Status: 05.12.2023, 16:24 PM
In the Khan Yunis area, there are said to be intense attacks by the Israeli forces. © Mohammed Talatene/dpa
Despite international criticism, Israel continues its ground offensive. The troops are now also fighting in southern Gaza. Aid organisations speak of dramatic conditions.
Gaza/Tel Aviv/Geneva - In view of fierce fighting throughout the Gaza Strip, Israel's military has spoken of the "most intense day since the beginning of the ground offensive". The troops are now also "in the heart" of Khan Yunis, the largest city in the south of the Gaza Strip, the military said.
There is also fierce fighting in the north. In terms of the number of "terrorists killed, the number of battles and the use of firepower on land and in the air," this is the most intense day so far since the start of the offensive in the north of the coastal strip at the end of October. Meanwhile, international criticism of Israel's actions continues.
According to the United Nations, the expansion of attacks in the south since the end of the multi-day ceasefire on Friday is leading to more and more civilian deaths. "The number of civilians killed is increasing rapidly," Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner general of the Palestine relief agency UNRWA, wrote in a statement.
With the resumption of military operations and the expansion in southern Gaza, "the horrors of recent weeks are repeated," Lazzarini lamented. At the request of the Israeli army, hundreds of thousands of civilians seeking protection from the north, which had already been fiercely contested, had fled to the south of the coastal area.
WHO: Child or adolescent is killed every ten minutes
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a child or adolescent is killed in Gaza every ten minutes. "The situation is deteriorating by the hour," said a WHO official from Rafah on the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt. He spoke via video link with reporters in Geneva.
James Elder, spokesman for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), criticized Israel's calls for people to leave neighborhoods and move to safe zones. There are no safe zones in the Gaza Strip, Elder said via video link from Cairo. Such zones should have health facilities, water and food, but they are only small wastelands or sometimes just sidewalks. "I think the authorities know this, and I think it's heartless. It reinforces indifference to children and women, and that indifference is deadly."
Ministry: Almost 16,000 dead so far
According to the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health, about 15,900 people have now been killed in the Israeli attacks. The casualty figures cannot be independently verified at present, but the United Nations and other observers point out that the agency's figures have proven to be credible overall in the past.
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Report: Israel Has Pumps for Flooding
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Israel may be making preparations to flood the tunnels of the Islamist Hamas. A system of large pumps could be used to submerge the extensive network of tunnels under the Gaza Strip.
As the newspaper reported, citing US government officials, it is not known whether the Israeli government intends to use the tactic of flooding. Israeli army spokesman Richard Hecht said on Tuesday: "We are using all the means at our disposal to take action against the tunnel system."
Israel has intelligence on hostages
An army spokesman, when asked if the military had intelligence on where the hostages might be, said: "Yes, we have." He could not provide further details.
Israel estimates that 137 hostages are still being held. Some 240 people were abducted to the Gaza Strip during Hamas' terrorist attack. Most recently, 105 hostages were released in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners.
Rocket alert in Israel
Meanwhile, there was another rocket alert on the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip, as well as in Tel Aviv and the center of the country. The Israeli news site Ynet reported a total of 15 projectiles fired from the coastal area into the greater Tel Aviv area.
The war was triggered by the worst massacre in Israel's history, which was carried out by terrorists from Hamas and other extremist groups on October 7 in Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip. On the Israeli side, more than 1200,850 people were killed, including at least <> civilians.
Baerbock: Israel must comply with international humanitarian law
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called on Israel to comply with international law in view of the dramatic humanitarian situation. "Israel has the right to protect its people within the framework of international law. But the decisive factor is how Israel proceeds in this new phase," said the Green politician after a meeting with Slovenian Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon in Ljubljana.
"Israel has a responsibility to comply with international humanitarian law, to alleviate civilian suffering and to protect the civilian population in the process," Baerbock added. "Too many Palestinians have already fallen victim to this conflict."
Emir of Qatar accuses Israel of genocide in Gaza
The Emir of Qatar accused Israel of genocide with its military actions in the Gaza Strip. The right to self-defense does not allow genocidal crimes such as those committed by Israel, said Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in his opening speech at the summit of the heads of state and government of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Doha.
"It is a disgrace to the international community to allow these heinous crimes to take place for almost two months, with systematic and deliberate killings of innocent civilians, including women and children," the emir said. Qatar had most recently mediated between Israel and Hamas. At the same time, Qatar is also home to leading Hamas members.
Climate activist Greta Thunberg and other members of the Swedish branch of the climate protection group Fridays for Future have also accused Israel of genocide in the Gaza Strip. The fact that the Islamist Hamas, which rules Gaza, "murdered Israeli civilians in a horrific attack" could not legitimize Israel's "ongoing war crimes," Thunberg and five other signatories wrote in an opinion piece published in the newspapers "Aftonbladet" (Sweden) and "Guardian" (UK).
Clashes resume on Israel's border with Lebanon
Israel's military has attacked positions of the Hezbollah militia in response to shelling from Lebanon. As the Israeli army announced on Tuesday night, fighter jets had hit missile positions of the Iranian-backed Shiite militia shortly before. "Terrorist infrastructure and a military site" were also taken under fire. They were responding to shelling from Lebanon on targets in Israel the day before. Dpa