EventsEventsPodcasts
Loader
Find Us
ADVERTISEMENT

Fighting in central Gaza rages near hospital, as Blinken seeks postwar plan

US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, left, meets with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, right, in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024.
US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, left, meets with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, right, in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024. Copyright Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AP
Copyright Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AP
By Euronews with AP
Published on Updated
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

The latest news from the Israel Hamas war.

ADVERTISEMENT

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke on Wednesday to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about reforming his government, as Blinken sought to rally the region behind postwar plans for Gaza that include concrete steps toward a Palestinian state.

In their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Blinken told Abbas that the US supports “tangible steps” toward a Palestinian state, according to State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

He said the two discussed administrative reform.

The vision outlined by Blinken faces serious obstacles. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has so far rejected Palestinian Authority control in Gaza and adamantly opposes the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

While the US Secretary of State and the Palestinian leader discussed the future, outside a peaceful demonstration against Blinken's visit ended in clashes with the police.

Riot police officers stand guard while Palestinians protest against the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his meeting with Palestinian President.
Riot police officers stand guard while Palestinians protest against the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his meeting with Palestinian President.Mahmoud Illean/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.

Israeli military operations in Gaza are focused on the southern city of Khan Younis and urban refugee camps in the territory's center. Hundreds of people have been killed in recent days in strikes across the territory, including in areas of the far south where Israel told people to seek refuge.

A heavy strike on Wednesday brought down a two-story building in the central town of Deir al-Balah, close to its main Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, killing at least 20 people, according to hospital officials. A strike killed six people in an ambulance near Deir al-Balah, including four crew, a medical aid group said.

Israeli army filmed shooting Palestinians seemingly without provocation

Security camera video from a West Bank village shows a young man standing in a central square when he is suddenly shot and drops to the ground. Two others rushing to his aid are also hit, leaving a 17-year-old dead, moments before Israeli military jeeps roll in.

An Associated Press review of the video and interviews with the two wounded survivors showed Israeli soldiers opened fire on the three when they did not appear to pose a threat. 

One of the wounded Palestinians was shot a second time after he got up and tried to hop away.

The fatal shooting in the village of Beit Rima last week is the latest in a series of incidents in which soldiers appeared to fire without provocation, a trend Palestinians say has worsened since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza three months ago.

The Israeli military said troops entered Beit Rima overnight Thursday into Friday as part of a “counter-terrorism operation.” It said troops fired at suspects who threw explosives and firebombs at them.

The video, obtained by the AP from a local shop, does not show anyone throwing explosives.

Violence in the West Bank has surged to levels unseen in nearly two decades since fighting broke out on 7 October. 

Mohammed Rimawi recovers from his injuries on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, after he was wounded by Israeli forces in a shooting last week in the occupied West Bank.
Mohammed Rimawi recovers from his injuries on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, after he was wounded by Israeli forces in a shooting last week in the occupied West Bank.Mahmoud Illean/Copyright 2023 The AP All rights reserved

Israel battles against genocide claim at world court

Israel is sending top legal minds, including a Holocaust survivor, to The Hague this week to counter allegations it is committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

ADVERTISEMENT

The robust engagement with the International Court of Justice is unusual for Israel, which normally considers international tribunals unfair and biased. 

Participating rather than boycotting reflects Israeli concerns judges could order Israel to halt its war against Hamas and tarnish its image internationally.

“Israel cannot run away from an accusation that is so serious,” said Alon Liel, a former director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. 

Israel has tapped a former Israeli Supreme Court chief justice to join the court's 15 regular members who will rule on the accusation. It has also enlisted a British barrister and lauded international law expert as part of its defence team.

ADVERTISEMENT

Israel hopes their expertise will trounce the South African claim that Israel's military campaign in Gaza amounts to genocide. Israel claimed halting the war with Hamas still intact and captive hostages would amount to a Hamas victory.

The genocide charge strikes at the heart of Israel’s national identity. The country sees itself as a bulwark of security for Jews after 6 million were killed in the Holocaust. International support for Israel’s creation in 1948 was deeply rooted in outrage over Nazi atrocities.

Israel's unprecedented air, ground and sea offensive has killed more than 23,200 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women and children, according to health officials in Gaza. 

Israel's military campaign has displaced roughly 85% of Gaza’s 2.3 million population, many with no homes to return to. 

ADVERTISEMENT

More than a quarter of the population is starving.

FILE - Injured Palestinians arrive at al-Shifa Hospital following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City, central Gaza Strip, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023.
FILE - Injured Palestinians arrive at al-Shifa Hospital following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City, central Gaza Strip, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023.Abed Khaled/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.

US defends its veto of call for Gaza ceasefire

The United States defended its veto of a call for the immediate suspension of hostilities in Gaza at a UN meeting on Tuesday. 

Washington has again faced demands by the Palestinians and many other countries to help secure a ceasefire now in the Israel Hamas war.

US Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood called the Russian-proposed amendment to a 22 December Security Council resolution which it vetoed “disconnected from the situation on the ground.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

The council then adopted a watered-down resolution, with Washington abstaining, calling for urgent steps to immediately allow expanded humanitarian aid into Gaza, “and to create conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities."

Wood called it “striking” that those urging an end to the conflict have made very few demands of Hamas, following its surprise 7 October assault into southern Israel that killed around 1,200 people. 

No-one was urging the Palestinian militants “to stop hiding behind civilians, lay down its arms, and surrender,” he claimed. 

Wood reiterated ongoing US efforts to secure a “pause” in the fighting to get 136 Israeli hostages out of Gaza.

ADVERTISEMENT

Some observers challenge the human shields argument often raised by Israel and its allies, claiming it is used to deflect attention from Israeli violence and does not omit obligations to protect civilian life under international law.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Blinken bolsters Ukraine: 'Absolutely essential' to send weapons

Arms sales to Israel land UK government in court

At least thirteen killed in Israeli air strike on two refugee camps in central Gaza