Palestinian desperation grows amid urban battles between Israel and Hamas

Palestinian desperation grows amid urban battles between Israel and Hamas

Deir Al-Balah, Gaza Strip — Desperation grew on Thursday among Palestinians, who do not have a supply of food and water, while the forces Israelis They were fighting strong urban battles with Hamas militiamen. The attacks in the southern city of Rafah Loopthey spread fear in one of the last places where civilians could seek refuge.

officials of United Nations They assure that there are no longer safe places in Gaza almost a week after Israel expanded its offensive towards the southern half of the territory. The intense fighting in the city ​​of Khan Yunis and its surrounding areas have displaced tens of thousands of people and disrupted aid delivery to most of Gaza. More than 80% of the territory’s population has fled their homes.

Two months after the war began, the devastating offensive has caused renewed international alarm. He UN Secretary General Antonio Guterresused a power rarely exercised to warn the Security Council about an imminent “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza and urged its members to demand a ceasefire.

Gutteres explicitly cited the Article 99 of the UN Charter, which allows the Secretary-General to bring to the attention of the Council any matter that he believes threatens international peace and security. The power has only been used a handful of times in the history of the world organization.

It is likely that USAIsrael’s closest ally, block any UN efforts to stop the fighting. Still, American concern about the devastation was growing. Before the offensive in the south, US officials told Israel to limit civilian deaths and displacement, stressing that too many Palestinians died when it devastated much of Gaza City and the north.

On Thursday, the American Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkensaid casualties are still too high during a call with Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, according to a senior Israeli official. Department of State.

Blinken told Dermer that Israel must redouble its efforts to reduce the number of victims and do more to allow humanitarian aid access to Loop. The official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss the private diplomatic discussion, did not release Dermer’s response.

Israel maintains that it must crush the military capabilities of Hamas and remove him from power after the attack of the October 7 that unleashed the war.

In photographs and videos published on Thursday, it is seen at least 100 Palestinian men sitting in rows on a street in northern Gaza, in their underwear and with their heads bowed while being guarded by Israeli soldiers. The Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news outlet reported that its correspondent Diaa Al-Kahlout was among those detained and had been taken to an unknown location.

The images were the first to show these types of arrests in the war between Israel and Hamas. Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari said Israeli troops have detained and interrogated hundreds of people in Gaza suspected of having ties to militiamen.

In a sign of growing desperation, thousands of Palestinians were crushed Thursday waiting to receive aid at a United Nations distribution center in the central city of Deir al-Balah, in Gazaand the crowd increased.

Residents said the scene of chaos had become commonplace in Deir al-Balah, where the little humanitarian aid that arrives is received by hordes of hungry families and exhausted who take refuge in UN schools or with relatives. Rami Ashour, one of those waiting Thursday morning, said he left the scene when it seemed impossible that his turn to receive a ration of flour would come.

Deir al-Balah is caught between ground fighting in northern Gaza and Khan Younis to the south, but continues to be shelled. EITHERAnother 115 bodies were brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the last 24 hourssaid the international aid group Doctors Without Borders.

“The hospital is full, the morgue is full,” lamented the group in the social network X, formerly Twitter.

Only a few trucks have managed to reach central Gaza in recent daysas the fighting has largely prevented aid groups from distributing supplies beyond the Rafah area on the southern edge of Gaza along the border with Egypt, according to the United Nations.

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