Friday with Israeli and Qatari officials in informal talks aimed at putting the ceasefire and hostage negotiations back on track. The American official said that Burns is in close contact with Egyptian officials, who, like the Qataris, worked as mediators with Hamas.

Ceasefire talks stalled at the beginning of the month after major efforts by the United States and other mediators to reach an agreement, hoping to avoid a planned Israeli invasion of the southern city of Rafah. The talks have been bogged down by a central sticking point: Hamas is demanding guarantees that the war will end and a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza in exchange for the release of all hostages, a demand that Israel rejects.

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Keith and Magdy reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Melanie Liedman in Tel Aviv and John Lester in Le Becq, France, contributed.