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Conflicts, Military and WarIsraeli Forces attack Red Cross office in Gaza... and continuous genocide in Rafah

Israeli Forces attack Red Cross office in Gaza… and continuous genocide in Rafah

Heavy caliber projectiles were fired on the Red Cross office in Gaza

– Published on:

On Friday night, the International Committee of the Red Cross announced that their office is targetted with “heavy-calibre projectiles”, damaging its office in Gaza, surrounded by hundreds of displaced civilians. This also led to the death of 22 people including children and women and the wounding of 45 others.

The International Committee of the Red Cross did not utter the name of Israel in their statement, but it said in a statement on the X platform that they “damaged the structure” of the ICRC, which is surrounded by hundreds of displaced people living in tents.

The ICRC noted that this incident “caused a mass casualty influx at the naerby Red Cross field hospital” located in the area, “receiving 22 dead and 45 wounded,” noting that there were “reports of additional casualties.”

The Red Cross committee said in the statement, “Heavy-caliber projectiles landed within meters of the office and residences of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Friday afternoon.”

It considered that dangerous shooting near “humanitarian structures, of whose locations the parties to conflict are aware and which are clearly marked with the Red Cross emblem, puts the lives of civilians and Red Cross staff at risk.”

The committee said, “This grave security incident is one of several in recent days; previously stray bullets have reached ICRC structures. We decry these incidents that put the lives of humanitarians and and civilians at risk.”

Earlier Friday, residents and the Israeli army confirmed that Israeli forces ruthlessly bombed the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on Friday, and other areas throughout the Strip, killing at least 50 Palestinians mostly children and women, according to Al-Jazeera. They also clashed directly with fighters of the Hamas movement.

Residents said that Israeli forces appear to be trying to complete their control over the city of Rafah, which is located on the border with Egypt and has been the focus of an Israeli attack since early May.

Tanks are making their way to the western and northern parts of the city, having already captured the city’s east, south and centre.

Israeli forces opened fire from planes, tanks and ships off the coast, leading to a new wave of displacement from the city, which was housing more than a million displaced people, most of whom were forced to flee again.

israeli-navy-targets-palestinians
Israeli navy targets civilians from the sea, Feb, 2024 [PHOTO: Anadolu]
The Gaza Ministry of Health said that at least 25 Palestinians were killed in the Mawasi area, west of Rafah, and 50 others were injured. Palestinians said that a tank hit a tent housing displaced families with a shell.

One of the residents told Reuters via a chat application: “Two tanks mounted the hill overlooking the Al-Mawasi area and sent lava fire towards the tents of the poor displaced people in the area.”

The Israeli army said that the incident was under investigation, adding in a statement published on the Times of Israel, “An initial inquiry conducted suggests that there is no indication that a strike was carried out by the IDF in the humanitarian area in ​​Al-Mawasi.”

The army had previously stated that it was carrying out “precise operations based on intelligence information” in the Rafah area, where its forces fought direct clashes and found tunnels used by militants.

The army also stated that last week it targeted a university that it said was the “headquarters” of Hamas, and gunmen fired at its soldiers from there, adding that it found weapons and explosive barrels. They did not mention the name of the university.

In the Nuseirat area in central Gaza, the army claimed that it killed dozens of militants over the past week and found a weapons depot containing mortar shells and military equipment belonging to the Hamas movement.

Some Rafah residents stated that the pace of the Israeli attack has accelerated over the past two days and that the sounds of explosions and gunfire have almost never stopped.

A resident named Hatem (45 years old) said via text message to Reuters: “Last night was one of the worst nights in western Rafah, drones, planes, tanks, and naval boats bombarded the area. We feel the occupation is trying to complete the control of the city.”

He added, “At the same time, there are strong strikes from the resistance against them, and this may be what slows down” their further invasion.

Bombing of Khan Yunis and Gaza City

More than eight months of genocide in Gaza, Israel’s eyes are now focused on the last two areas that the forces have not yet controlled, namely Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip and the area around Deir al-Balah in the center of the Strip.

