Israel-Hamas: what to remember on the 106th day of the conflict

On the 106th day of the conflict, Israel continues to wage fierce fighting in the Gaza Strip, particularly in the Khan Yunis sector. For their part, the Israeli government and the United States disagree on the possible creation of a Palestinian state.
Israel is waging fierce fighting in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, where Hamas has reported more than 160 deaths in the last 24 hours, against a backdrop of disagreements between the Israeli government and the American ally over the creation of a possible Palestinian state. . Early Saturday, an AFP correspondent reported intense artillery fire and air strikes, particularly in the Khan Younes sector in the south, now the epicenter of military operations after a first phase in the north of the territory.

Israeli troops, supported by air and naval forces, are destroying “terrorist infrastructure” throughout the coastal strip, and have struck rocket launchers in Khan Younes, according to the army. The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007, has reported fierce fighting in the north of the besieged and devastated Palestinian territory. In the past 24 hours, Israeli strikes have killed 165 Palestinians, according to the Hamas health ministry.

Strikes in Damascus: Iran accuses Israel and threatens reprisals

Iran on Saturday accused Israel of having carried out the attack which led to the death of four Iranian military officials in Syria, and threatened reprisals “at the appropriate time and place”, according to a diplomatic statement. Iranian. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani “strongly condemned the criminal act of the Zionist regime,” which is “a desperate attempt to spread instability and insecurity in the region.”

“In hell”

The World Health Organization deplores “inhumane living conditions” in the territory, whose 2.4 million inhabitants lack everything. Nearly 20,000 babies have been born there “in hell” since the start of the Israeli offensive, UNICEF said. The war was triggered by an unprecedented Hamas attack on October 7 in southern Israel which resulted in the deaths of 1,140 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli figures.

Some 250 people were kidnapped and taken to Gaza, with around 100 released at the end of November. According to Israeli media, families of hostages gathered overnight in front of the private residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanding an agreement for the release of their loved ones. In retaliation for the attack, Israel vowed to “annihilate” Hamas, and remains deaf to calls from the UN and the international community for a humanitarian ceasefire.

According to a new report on Saturday from the Hamas Ministry of Health, 24,927 people, the vast majority of them women, children and adolescents, were killed and 62,108 injured in Israeli operations.

Biden vs. Netanyahu

Israel’s main ally and supporter, the United States, called on it to limit the number of civilian casualties, and reiterated its support for the creation of a Palestinian state, rejected by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu. “Israel must have security control over the entire territory west of the Jordan River”, encompassing the occupied West Bank and Gaza, “this is a necessary condition, which is in contradiction with the idea of (Palestinian) sovereignty,” Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed Thursday.

The day after his statements, he spoke by telephone with US President Joe Biden about the future of the “two-state” solution, a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel. Joe Biden “still believes in the prospect and the possibility” of a Palestinian state, but “recognizes that it will take a lot of work to get there”, indicated the White House after this interview, the first since the 23 December.

Strike against pro-Iran leaders

In the absence of an agreement with Washington on this central issue for the post-war period, Israel has given the green light to the delivery, via the Israeli port of Ashdod, of flour intended for Gaza, according to the White House. The head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell, for his part, maintained that the “two-state” solution must be imposed from outside, accusing Israel of having “created” and “financed” Hamas to “prevent” the founding of a Palestinian state and “weaken” Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority.

Entering its fourth month, the conflict is exacerbating regional tensions between Israel and the “axis of resistance”, bringing together anti-Israeli groups such as Hamas, Lebanese Hezbollah and the Yemeni Houthis around Iran. Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for new shootings against an American oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden, provoking new American strikes against them on Friday.

On the Israeli-Lebanese border, where their exchanges of fire are daily, the Israeli army said it struck Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon on Friday, with the Lebanese movement claiming three attacks against Israeli territory. In neighboring Syria, Israel has also intensified its operations targeting the regime and pro-Iranian groups. An Israeli strike on Saturday targeted a building in Damascus which was hosting a meeting of pro-Iranian officials, killing five people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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