Israel marks 100th day of intense Gaza offensive amid genocide allegations | World | News

January 13, 2024
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100th day of Israel's attacks on Gaza

Israel marks 100th day of intense Gaza offensive amid genocide allegations (Image: Getty)

More than 130 Palestinians were killed on Friday and yesterday, claimed Gaza’s Health Ministry, including 30 children, bringing the overall death toll to 23,843.

The figure, which is disputed by Israel, does not take into account the hundreds of Hamas militants targeted by Israel Defence Forces strikes.

Israel claims that 186 of its soldiers have lost their lives since Operation Swords of Iron was launched.

The war against Hamas was waged in retaliation for the October 7 massacre of 1,200 Israeli men, women and children in a surprise attack by Hamas militants on Israeli soil.

Around 250 more were taken hostage, and while some have been released or confirmed dead, more than half are believed to still be in captivity.

Last week the International Court of Justice heard allegations by South Africa that Israel committed genocide against the Palestinians.

The complaint cited the soaring death toll and hardships among Gaza civilians, along with inflammatory comments from Israeli leaders which, South Africa argued, proved genocidal intent.

Israel, aware that US patience is running out, had already announced a new phase to the war, with a more targeted approach in the northern section of the enclave and a continuing pursuit of Hamas leaders in the south.

In counter arguments, Israel asked that the case be dismissed as meritless, arguing that South Africa had barely mentioned Hamas and ignored what Israel considers attempts to mitigate civilian harm.

Yesterday Israel provided more evidence that Hamas was using civilian areas as human shields.

The IDF revealed the destruction of two ready-to-use rocket launching compounds in Al-Muharraqa, in central Gaza, where dozens of launchers lay ready to be deployed.

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Fears that the war would expand regionally have been partially realised, with a series of attacks all linked to Iran – which bankrolls its proxies, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria.

But the decision of the US and UK to strike at Houthi targets last week – described by Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron as sending a “very clear message” to Tehran – might begin a process of simmering tensions down, analysts say.

“Despite its bluster, Iran will take notice of the fact that President Joe Biden and PM Rishi Sunak have shown they are willing to back red lines with military action,” said regional expert Catherine Perez-Shakdam, of the ACLS think tank.

“Saudi Arabia has begun to draw away from any alliance with Iran and has indicated that it will invest in relations with Israel, and Egypt will follow.”

“This is very significant,” she added.

With shortages of food, clean water and fuel in Gaza already acute, the OCHA, the UN’s humanitarian affairs agency, said that Israel’s constraints on humanitarian missions had increased since the start of the year.

Only 15 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals remained at least partially functional last night, said the agency.

Staff at Gaza’s main hospital, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the city of Deir al-Balah, resorted to charging solar powered batteries by day to keep ventilators and incubators operating after the hospital went dark on Friday morning.

The agency said only 21 percent of planned deliveries of food, medicine, water and other supplies have been successfully reaching northern Gaza

At the same time, Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, a main hospital which had been shut down since November, has now begun to partially function again.

WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said his organisation had delivered 2,460 gallons of fuel to Shifa, allowing a 60-person medical team to begin treating more than 1,000 patients



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