GAZA: On Sunday, Israel bombed Gaza, killing several people. This happened as calls grew around the world for better protection of civilians and the extension of a truce that had ended with the Palestinian rebel group Hamas.
Since the truce ended on Friday, the Israeli army said it had hit Gaza more than 400 times. The Palestinian government said at least 240 people had been killed.
Hamas and the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad said they would launch “rocket barrages” against several Israeli cities and towns, including Tel Aviv. In response, Israel said that two of its soldiers had died in battle, the first deaths since the end of the ceasefire.
The Israeli government said that an attack early Sunday morning near Gaza’s southern border with Egypt killed at least seven people.
There were also attacks on the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza late Saturday night. At least 13 people were killed, according to the official Palestinian news service Wafa.
The number of civilian deaths in Israel’s eight-week war was strongly criticized by US Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday. She told reporters at UN climate talks in Dubai, “Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed.”
“Frankly, the scale of civilian suffering and the images and videos coming from Gaza are devastating.”
The United Nations says that more than two-thirds of Gaza’s inhabitants, or about 1.7 million people, have been forced to leave their homes because of the war.
“I cannot find words strong enough to express our concern over what we’re witnessing,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, said on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday.
The head doctor at the Al-Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza City, Fadel Naim, said that his morgue had received 30 bodies on Saturday, seven of which were children.
Nemr al-Bel, 43, told AFP, “The planes bombed our houses—three bombs, three houses destroyed.” He also said that 10 people in his family were killed and “13 more are still under the rubble.”
A lot of homes have been destroyed, and people in Gaza are short on food, water, and other things they need. The UN has declared a humanitarian disaster, and on Saturday, some aid trucks did appear.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society said that after the cease-fire ended, Israel told non-governmental organizations (NGOs) not to bring food convoys across the Rafah border crossing from Egypt.
That being said, the charity said on Saturday that its Egyptian partners had been able to send over several cars.
In October 7, Hamas fighters crossed the border between Gaza and Israel, which was guarded by the military. In response, Israel promised to get rid of Hamas and started a harsh air and ground operation that, according to the Palestinian government in Gaza, has killed more than 15,000 people, most of them civilians.
Peace talks that lasted for a week and were backed by Egypt and the US freed 80 Israeli hostages in return for 240 Palestinian prisoners. What a deal!
But when the peace ended, both sides blamed the other for breaking its rules.
Israel said that Hamas had tried to fire a rocket before the truce ended and that it had not shown a list of more hostages that could be freed.
Israeli officials left Doha on Saturday after talks to try to get a new cease-fire in the conflict broke down.
The Israeli army said that 137 people seized in Gaza were still being held.
Yoav Gallant, Israel’s Defense Minister, told reporters on Saturday that the country needs to take more military action to “make Hamas pay a heavy price, which is the release of hostages.”
Israeli prisoners who were freed from Gaza spoke out in public for the first time on Saturday, asking their government to free the rest of the prisoners.
Yocheved Lifschitz, 85, who was freed by Hamas in October before the peace deal, said, “This government has a moral duty to bring them home right away and without any delay.”
French President Emmanuel Macron called for “stepped-up efforts to reach a lasting ceasefire” so that all prisoners could be freed, more aid could come in, and Israel could be sure it would be safe.
He didn’t agree with Israel’s stated war goals and said that “the war will last 10 years” if the goal was to “totally destroy Hamas” in Gaza.
But Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, said the war would go on “until we achieve all its aims,” which included getting rid of the resistance movement.
“During the days of peace, our soldiers got ready for a total victory against Hamas,” he told the press in Tel Aviv on Saturday, the first time since fighting started again.
Netanyahu told reporters, “There is no way to win except to keep up the ground campaign.” He added that this would be done while “observing international law.”
For the past few weeks, Israel’s air, naval, and ground forces have hit more than 400 targets in Gaza, the army said on Saturday.
According to military numbers that were made public before the pause, the number is about the same as the average number of strikes that happened every day before the stop.
“More than 50 targets were hit in a wide-ranging attack in the Khan Yunis area” in southern Gaza, the Israeli military said.
A separate report said that soldiers from an Israeli armored unit “eliminated terrorist squads and directed fire against terrorist targets in the north of the Gaza Strip.”
The Israeli army said that they killed a Palestinian at a checkpoint near the city of Nablus because he “drew a knife and started to advance towards them.”
The Syrian government said that Israel attacked from the air near Damascus on Saturday.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said that Israel killed two of its own people in Syria while they were on a “advisory mission.”