Blinken visits West Bank as fierce fighting roils Gaza

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A picture released by the Israeli army on November 5, 2023 shows Israeli military vehicles and heavy smoke inside the Gaza Strip as battles continue between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement

An image launched by the Israeli military on November 5, 2023 exhibits Israeli army autos and heavy smoke contained in the Gaza Strip as battles proceed between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas motion

GAZA STRIP (PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES) – Top US diplomat Antony Blinken made a shock go to to the occupied West Bank on Sunday, assembly with Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas as Israel presses its warfare towards Hamas which has claimed hundreds of lives. already destroyed.

Blinken arrived in Ramallah underneath tight safety in the future after assembly in Jordan with Arab overseas ministers angered by civilian deaths in Gaza, the place the Hamas-run well being ministry stated dozens had been killed. in a strike on a refugee camp.

Washington has rejected requires a ceasefire, as an alternative supporting Israel’s objective of ousting Hamas militants who staged the deadliest assault within the nation’s historical past on October 7, killing greater than 1,400 folks. and taking 240 hostages, in keeping with Israeli officers.

Israel has relentlessly bombarded the besieged Gaza Strip in response, leveling total metropolis blocks and killing greater than 9,480 folks, principally girls and youngsters, in keeping with the Hamas-run well being ministry.

Blinken advised a Senate listening to final week that the Palestinian Authority ought to regain management of Gaza, though it has solely restricted autonomy in elements of the West Bank and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu desires it put apart for a very long time.

The Israel-Hamas warfare has exacerbated tensions within the West Bank, the place greater than 150 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli forces and settler assaults, together with three younger males killed by Israeli forces on Sunday, in keeping with the well being ministry of Palestine.

– A refugee camp was attacked –

Ground battles raged on Sunday in northern Gaza, the place Israeli troops closing in on Gaza City — nonetheless residence to a whole lot of hundreds of civilians — had been seen fighting house-to-house as tanks and armored bulldozers put via the sand in footage launched by the military.

In a video taken from Sderot Israel alongside the border with the Gaza Strip, an Israeli flag was seen raised on prime of a destroyed constructing.

Since Israel despatched floor forces into the northern Palestinian enclave late final month, “land, air and naval forces have struck” greater than 2,500 terror targets, the military stated on Sunday.

Leaflets dropped by the military once more prompted Gaza City residents to evacuate south between 10 am (0800 GMT) and a couple of pm (1200 GMT), a day after a US official stated at the least 350,000 civilians remained in and across the metropolis which is now an city metropolis. warfare zone.

In the newest strikes in Gaza, the Hamas-run well being ministry stated, Israeli bombing of the Al-Maghazi refugee camp late Saturday killed 45 folks, with an eyewitness who reported useless youngsters and smashed homes.

“An Israeli airstrike focused my neighbors’ home in Al-Maghazi camp, my home subsequent door partially collapsed,” stated Mohammed Alaloul, 37, a journalist working for Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.

Alaloul advised AFP that his 13-year-old son, Ahmed, and his four-year-old son, Qais, had been killed within the bombing, alongside along with his brother. His spouse, mom and two different youngsters had been injured.

A army spokesman stated they’re trying into whether or not their forces had been working within the space on the time of the bombing.

Hamas has kidnapped greater than 240 Israeli and overseas hostages, officers say, and Netanyahu has rebuffed ceasefire proposals till the Islamist group releases all of them.

Blinken was angered at conferences with Arab overseas ministers in Jordan on Saturday, the place he reiterated US help for “humanitarian pauses” to make sure determined civilians get assist, a day after Netanyahu scrapped the concept. quick.

Blinken was later delivered to Turkey and Netanyahu was personally accountable for the rise within the variety of civilian deaths in Gaza by its President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey stated on Saturday it was recalling its ambassador to Israel and chopping contacts with Netanyahu.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, whose nation is performing as the one conduit for foreigners to flee the Gaza Strip and obtain help to enter, referred to as for an “speedy and complete ceasefire”.

– Netanyahu underneath strain –

Thousands of protesters in Washington echoed the decision in solidarity with the Palestinians, certainly one of a number of rallies held from Indonesia to Iran and in European cities.

“The violence in Gaza is protracted and indiscriminate — it’s not a warfare however a bloodbath,” stated 27-year-old Indonesian protester Dwi Nurfitriani throughout a march in Jakarta. “So, if we take into account ourselves human, let’s step in and reject all the violence.”

Thousands additionally demonstrated in Israel on Saturday as strain mounted on Netanyahu over his authorities’s lack of preparedness for the October 7 assaults and his dealing with of the hostage disaster.

In Tel Aviv, hundreds took to the streets, together with family and associates of a number of the hostages, chanting “carry them residence now”.

In Jerusalem, a whole lot gathered outdoors Netanyahu’s residence with louder requires his resignation.

Hamas stated late Saturday that the evacuation of each nationals and foreigners from Gaza was being suspended till Israel permits some wounded Palestinians to succeed in Rafah to allow them to cross the border for hospital remedy in Egypt.

A senior White House official stated that Hamas had tried to make use of an settlement damaged by the US to open the Egyptian border crossing to succeed in its cadres.

“That was unacceptable for Egypt, for us, for Israel,” the official stated.

Wrapping up a two-day go to to Egypt, Cindy McCain, head of the World Food Programme, appealed on Sunday for extra help to Gaza, stressing that the vans allowed thus far should not according to wants on the land

“Right now, dad and mom in Gaza have no idea if they will feed their youngsters as we speak and if they are going to even survive to see tomorrow. Suffering is simply meters away in an unfathomable place on this aspect of the border,” she stated. after visiting the Rafah border crossing.

“Today, I’m making an pressing plea for the hundreds of thousands of individuals whose lives are being torn aside by this disaster.”

The Israeli military describes Gaza City as “the middle of the terrorist group Hamas”.

Israel’s chief of employees, Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, visited troops inside Gaza on Saturday after finishing the encirclement of Gaza City, which is positioned north of the Al-Maghazi camp.

In northern Israel, the military and the highly effective Hezbollah motion from Iran and Lebanon backed him up once more throughout the border on Saturday, claiming that they’d struck one another’s positions.

The leak got here after Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah warned that the warfare might draw different forces right into a regional battle.


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