February 26, 2024

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The United States criticizes Israel over civilian casualties in Gaza while the United Nations hears a ceasefire request

The United States criticizes Israel over civilian casualties in Gaza while the United Nations hears a ceasefire request
  • The latest developments:
  • The Palestinian Authority is working with the United States on a post-war plan in Gaza – Bloomberg
  • Israel says 92 soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the ground war began on October 20

GAZA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In his most public criticism of Israel’s behavior in the war against the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in southern Gaza, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that there is a gap between the government’s declared intentions to protect civilians and the victims. .

“As we stand here nearly a week into this campaign in the south… it remains necessary for Israel to attach great importance to protecting civilians,” Blinken said in a press conference after meeting with British Foreign Secretary David Cameron in Washington on Thursday.

He added, “There is still a gap between…the intention to protect civilians and the actual results we see on the ground.”

Israel says it must eliminate Hamas after its attack on Israel two months ago, and is doing everything it can to keep civilians out of harm’s way, including warnings about military operations.

US President Joe Biden spoke separately by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordanian King Abdullah on Thursday. The White House said Biden “stressed the urgent need to protect civilians and separate civilian populations from Hamas, including through corridors that allow people to move safely from designated areas of hostilities.”

More than 17,170 Palestinians have been killed and 46,000 wounded, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, since October 7, when Israel began bombing Gaza in response to a cross-border attack by Iran-backed Hamas militants, who control the Strip. The Hamas attack led to the death of 1,200 people and the taking of 240 hostages, according to the Israeli census.

The Israeli army said on Friday that 92 of its soldiers had been killed in fighting in Gaza since it began ground incursions on October 20.

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Demanding a ceasefire at the United Nations as fighting intensifies in Gaza

Hundreds more Palestinians were killed as Israel fought Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip’s largest city on Thursday — 350 people, according to Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra. Israel said that its forces killed a number of militants in Khan Yunis, including two who went out to fire from a tunnel.

Arab countries renewed their efforts for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, as the United Arab Emirates asked the UN Security Council to vote on a draft resolution on Friday morning.

The United States and its ally Israel oppose the ceasefire and say it will only benefit Hamas. Blinken is scheduled to meet with senior diplomats from Arab countries, including Egypt, on Friday in Washington.

The draft was amended to stipulate “the need to protect the Palestinian and Israeli civilian population in accordance with international humanitarian law” and “demand the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.”

The resolution requires at least nine supportive votes and no veto by the five permanent members – the United States, Russia, China, France or Britain. The United States does not support any further action by the Council at this time.

As pressure mounts on Israel over civilian casualties from its war to destroy Hamas, the Palestinian Authority is working with US officials on a plan to manage Gaza after the war ends, Bloomberg News reported.

Quoting Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, he said that the preferred outcome is for Hamas to become a junior partner in the Palestine Liberation Organization, helping to build a new independent state that includes the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

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“If (Hamas) is ready to reach an agreement and accept the political program of the Palestine Liberation Organization, there will be room for talk. The Palestinians should not be divided,” Shtayyeh said, adding that Israel’s goal of completely defeating Hamas is unrealistic. .

Opening of the Kerem Shalom border crossing

In a development that will help pave the way for more humanitarian aid to reach Gaza, Israel has agreed to a US request to open the Kerem Shalom border crossing to inspect trucks and their goods, a US official said on Thursday.

Egypt, along with the United Nations, is pressuring Israel to speed up the inspection process, which requires vehicles to be driven to the Egyptian border with Israel before returning to Rafah. The number of trucks crossing daily dropped to less than 100, from about 200 during the period from November 24 to December. 1 The truce according to the United Nations.

The Kerem Shalom crossing is located on the southern border of Gaza with Israel and Egypt, and the crossing was used to transport more than 60% of the cargo of trucks heading to Gaza before the outbreak of war two months ago.

With no end in sight to the fighting, John Feiner, a senior White House national security aide, said the United States had not given Israel a specific deadline to end major combat operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Weiner said at the Aspen Security Forum in Washington that there were many “legitimate military targets” remaining in southern Gaza, including “most if not most” of the Hamas leadership.

Meanwhile, hostages still held by Hamas have been held incommunicado in Gaza despite Israel’s calls for the Red Cross to arrange visits and check on their safety.

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Marking the two-month anniversary of the Hamas attack, the start of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah was a solemn moment for many in Israel.

Aidit Ohel, whose son Alon, 22, was kidnapped by Hamas gunmen from an open-air music festival where 364 people were killed, said she hoped for a miracle.

“He doesn’t know that it’s Hanukkah,” Ohel said. “I don’t think he knows what days it is, what day it is, what night it is.” “But he is in our hearts all the time.”

(Reporting by Bassam Masoud in Gaza, Mayan Lobel in Jerusalem, and Humeyra Pamuk and Simon Lewis in Washington – Prepared by Muhammad for the Arab Bulletin – Prepared by Muhammad Al-Yamani for the Arab Bulletin – Prepared by Muhammad Al-Yamani for the Arabic Bulletin) Ahmed Muhammad Hassan from Cairo, Michel Nichols from the United Nations, and Gabriel Tetrault- Farber of Geneva; Writing by Grant McCall and Steven Coates; Edited by Diane Craft

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Humeyra Pamuk is a senior foreign policy correspondent based in Washington, DC. She covers the US State Department, and regularly travels with the US Secretary of State. During her 20 years with Reuters, she had postings in London, Dubai, Cairo and Turkey, where she covered everything from the Arab Spring and the civil war in Syria to several Turkish elections and the Kurdish insurgency in the country’s southeast. In 2017, she won the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship at Columbia University’s School of Journalism. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a master’s degree in European Union studies.