The health ministry in the Hamas-administered Gaza Strip announced that the number of people killed in the enclave since October 7, 2023 was more than 34,000. At least 42 additional deaths have been recorded in twenty-year four hours, which brings the death toll to 34,012 people, according to a press release from the ministry, which also reports 76,833 wounded in more than six months of war.

On Friday, the G7 expressed its opposition to a military operation in Rafah, wanted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Talks on a truce in Gaza combined with the release of hostages have stalled for months, with the belligerents accusing each other of blocking them.

An Israeli intervention in Rafah would have “catastrophic consequences on the civilian population”, said the heads of diplomacy of the G7 members, in a press release published at the end of their three-day meeting on the small Italian island of Capri. “We reiterate our call for a credible and logistically practical plan to protect the civilian population there,” they add.

The Israeli Prime Minister says he wants to continue the war until the destruction of Hamas, which he considers, like the United States and the European Union, to be a terrorist organization. He is therefore decided to launch a ground offensive in Rafah, presented as the last major bastion of Hamas.

The G7 also deplored “all the losses of civilian lives and [notes] with great concern the unacceptable number of civilians, including thousands of women, children and people in vulnerable situations, who have been killed in Gaza.”

The United Nations has denounced the intentional destruction of sophisticated and hard-to-obtain medical equipment in Gaza’s besieged hospitals and maternity wards, exacerbating the risks for parturient women, who are already giving birth in “inhumane and unimaginable conditions.”

Recent UN missions to ten hospitals in Gaza found many of them “in ruins”, with only a few capable of providing maternal and child health services, Dominic said Allen, representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) of Palestine, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). What the teams saw in the Nasser hospital complex, long besieged by Israeli forces during their operations in the southern town of Khan Yunis, “breaks my heart,” he said.

Speaking to journalists in Geneva via video link from Jerusalem, he described seeing “medical equipment deliberately broken, from ultrasound machines – which, you know, are a very important tool to ensure safe deliveries – to cut cables.” “Screens of sophisticated medical equipment, such as ultrasound machines and other equipment, were broken,” he added.

The EU has blacklisted two organizations, Lehava and Hilltop Youth; and it sanctions four individuals: Meir Ettinger and Elisha Yered, leaders of the Hilltop Youth group, as well as settlers Neria Ben Pazi and Yinon Levi. The EU’s decision to target violent settlers in the West Bank comes two months after similar measures were taken by the US and UK.

These sanctioned individuals and entities “are responsible for serious human rights violations against Palestinians,” declared the Council of the EU, the institution that represents the twenty-seven member states.

These violations include “acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, as well as the violation of the right to property and the right to private and family life of Palestinians in the West Bank,” explained the Security Council. EU in a press release. The sanctions include asset freezing and visa bans.

At least three vessels carrying 5,000 tonnes of food, drinking water and medical aid are awaiting approval from Turkish authorities to set sail from the Turkish port of Tuzla, south of Istanbul, hopefully next week , announced the organizers on Friday.

Some 280 activists, rights defenders, lawyers and doctors are ready to take their place on board, coming from more than thirty countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Norway, Germany, Spain and Malaysia. In front of the press, they demanded the guarantee of their free passage and an immediate ceasefire in the territory of Gaza.

Turkey is one of the main countries providing humanitarian aid to the Palestinian population. A ninth “kindness ship” sent by the Turkish government arrived at the Egyptian port of El-Arich on Friday, loaded with 3,774 tonnes of humanitarian aid.