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Israel Expands Attacks in Southern Gaza Despite Pressure to Stop Civilian Killings

2023-12-04T09:56:40.861Z

Highlights: Israel Expands Attacks in Southern Gaza Despite Pressure to Stop Civilian Killings. Israeli artillery shelled the Strip again. And the army ordered new evacuations of Palestinians. The US reiterated that it intends to negotiate another truce.. Israel returned to bombing the Gaza Strip on Sunday, as calls from the U.S. and other countries to stop the killing of "innocent civilians" intensify. The Israeli military said it had expanded its ground offensive against the Hamas group to "all parts" of the southern enclave.


Israeli artillery shelled the Strip again. And the army ordered new evacuations of Palestinians. The US reiterated that it intends to negotiate another truce.


Israel returned to bombing the Gaza Strip on Sunday, as calls from the U.S. and other countries to stop the killing of "innocent civilians" intensify. The Israeli military said it had expanded its ground offensive against the Hamas group to "all parts" of the southern enclave, which is once again seeing its dire humanitarian situation worsen.

Israel resumed its attacks on Friday after a week-long truce with Hamas ended. After focusing its ground operations on northern Gaza in recent weeks, Israel has begun conducting air raids against the south as well, Israeli military spokesman Admiral Daniel Hagari confirmed on Sunday. "The Israeli army is continuing and expanding the ground operation against the Hamas presence in all parts of the Gaza Strip," he said.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris once again criticized the deaths of civilians in eight weeks of hostilities, unleashed by the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, in which 1,200 people were killed and another 240 were taken hostage, including a score of Argentines. In response, Israel vowed to eliminate Hamas and unleashed an air and ground campaign that has left more than 15,000 people dead, most of them children, according to Hamas authorities who control Gaza.

"Too many innocent Palestinians have died," Harris told reporters at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, adding to pressure from the U.S. government to reinstate a new ceasefire.

A week-long truce brokered with the help of Qatar and backed by Egypt and the United States allowed 80 Israeli hostages to be released in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners. But that truce collapsed on Friday and the two sides blame each other for violating its terms. Israeli negotiators left Doha on Saturday in the absence of agreements for a further pause in hostilities. Israel said Saturday that there are still 137 hostages in Gaza.

Damage. Palestinian groups check damage after an Israeli attack in Rafah (AFP).

On Sunday, the Israeli military ordered the evacuation of more areas in and around the Gaza Strip's second-largest city, Khan Younis, and continued its heavy bombardment. Palestinians in Gaza said they have almost nowhere to go anymore.

The Gaza Strip, a narrow territory between Israel and Egypt, is sealed. Many of its 2.3 million people are crammed into the south after Israel ordered civilians to leave the north of the enclave at the start of the war. Ahead of the latest evacuation orders, U.N. monitors said areas under evacuation orders make up about a quarter of the territory.

Heavy shelling was reported overnight and early morning in the Khan Younis area and the southern city of Rafah, as well as parts of the north that were the main target of Israel's harsh air and ground campaign.

Juliette Toma, communications director for the U.N. agency for Palestine refugees, said about 958,000 people were in 99 U.N. facilities in the southern Gaza Strip. U.N. human rights commissioner Volker Türk called for an end to the war, saying the suffering of civilians was "unbearable."

With the resumption of fighting, hopes of negotiating another truce dwindled. A week-long ceasefire, until Friday, had facilitated the release of dozens of Israeli and foreign hostages in Gaza and Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

"We will continue to wage the war until we achieve all its objectives, and it is impossible to achieve those objectives without the ground operation," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised address late Saturday. Osama Hamdan, a Hamas official, said any resumption of negotiations on future exchanges would be conditional on a permanent ceasefire.

In Washington, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told NBC's "Meet the Press" that the U.S. is "working really hard" to bring about a resumption of negotiations.

Palestinians help a Rafah resident after being shrapnel in an Israeli bombardment (AFP).

Residents of southern Gaza said the Israeli army dropped leaflets ordering residents to move to Rafah or a coastal area in the southwest. AP videos showed bodies in body bags on the ground outside Dier al-Balah hospital as dozens of people offered funeral prayers Sunday morning.

AFP, EFE and AP


Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-12-04

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