Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Israeli airstrikes hit refugee camp for a second day


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Rafah, Nov 1: The Hamas-run government in Gaza says Israeli airstrikes have hit apartment buildings in a refugee camp near Gaza City for a second day in a row, causing many deaths and injuries. The toll from Wednesday’s strikes was not immediately known.
Meanwhile, dozens of people with foreign passports entered the Rafah crossing from Gaza to Egypt. It appeared to be the first time that foreign passport holders have been allowed to leave the besieged territory since the start of the Israel-Hamas war more than three weeks ago. Communications and internet services were gradually being restored after the second major cut in five days, according to Paltel, the main service provider. Humanitarian aid agencies have warned that such blackouts severely disrupt their work in an already dire situation in Gaza. The Palestinian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war has reached 8,525, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. In the occupied West Bank, more than 122 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids.
More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, most of them civilians slain in the initial October 7 Hamas rampage that started the fighting. In addition, around 240 hostages were taken from Israel into Gaza by the militant group. One of the captives, a female Israeli soldier, was rescued in a special forces operation.
Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister said Wednesday that time is of the essence in stopping the Hamas-Israel war from “going out of control” and affecting Lebanon and the wider region. Najib Mikati has been scrambling with international governments to keep Lebanon away from the war, as militants from the Hezbollah group and Israeli troops have been clashing along the tense Lebanon-Israel border since the onset of the war on Oct. 7. The clashes so far have mostly been limited to areas along the border. His comments come days before Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is scheduled to give his first speech since the start of the war. Lebanon is experiencing political paralysis and economic turmoil, leaving many worried of the consequences of a fully fledged war in the crisis-hit country. He condemned both Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon and attacks in the blockaded Palestinian Gaza Strip. “A humanitarian cease-fire for five days is necessary, where there can be active international talks to secure prisoner swaps and reach a permanent truce in order to reach an agreement on the conditions for regional peace,” Mikati said before a government meeting. (AP)


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