Thursday, June 20, 2024

British Prime Minister visits Egypt

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Palestinians hope aid will reach Gaza… Israel continues bombing

Palestinians in Gaza are hoping for humanitarian aid to arrive on Friday after more than 10 days of a blockade imposed by Israel, which is still preparing for a ground offensive and continues to bombard the Strip after a Hamas offensive that began on October 7.

An Egyptian Cairo news channel said Thursday evening that the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, the only outlet not under Israeli control, would open on Friday.

Humanitarian aid convoys waiting to enter this tiny enclave of 2.4 million Palestinians have been stalled in Rafah for days as the conflict enters its fourteenth day.

The Israeli military said the counterattack killed around 1,500 Hamas fighters, allowing Israel to regain control of the affected areas.

According to revised figures released Thursday, Hamas is holding 203 people hostage.

On the Palestinian side, 3,785 people were killed in the Gaza Strip, including at least 1,524 children, according to the Hamas Health Ministry.

Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed and left without water, food or electricity, and more than a million people have been displaced since Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip on October 9, which is under a land, sea and air blockade from Hamas. took control there (2007).

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) wrote on the “X” website (formerly “Twitter”): “We need unfettered access and safe delivery of our vital aid. Time is running out.”

In Cairo, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called for “rapid and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid”, stressing the need for an “immediate ceasefire for humanitarian reasons”.

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US President Joe Biden, who visited Israel on Wednesday, received confirmation from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi that he had “allowed up to 20 trucks to cross the border”.

At the Rafah crossing, Egyptians repaired damage caused by Israeli bombing on Thursday in preparation for aid trucks to pass through, witnesses said. Dozens gathered in hopes of its reopening.

Muhammad (40), who works for an Italian company, has been waiting with his family for three days for the crossing to reopen so they can leave, “We are ready with our bags.”

Serial bombing

On the ground, the Israeli military said Thursday it had carried out hundreds of airstrikes in less than 24 hours targeting Hamas infrastructure in Gaza as it prepared for a ground offensive in the tunnel-riddled northern Gaza Strip. Movement hides fighters and weapons.

In a video posted by Israel’s military radio on the “X” website, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant said Thursday while inspecting troops stationed near Gaza: “You see Gaza now from afar, and soon you will see Gaza from the inside. .”

Journalists from Agence France-Presse reported that the missiles were fired from Israel’s Gaza Strip.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said 20 people were killed in Israeli airstrikes in front of a bakery in Gaza on Thursday.

In the West Bank, occupied by Israel since 1967, 79 people have been killed in clashes with Israeli forces or attacks by settlers since the start of the conflict.

Diplomatic moves

On the political level, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who visited Israel on Thursday, voiced his support for the Jewish state but called for speeding up humanitarian aid into Gaza.

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He then traveled to Saudi Arabia, where Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman described the “targeting of civilians” in Gaza as a “heinous crime” and warned of “dangerous consequences” for the security of the region and beyond.

Egyptian President and Jordanian King Abdullah II called for an “immediate end” to the conflict and accused Israel of “collective punishment” to “starve” the Palestinians and “drive them out”.

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbach began a new tour of the Middle East on Thursday. It welcomed “signals” that gave hope for a “minimum limited” opening of the Rafah crossing, and called on all concerned to “overcome the final hurdles” to achieve this.

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
"Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert."

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