Sunday, July 21, 2024

Blinken holds talks on Gaza


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Jerusalem, June 10: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken began a new visit to the region on Monday in the shadow of the dramatic rescue of four Israeli hostages held in Gaza and turmoil in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
Blinken met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo, but neither made public remarks. Blinken will also travel to Israel, Jordan and Qatar.
While President Joe Biden, Blinken and other US officials have praised the hostage rescue, the operation resulted in the deaths of a large number of Palestinian civilians and may complicate a cease-fire push by emboldening Israel and hardening Hamas’ resolve to carry on fighting in the war it initiated with its October 7 attack into Israel.
Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza has killed more than 36,730 people, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count. Palestinians are facing widespread hunger because the war has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and other supplies. UN agencies say over 1 million in Gaza could experience the highest level of starvation by mid-July.
Israel launched the war after Hamas’ Oct 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people – mostly civilians – and abducted about 250.
‘15-yr-old killed in raid’
Palestinian health officials say Israeli forces killed a 15-year-old Palestinian in an overnight raid on Al-Fara’a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. The military said Monday that its soldiers had begun a raid targeting militants, killing one and wounding two others with live fire. The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the boy killed as 15-year-old Mahmoud Nabrisi and said five others were wounded in the built-up camp, which dates back to the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
Also Monday, Israel’s border police said it killed a Palestinian in Tulkarem, a volatile city in the northern West Bank, during an undercover operation to arrest a suspected militant. During the operation, an undercover sniper shot and killed a Palestinian wearing a military vest in the area, the police said.
Palestinian health officials did not immediately confirm the Tulkarem killing, but a traditional funeral procession was planned for Monday afternoon. Frequent Israeli operations in Palestinian cities and towns in the West Bank have driven up a Palestinian death toll that now exceeds 530. (AP)


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