Israel-Hamas war: strikes continue in the Gaza Strip

Israeli strikes continued on Monday, December 25, in the Gaza Strip, after the army announced it was intensifying its operations in the South, where civilians are still on the verge of famine

Israel-Hamas war: strikes continue in the Gaza Strip

Israeli strikes continued on Monday, December 25, in the Gaza Strip, after the army announced it was intensifying its operations in the South, where civilians are still on the verge of famine. The Palestinian enclave experienced no respite for the Christmas holidays.

Early Monday, a bombing killed twelve people near the small village of Al-Zawaida (Center), according to the health ministry in the Gaza Strip, administered by Hamas. During the night, a bombing in Khan Younes (South) also left at least eighteen dead, he added in a press release. The center of the territory has also suffered around fifty successive strikes.

The weekend was particularly deadly in this overpopulated strip of land controlled since 2007 by Hamas, an organization considered terrorist by Israel, the United States and the European Union. At least seventy people were killed in a strike on the Al-Maghazi refugee camp on Sunday, according to the Hamas government. A report which could not be independently confirmed by Agence France-Presse (AFP). Asked by AFP, the Israeli army said it was “investigating” this “incident” and respecting international law.

We must “turn the page”, says the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

On the Israeli side, more than fifteen soldiers have died in the last three days. On Monday morning, the army announced the death of two more soldiers, bringing to 156 its casualties since its troops operated on the ground in Gaza. “We are paying a very heavy price for the war, but we have no choice but to continue fighting,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted on Sunday. “We are facing monsters,” he insisted in his Christmas message, addressed to Christians around the world.

The conflict has left 20,424 dead in the Gaza Strip, according to the latest report from the Hamas health ministry. It also forced 1.9 million residents to flee their homes, or 85% of the population according to the United Nations (UN). Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas, following the Islamist movement's attack of unprecedented scale and violence on October 7, which left around 1,140 people dead, mostly civilians, according to reports. latest official Israeli figures.

That day, Palestinian commandos also kidnapped around 250 people, of whom 129 remain detained in Gaza, according to Israel. “We must stop these hostilities and turn the page,” pleaded Sunday the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who came to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank, wearing a black and white keffiyeh around his neck. In this city where Jesus was born, according to Christian tradition, Christmas celebrations have been largely canceled by the Palestinian municipality, and sadness dominates.

Disastrous humanitarian situation

In the Gaza Strip, the humanitarian situation remains dire: most hospitals are out of service and in the next six weeks the entire population risks experiencing a high level of food insecurity, up to famine. , according to the UN. “The decimation of Gaza’s health system is a tragedy,” World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lamented on Sunday.

Despite the vote on Friday by the UN Security Council of a resolution calling for the “immediate” and “large-scale” delivery of humanitarian aid, this had not yet seen a significant increase. The Jordanian army announced Sunday evening that its air forces had dropped aid to around 800 people taking refuge in St. Porphyry Church in northern Gaza.

For their part, Egyptian and Qatari mediators are still trying to negotiate a new truce, after a seven-day break in fighting at the end of November, which allowed the release of 105 hostages and 240 Palestinian prisoners as well as the entry large humanitarian aid convoys to Gaza. According to a source within Islamic Jihad, the leader of this Palestinian armed movement allied with Hamas arrived at the head of a delegation in Cairo.