Israel-Hamas war: update on the situation for January 20

Find here our situation update published yesterday

Israel-Hamas war: update on the situation for January 20

Find here our situation update published yesterday.

The Israeli army intensively bombarded the town of Khan Yunis and its surroundings and the Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, witnesses told the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse on Saturday, January 20, after a week of telecommunications outage. Israeli forces claimed to have destroyed “terrorist infrastructure” in the territory and struck rocket launchers in Khan Yunis. Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007, has also reported fierce fighting in the north of the enclave. Furthermore, leaflets showing photos of the hostages and calling on residents to share any information about them were dropped by the Israeli army on the town of Rafah, on the border with Egypt where tens of thousands of people are crowded together. displaced.

The Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip, a territory administered by Hamas, announced a death toll of 24,927 people, mostly women, adolescents and children in the Gaza Strip, since October 7. The war in the Gaza Strip was sparked by an unprecedented Hamas attack in southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,140 people, mostly civilians, according to an Agence France-Presse tally from official Israeli figures.

According to Israel, 132 hostages remain in the territory. At least 27 were killed, according to an AFP count. A demonstration took place in front of Mr. Netanyahu's home to express dissatisfaction with his government's apparent lack of progress in freeing the hostages, fearing that Israel's military operation in Gaza would further undermine no longer their lives in danger. The World Health Organization deplored “inhumane living conditions” in the territory with a population of 2.4 million. According to the UN agency responsible for humanitarian coordination (Ocha), 375,000 people are threatened with “severe malnutrition”. At least 1.7 million people have been displaced by the war in Gaza, according to revised figures from the UN Palestinian Refugee Agency (UNRWA).

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that he had reiterated to Joe Biden his opposition to “Palestinian sovereignty” in the Gaza Strip, assuring that “Israel must maintain control of the security of the Palestinian enclave.” The day before, the American president, after a telephone conversation with the head of the Israeli government, declared that it was still possible that Mr. Netanyahu would accept a certain form of Palestinian state.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, affirmed, during the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, in Uganda, that "the right of the Palestinian people to build their own State must be recognized by all" and that any “denial” was “unacceptable.”

Hamas, in power in the Gaza Strip since 2007, for its part rejected on Saturday the American president's comments on the possibility of a Palestinian state, calling them an "illusion" which "does not fool" the Palestinians. Mr. Biden is “a full partner in the genocidal war and our people do not expect anything good from him,” commented Izzat Al-Richiq, an official of the Islamist movement, criticizing “those who consider themselves the bearers official words of the Palestinian people and who want to decide for the Palestinian people the type of country that suits them.”

Five members of the Revolutionary Guards were killed in an Israeli strike in Damascus, Iran's ideological army said, with Tehran threatening Israel with reprisals. Among the victims were two senior IRGC officials, according to a military source and Iranian media, including the "head of intelligence for the guards in Syria and his deputy," according to the Iranian Mehr news agency. The strike killed a total of ten people, destroying a four-story building in the Mazzé neighborhood (west), where a “meeting of pro-Iran leaders” was taking place, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported ( OSDH), a non-governmental organization with an extensive network of sources in Syria.

In recent weeks, Israel, Iran's sworn enemy, has been accused of killing a senior Iranian official in Syria and Hamas' number two in Lebanon in targeted operations, raising fears of an extension of its war against the movement. Palestinian Islamist in Gaza. Asked by AFP, the Israeli army communicated that it did not “comment on information from foreign media”.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani “strongly” condemned the attack, and his country threatened Israel with reprisals “at the appropriate time and place,” according to a statement from Iranian diplomacy. The Revolutionary Guards carried out an attack on January 15 in Iraqi Kurdistan against “a headquarters” from where, according to them, Israel’s intelligence services operated. They explained that they were responding to recent operations to eliminate Iranian or allied commanders by Israel.

The Pentagon carried out strikes described as "self-defense" against the Houthis around 4 a.m. (local time) and "destroyed a Houthi anti-ship missile that was aimed at the Gulf of Aden and ready for launch," the Pentagon said in a press release from the American military command in the Middle East (Centcom). Yemeni rebels have been carrying out repeated attacks on merchant ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden for several weeks.

The Houthis say they are targeting “Israeli-linked” merchant ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden in a show of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. American and British forces first struck rebels in Yemen on January 12. Several other strikes have followed since then, including Friday by the American army against missile launchers.

Thousands of people carrying Palestinian flags and chanting slogans against Israel marched Saturday in Madrid and other Spanish cities, including Barcelona, ​​Valencia and Seville, to demand “an end to the genocide in Palestine.” In the Spanish capital, some 25,000 people, according to the government, marched between Atocha station and Cibèle Square, in the center of the capital.

In Madrid, the head banner, in the colors of the Palestinian flag, called on the Spanish government to “end the arms trade and relations with Israel.” Some protesters held signs reading “Stop genocide” in English. The demonstrations took place at the call of the Solidarity Network against the Occupation of Palestine platform with the slogan “Let’s stop the genocide in Palestine”.

Within the European Union, Spain has been one of the most critical voices towards Israel in the conflict sparked by the October 7 Hamas attack in Israel. In November, Israel recalled its ambassador to Spain for consultations, after comments deemed “scandalous” by the socialist Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez. The latter had notably requested “strict respect for international humanitarian law, which today is clearly not respected” in Gaza. The Israeli ambassador returned to Madrid in January.