Israeli attacks continue in Gaza
Injured children are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital for treatment following an Israeli attack in Deir el-Balah, Gaza, on December 2, 2023. [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]
Ahmed Al-Sufi, mayor of Rafah, said in a statement carried by Hamas media on Friday: “The entire city of Rafah is considered an area of ​​Israeli military invasion.”

He added, “The city is experiencing a humanitarian catastrophe, and people are dying in their tents due to Israeli bombing.”

Al-Sufi explained that “there is no hospital or health center providing medical services in the city currently,” and that “the city’s residents and displaced people have been without any necessities of life for more than 45 days.”

Palestinian and United Nations data show that fewer than 100,000 people may have remained in the far west of the city, which was home to more than half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million before the Israeli military invasion began in early May.

In nearby Khan Yunis, medics said that three people, including a father and his son, were killed in an air strike launched on civilian areas by Israel on Friday.

In parallel, Israeli forces continued their genocide in neighborhoods of Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip and clashed with gunmen led by Hamas.

Residents reported that Israeli forces destroyed many homes in central Gaza City on Thursday.

The Civil Defense in the Gaza Strip said that five people, including four workers from the Gaza City municipality, were killed in an Isreali air strike, on Friday, on a facility belonging to the municipality. He added that rescue teams were searching the rubble for other missing victims.

In the nearby Shati camp, medics said an Israeli air strike on a house killed at least seven people.

Palestinian health officials said that at least 45 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes across Gaza on Friday.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said that its office in Gaza was damaged by heavy-caliber projectiles that fell in its vicinity, an area inhabited by hundreds of displaced Palestinians living in tents.

She added in a post on the X website, on Friday, “This dangerous security situation is one of several incidents that occurred in the past few days, as stray bullets previously reached the buildings of the International Committee of the Red Cross… We condemn these incidents that endanger the lives of humanitarian workers and civilians.” “.

Israel launched its ground and air campaign against the Gaza Strip in response to the Hamas attack on it on October 7, which led to the killing of about 1,200 people and the taking of more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli statistics.

Palestinian health authorities say that more than 37,400 people have been killed since October in the Israeli military campaign that has devastated the Strip and left almost all of its residents homeless.

Israel is responsible

The United Nations said on Friday that Israel, as the occupying power in the Gaza Strip, is responsible for restoring public order and security in the Palestinian Strip so that humanitarian aid can be delivered, in light of warnings of imminent famine.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, confirmed that there is a “total lack of security” in Gaza, as the United Nations warned of a famine looming over the population of 2.3 million after more than eight months of war between Israel and the Hamas movement.

Guterres added to reporters on Friday, according to Reuters, “Most of the trucks with humanitarian aid inside Gaza are now looted,” and that Israel has obstructed the United Nations from using the Palestinian civilian police to secure aid.

He went on to say: “There is total chaos in Gaza and there is no authority in most of the territory.”

The Israeli army said on Sunday that it would implement a daily cessation of attacks during the day along the main road in southern Gaza used by the United Nations and relief organizations to reach the Kerem Shalom crossing from Israel.

But United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq said on Friday that in addition to the fighting between Israel and Hamas, the threat of crime “effectively prevents humanitarian access” to vital areas, including the Kerem Shalom crossing.

“As the occupying power, it is incumbent upon the Israeli authorities to restore public order and safety as far as possible and facilitate safe humanitarian access so that assistance reaches civilians in need,” Haq added, reported by USNews.com.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, declined to comment, according to what Reuters reported.

Gilad-Erdan
Gilad Erdan, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations [PHOTO: mishpacha]
Guterres said: “We are facing extreme difficulty in distribution within Gaza. There must be a mechanism to ensure the availability of the minimum level of law and order that allows this distribution to take place.”

He added, “This is why it is very necessary for a ceasefire until proper organization is achieved and a plan is implemented for this purpose.”


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Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa
Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa
Editor-in-chief, The Eastern Herald. Counter terrorism, diplomacy, Middle East affairs, Russian affairs and International policy expert.

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