Wednesday, August 4

Hamas and Israel keep pulse amid ceasefire calls

Correspondent in Jerusalem



Hamas and Israel followed a new journey with the launching of rockets and bombardments, oblivious to the calls for a ceasefire launched from the international community. The American mediator, Hadi Amr, He intensified his efforts to reach an agreement that would allow a cessation of violence and the main Israeli media considered that “it is a matter of 24 or 48 hours”, but until the weapons are silent no one will believe it. The US Secretary of State, Antony Blink, asked the two parties to stop hostilities, but insisted on the “right of Israel to defend itself” against more than 3,000 rockets fired by Palestinian factions. The bombings are the most intense since 2014, already leaving more than 200 dead – on the Israeli side they rise to 10 – and they delve into the serious humanitarian crisis that this fenced place has already suffered for more than a decade and is suffering a new punishment collective in the form of bombings.

Gaza experienced another day of intense operations that shook the ground from north to south. The Army has changed its strategy with respect to the 2014 offensive and the bombardments are now shorter, but much more intense. In a new attack on Islamists’ tunnel network, they launched 35 missiles in less than 20 minutes. In this operation dozens and dozens of civilian homes were damaged again. Israel also one day pursued the targeted assassination of a senior Hamas or Islamic Jihad official, and this time it succeeded. A missile killed Husam Abu-Harbid, comandante de Yihad who two years ago held the post of Bahaa Abu el-Atta, also the victim of a targeted assassination by Israel. The group claimed revenge and launched dozens of missiles in the south and center of the country. At first he even threatened to hit the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem with the launch of rockets at five in the afternoon, but with the passing of hours he withdrew the threat.

Hamas reacted to the harshness of the Israeli bombings and the destruction of housing blocks and his portrait, Abu UbaidahHe said that “if these types of attacks are not stopped immediately, we will fire again towards Tel Aviv.” In recent days, the Islamists have already carried out their threats and that is why the Ben Gurion International Airport is almost closed, since most of the international companies have suspended their flights due to the danger of rockets. The closure of the airport, Israel’s main entry and exit gate, is one of Hamas’s goals.

Humanitarian crisis

The damage in Gaza from the bombings is incalculable and 40,000 people have been made homeless and they have found refuge in the schools of UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees. The World Food Program (WFP) prepared an emergency package for more than 51,000 people because “for people who have lost or fled their homes, one of the most urgent needs right now is food. The fastest and most effective way to help them is by providing them with money, in the form of electronic coupons. At the moment there is food and the local shops are still open, ”he explained. Samer AbdelJaber, WFP Representative for Palestine.

Before this offensive, the situation in the Strip was already very complicated due to the long years of blockade and more than two-thirds of the two million inhabitants were food insecure. The last days of fighting will aggravate the situation in a place where the 53 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.

The Strip remains tightly closed by Israel. Journalists are not allowed in, but neither are “humanitarian backup personnel, and medical supplies are still unable to enter. Hospitals are 24 hours away from running out of blood bags, which will mean that transfusions cannot be given to the injured, “he denounced. Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

Attack on the media

Israel’s attack on the Al Jalaa tower,
headquarters of the Associated Press or Al Jazeera offices,
continues to provoke reactions and messages of condemnation. The last to refer to the subject was Blinken and, although the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu He claimed to have shown the United States “irrefutable evidence” that there was also a Hamas intelligence office there, and told the media that “I have not seen that information.” The head of the State Department assured that “we are alarmed by how journalists and medical personnel have been endangered.” The AP and Al Jazeera teams they now work at the AFP facilities, who has decided to share the space with them in this difficult situation.

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