Publish dateTuesday 14 May 2024 - 14:12
Story Code : 290367
At least eight Israeli strikes on Gaza aid groups since October, says report
Israel pushes into north, south Gaza as toll surpasses 35,000  The death toll from Israel’s military offensive on Gaza since Oct7 has crossed 35,000, according to the health ministry, as Israel’s forces pushed further into north and south corners of the besieged enclave for fresh assault.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA) - Monitoring: In a statement on Monday, the Gaza health ministry put the death toll at 35,091, with 57 killed in the past 24 hours.
Israeli forces pushed deep into the ruins of Gaza’s northern edge on Monday to recapture an area where they claimed to have dismantled Hamas months ago, while in the south, tanks and troops pushed across a highway into Rafah.
Israeli operations in Rafah, which borders Egypt, have closed a main crossing point for aid, which humanitarian groups say is worsening an already dire situation.
Gaza’s health authority on Monday appealed for international pressure to reopen access via the southern border to allow in aid and medical supplies.
“The wounded and sick suffer a slow death because there is no treatment and supplies and they cannot travel,” it said.
In northern Gaza’s Jabalia camp, residents fled along rubble-strewn streets carrying bags of belongings.
Tank shells landed in the center of the camp and airstrikes destroyed clusters of houses, they said. Health officials said they had recovered 20 bodies of Palestinians killed in overnight airstrikes.
“We don’t know where to go. We have been displaced from one place to the next… We are running in the streets. I saw it with my own eyes. I saw the tank and the bulldozer. It is on that street,” said one woman, who did not give her name.
‘Struggle for existence’
Attending a Memorial Day ceremony to mark Israel’s fallen soldiers in Jerusalem on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the war against Hamas is a struggle to secure Israel’s “existence, liberty, security and prosperity.”
In Rafah, Israel stepped up aerial and ground bombardments on the eastern areas of the city, killing people in an airstrike on a house.
Israel ordered residents out of the east of Rafah last week and extended that order to central areas in recent days, sending hundreds of thousands of people fleeing in search of safety.
Residents said Israeli air and ground bombardments were intensifying, and tanks had cut off the main north-south Salahuddin Road dividing east of the city from the central area.
“The tanks cut the Salahuddin road east of the city, the forces are now in the southeast side, building up near the built-up area. The situation is dreadful and the sounds of explosions never stopped,” said Bassam, 57, from the Shaboura neighborhood in Rafah.
UNRWA, the main United Nations aid agency in Gaza, estimated that about 360,000 people had fled the southern city since the Israeli military gave its first evacuation order a week ago. In Gaza city, Al-Ahli Arab Hospital medics said five people were killed in an airstrike on a house.
The United States has paused some deliveries of weapons for the first time since the war began, saying that Israel must not assault Rafah without a plan to protect civilians, which it has yet to see.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s office said on Monday he had briefed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the “precise operation” in the Rafah area.
Jack Lew, the US ambassador to Israel, signaled on Sunday that the Rafah incursion was still on a scale that Washington considers acceptable.
On the other hand, Hamas said its fighters were engaged in gun battles with Israeli forces in one of the streets east of Rafah and in the east of Jabalia.
Hamas added they fired mortar bombs against Israeli forces massing inside the Rafah crossing, which Israel captured last week./Dawn
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