Hundreds of thousands flee: Israel intensifies offensive in Rafah

According to reports from residents, Israeli soldiers with tanks advanced in al-Jinaina, al-Salam and al-Brasil districts east of the city on the border with Egypt. Reuters could not verify these reports. Heavy fighting is going on between the Israeli army and Hamas militants.

According to eyewitnesses, it was the heaviest fighting in the north and south of the Gaza Strip in months. Israeli shelling continues in the northern, southern and central parts of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military has yet to comment on the news.

Major International Review

The military wing of the terror group Hamas said its fighters had carried out multiple attacks on Israeli troops along the Egyptian border in Rafah. They attacked an Israeli troop transport in the Rafah area.

Israel believes the last four Hamas battalions are in Rafah. International criticism of the attack in Rafah was huge. The UN has been warning of a humanitarian catastrophe for weeks. So the US restricted its military aid to Israel.

IMAGO/Xinhua/Jamal Awad

Israel is escalating attacks in the Gaza Strip

Talks of ceasefire “virtually deadlocked”

Israel’s advances are also having a chilling effect on ceasefire talks. Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said on Tuesday that Israeli actions would undermine efforts to end the ceasefire and free Israeli hostages. “Especially in the last few weeks a certain energy has developed, but unfortunately things have not developed in the right direction and now we are almost at a dead end,” Mohammed criticized.

Along with the US and Egypt, Qatar is one of the mediators between Israel and Hamas. Qatar said Israel was not clear on how to end the war. Israel has made it clear through its statements that it wants to stay in the Gaza Strip and continue the war.

According to media reports, several ministers from right-wing nationalist and right-wing extremist parties in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition called for the establishment of Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip at a demonstration.

Relations with Egypt were put to the test

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal (“WSJ”), Egypt is also considering limiting diplomatic ties with Israel in light of the Israeli military’s crackdown. One of the consequences may be the withdrawal of the Egyptian ambassador from Tel Aviv, it said, citing Egyptian government officials. However, there are currently no plans to completely sever ties.

Just on Sunday, Egypt announced it would join South Africa’s genocide lawsuit against Israel amid growing frustration over the war in the Gaza Strip. In late December, South Africa sued Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for violating the Genocide Convention over the Gaza war.

US supports Israel against genocide charges

The UN court ruled in an interim ruling that Israel must take security measures to prevent genocide. The ICJ plans to hold hearings on Thursday and Friday to decide on new emergency measures related to the attacks on Rafah.

Israel has repeatedly denied allegations of genocide. It receives support on this topic from the United States. “We do not believe what is happening in Gaza is a genocide,” US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jack Sullivan said in Washington on Monday. “We have always strongly rejected that claim.”

“Nowhere is Safe”

For the UN, “an immediate ceasefire is the only hope,” UNRWA said on Tuesday. “People continue to face exhaustion, hunger and fear. “Nowhere is safe.” The International Committee of the Red Cross opened a field hospital in Rafah on Tuesday that can care for up to 200 people a day.

The health system in the Gaza Strip has been disrupted by continuous Israeli shelling. The number of sick and injured is increasing day by day but most of the hospitals are not serving. On Tuesday, the aid organization Doctors Without Borders suspended treatment at another hospital in Rafah. Patients were taken to other facilities because their safety could no longer be guaranteed, the organization said.

The massacre sparked the Gaza War

The October 7 massacre ignited the Gaza War. Terrorists from Hamas and other groups attacked southern Israel that day, killing about 1,200 people and taking 250 hostages in the Gaza Strip.

More than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks so far, according to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Health Authority in Gaza, although the information, which is difficult to independently verify, does not distinguish between militants and civilians.

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