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Palestinian officials in Hamas-controlled Gaza accused Israel of launching an air strike on a refugee camp within the besieged strip that they mentioned killed dozens of individuals, because the US and Israel rejected calls from Arab leaders for a ceasefire within the struggle.
The incident late on Saturday got here as US secretary of state Antony Blinken’s regional tour has uncovered deep divisions between Arab capitals and Washington over the war in Gaza, which has now entered its fifth week. The Financial Times was unable to independently confirm the strike on the camp.
Israel started an aerial bombardment of the enclave after Hamas fighters launched a shock rampage by way of southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,400 individuals and taking greater than 240 others hostage, in accordance with Israeli officials.
Gazan well being officials say greater than 9,488 Palestinians have been killed within the struggle, which has escalated as Israel has despatched its forces into the strip with a mission to defeat Hamas.
The Palestinian information company Wafa mentioned Israeli warplanes attacked the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza on Saturday night time. Ashraf al-Qidri, a spokesperson for the Palestinian well being ministry in Gaza, mentioned greater than 30 individuals had been killed within the strike.
Al-Maghazi is in central Gaza, however is within the space the place the Israel Defense Forces had advised Palestinian civilians from the north to evacuate for security.
The IDF didn’t instantly touch upon the stories. In the previous, it has mentioned it’s focusing on Hamas, not civilians, and accuses the Islamist group of utilizing individuals as human shields.
Late final month, Israel mentioned it carried out a strike on Gaza’s largest refugee camp, Jabalia, which it mentioned killed a senior Hamas commander and which officials within the enclave mentioned additionally killed dozens of civilians.
The IDF has now completely encircled Gaza City, Hamas’s primary base, and reported fierce avenue battles towards the group’s militants.
Regional powers have known as for a right away ceasefire, which Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has flatly rejected, saying Israel would solely agree to take action if Hamas launched all of the hostages.
Blinken, too, has mentioned a ceasefire would solely profit Hamas by permitting the organisation to regroup and assault once more, and has as an alternative proposed a collection of localised “humanitarian pauses” that might make it simpler to carry humanitarian assist into the beleaguered enclave and get international nationals out.
The secretary of state on Sunday met Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas within the West Bank, the place fears of violence are additionally rising, earlier than travelling to Turkey.
Blinken has urged Israel to “do more to protect Palestinian civilians”. But these calls don’t go far sufficient for Arab leaders. “We need to work together . . . to stop this madness,” Jordan’s international minister, Ayman Safadi, advised Blinken on Saturday.
Blinken additionally met King Abdullah II of Jordan, who known as for a “humanitarian truce” and warned that navy motion wouldn’t obtain a two-state resolution, in accordance with an announcement from the royal court docket.
Hamas has demanded a ceasefire, extra assist for Palestinian civilians and gas shipments in change for the discharge of civilian hostages. The group intends to carry captured Israeli troopers to commerce for greater than 6,000 Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons.
In Washington, 1000’s of protesters gathered on Saturday to demand a ceasefire in Gaza and to denounce President Joe Biden’s coverage on the struggle.
Demonstrators wielded placards with slogans corresponding to “Palestinian Lives Matter”, “Let Gaza Live” and “Their blood is on your hands”. Organisers mentioned it was one of the most important pro-Palestinian protests ever within the US capital.
Meanwhile, Amihai Eliyahu, a far-right minister in Netanyahu’s authorities, sparked controversy by showing to counsel that Israel ought to drop a nuclear bomb on Gaza.
Asked in an interview with the ultrareligious radio channel Kol Barama if Israel ought to deploy nuclear weapons in its struggle on Gaza, Eliyahu mentioned: ‘That’s a technique”.
When the interviewer mentioned destroying Gaza would additionally endanger the lives of Israeli hostages within the enclave, he mentioned: “In war you have to pay a price. Why are the lives of the kidnapped people . . . more important than those of our soldiers?”
Netanyahu’s workplace mentioned Eliyahu had been suspended from cupboard conferences “until further notice”.
In a submit on the platform X it mentioned his statements have been “not based in reality”. “Israel and the IDF are operating in accordance with the highest standards of international law to avoid harming innocents,” it mentioned.
Opposition chief Yair Lapid known as Eliyahu’s remarks “the shocking and crazy statement of an irresponsible minister”.