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Home » Airstrikes to Intensify, Israel Warns; Israel-Hezbollah Attacks Ramp Up

Airstrikes to Intensify, Israel Warns; Israel-Hezbollah Attacks Ramp Up

by Thomas Burke
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The Israel Defense Forces said its fighter jets struck multiple Hamas command centers in Gaza overnight into Saturday. Palestinian media reported airstrikes in northern Gaza hit six homes and killed at least 19 people.

Israeli fighter jets also struck Hezbollah targets in Lebanon. The Iran-backed Lebanese group and Israel’s military have been trading fire at the frontier almost daily. Hezbollah said that six of its fighters were killed Saturday on the border, raising to 19 the number of its fighters killed in the last two weeks.

An Israeli soldier was hit by an anti-tank missile and severely wounded, the military reported, and two more soldiers were lightly injured in the incident.

The fighting along the Lebanon-Israel border is the worst since the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken cautioned Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati in a call Saturday that the Lebanese people would be affected if his country were drawn into the war, the State Department said.

Also, Israel said Saturday that its airstrikes would intensify.

Asked about an expected invasion, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told reporters Saturday night, “We will deepen our attacks to minimize the dangers to our forces in the next stages of the war. We are going to increase the attacks, from today.”

He repeated his advice for residents of Gaza City to move south.

Cairo summit

A Cairo summit hosted by Egypt on Saturday failed to reach an agreement on how to contain the violence between Israel and Hamas. Arab leaders condemned the Israeli bombardment of Gaza while mostly Western countries said civilians should be shielded. Israel and senior U.S. officials did not attend.

At the summit in Cairo, Jordan’s King Abdullah II decried what he called global silence about Israel’s attacks, which have killed more than 4,000 people in Gaza, the Gaza Health Ministry said Saturday, and made more than 1 million homeless.

He urged an even-handed approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The message the Arab world is hearing is that Palestinian lives matter less than Israeli ones,” he said, adding he was outraged and grieved by acts of violence waged against innocent civilians in Gaza, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and in Israel.

France called for a humanitarian corridor into Gaza that it said could lead to a cease-fire. Britain and Germany both urged Israel’s military to show restraint and Italy said it was important to avoid escalation.

The United States, Israel’s closest ally and a vital player in all past peace efforts in the region, sent its Cairo charge d’affaires, who did not address the summit in public.

Limited aid arrives

The Rafah crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt opened Saturday morning for the first time since the deadly Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. A convoy of about 20 trucks was able to deliver food, water, medicine, and other necessities to Gaza residents.

Palestinian officials expressed disappointment that Gaza did not receive supplies of fuel.

“Excluding the fuel from the humanitarian aid means the lives of patients and injured will remain at risk. Gaza hospitals are running out of the basic requirements to pursue medical interventions,” the Gaza Health Ministry said, adding that the aid was only 3% of what it used to get in Gaza before the crisis.

The United Nations has been pressing Israel and Egypt to allow aid to flow freely into Gaza, where hundreds of thousands need assistance after two weeks of bombing and a strict blockade of food and fuel by Israel.

Martin Griffiths, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said Saturday that he is “confident that this delivery will be the start of a sustainable effort to provide essential supplies – including food, water, medicine and fuel – to the people of Gaza, in a safe, dependable, unconditional and unimpeded manner.”

The United Nations said the life-saving supplies would be received and distributed by the Palestinian Red Crescent, with the consent of Hamas, which controls Gaza.

Meanwhile, Israel issued a warning advising its citizens against traveling to Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, and if they are in those countries to leave as soon as possible. The warning advises Israelis to avoid traveling to any Middle Eastern countries. It also warned against traveling to Malaysia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Maldives, countries with large Muslim populations.

Source : VOA News

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