Israeli Air Strikes on Gaza Aid Supplies Kill 11, Medics Say

June 25, 2024 by No Comments

Israeli airstrikes targeting aid supplies claimed the lives of at least 11 Palestinians on Monday, according to medical personnel. This occurred as Israeli tanks pushed deeper into Rafah in the southern region and re-entered areas in the north that they had previously subdued months ago.

One airstrike on a food distribution center in Gaza City, situated near the historic Shati refugee camp, resulted in the death of three individuals. Another strike, close to Bani Suhaila town in the southern Gaza Strip, claimed the lives of at least eight people, including guards who accompany aid trucks, as reported by medical personnel.

There was no immediate response from Israel, which denies targeting aid efforts and accuses militants of endangering civilians by operating among them.

During the overnight hours, an Israeli airstrike on a medical clinic in Gaza City resulted in the death of the director of Gaza’s Ambulance and Emergency Department, according to the enclave’s health ministry. The Israeli military asserts that the strike killed a senior Hamas armed commander.

The health ministry stated that the death of Hani al-Jaafarawi brought the total number of medical staff killed by Israeli fire since Oct. 7 to 500. Additionally, at least 300 medical personnel have been detained during this period.

In a statement, the Israeli military indicated that the strike targeted Mohammad Salah, whom they claimed was responsible for developing Hamas weaponry.

Over eight months into the ongoing conflict, international mediation efforts backed by the United States have thus far failed to achieve a ceasefire agreement. Hamas insists that any agreement must end the Israeli blockade, while Israel maintains that it will only agree to temporary pauses in fighting until Hamas is eradicated.

On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed his commitment to a proposed ceasefire and hostage deal, as announced by U.S. President Joe Biden in May.

“We are dedicated to the Israeli proposal that President Biden welcomed. Our stance has not changed. Additionally, and without contradicting the first point, we will not cease the war until we eliminate Hamas,” Netanyahu stated in an address to parliament.

In Rafah, situated near the border with Egypt, Israeli forces, having gained control of the eastern, southern, and central sections of the city, continued their raid into the western and northern areas, as confirmed by residents, who described intense fighting.

On Sunday, residents reported that Israeli tanks had advanced to the outskirts of the Mawasi displaced persons’ camp in the northwestern part of Rafah, forcing numerous families to relocate northward to Khan Younis and Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza, the only city within the enclave where tanks have not yet invaded.

“The situation in Tel Al-Sultan, located in western Rafah, remains extremely perilous. Drones and Israeli snipers are actively hunting individuals attempting to check on their homes, and tanks continue to seize control of areas overlooking Al-Mawasi further west,” Bassam, a resident of Rafah, informed Reuters via a chat application.

The Israeli military confirmed that their forces continued “intelligence-based targeted operations” in Rafah, locating weapons and rocket launchers and eliminating militants “who posed threats to them.”

In the northern part of the enclave, where Israel had declared the completion of its operations months ago, residents reported that tanks had pushed back into Gaza City’s Zeitoun suburb, launching attacks on multiple areas within the district.

In Deir al-Balah, currently serving as the last refuge for thousands of Gazans following the assault on Rafah, medical staff at a clinic are striving to treat malnutrition among children and assess the extent of hunger plaguing the Strip.

“With the displacement, communities are settling in new locations that lack access to clean water, or there is insufficient access to food,” explained Muaamar Said, a doctor affiliated with the aid group International Medical Corps. “We fear there are additional cases being overlooked.”

Israel’s ground and air campaign in Gaza was triggered when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, resulting in the deaths of approximately 1,200 people and the capture of over 250 hostages, according to Israeli figures.

The Israeli offensive in retaliation has claimed the lives of nearly 37,600 people, as reported by Palestinian health authorities, leaving Gaza in a state of ruin.

Since early May, the focus of fighting has shifted to Rafah, situated on Gaza’s southern edge, where approximately half of the enclave’s 2.3 million residents had been seeking shelter after fleeing other areas.

the phase of intense fighting against Hamas would end “very soon”.

In an interview with Israel’s channel 14, he stated that forces stationed in Gaza would be released to move northward, where Israel has warned of a potential full-scale war against Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, which has launched strikes on the border region in what it claims is an act of solidarity with the Palestinians.

“After the intense phase concludes, we will have the opportunity to relocate a portion of the forces north. And we will take this action,” Netanyahu declared.

The interview marked Netanyahu’s first televised appearance since the start of the war, utilizing a format he has favored during election campaigns.

These remarks indicated that Netanyahu was employing ceasefire negotiations merely as a delaying tactic while combat persists, Ezzat El-Reshiq, a senior Hamas political official residing in exile, stated in a statement.