The Israeli right-wing advocates “voluntary immigration” of Gazans

Israeli bombing continues amid rising regional tensions

Israeli bombardment continued on Wednesday night and into Thursday night in the Gaza Strip, killing dozens, according to the Hamas health ministry in the besieged territory, and heightened regional tensions over the nearly three-month-old war.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken heads to the Middle East amid fears of an escalation of the war in the Gaza Strip after the killing of Hamas leader Saleh al-Aruri in the southern suburbs of Beirut and two bombings in Iran. .

According to Agence France-Presse, Blinken will leave Washington on Thursday evening, his fourth tour of the Middle East since the outbreak of war between Israel and the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, which will include Israel and several stops. region, a US official said in the evening.

As part of a campaign to “destroy” Hamas, the Israeli military announced new offensives in and around Gaza City, which has become a war zone of destruction, and the besieged area of ​​Khan Yunis, the largest urban center in the south.

Israeli soldiers fire a mortar shell from southern Israel towards the Gaza Strip near the border between Israel and Gaza, Wednesday, January 3, 2024 (AFP)

For its part, the Hamas Health Ministry said: “Today, since Thursday morning, dozens of civilians, including children and women, have been killed and many others injured in Israeli occupation bombings in the Gaza Strip.” Palestinian news agency “Wafa” reported.

The blast caused a fire in the Deir al-Balah area of ​​the central Gaza Strip and the Makassi refugee camp.

Resident Ibrahim Al-Khamri told Agence France-Presse: “People were safe in their homes. The whole house was full of children. There were about 30 people. Suddenly the houses fell on them… What did these children do?

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Palestinians inspect a building damaged by an Israeli airstrike in the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on January 3, 2023 (dpa)

An Israeli strike on Tuesday evening killed Saleh al-Aruri, the deputy head of the Hamas movement's political bureau, and six other people in al-Musharafieh, a southern suburb of Beirut, Iran's stronghold. -supports Hezbollah, Hamas and Lebanese officials accuse Israel of implementing it.

Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Lebanon's Hezbollah, warned Israel against any escalation after al-Aruri was killed and buried at the Shatila camp in Beirut on Thursday. , our fight will be without ceiling, without rules, without boundaries and without restrictions.” “We are not afraid of war, nor are we afraid.”

Members of the Civil Defense spray water on a street next to a building hit by an Israeli strike targeting Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Aruri in the southern suburbs of Beirut on January 3, 2024 (AFP)

In Israel, army chief Herzey Halevi announced that forces were on alert along the northern border with Lebanon, which has seen almost daily gunfire since the outbreak of war in Gaza.

Hezbollah announced on Thursday that four of its fighters had been killed overnight, bringing the death toll to 129 since fighting broke out on the border.

The head of the Israeli Mossad, David Barnia, said on Wednesday that the intelligence agency is “committed to settling scores with the killers who arrived in Gaza on October 7 and with the leadership of “Hamas”.

And, “Every Arab mother should know that if her son participates directly or indirectly in the massacre of October 7, his blood will be on his neck.

“They were killed while they slept”

Israel vowed to “destroy” Hamas after the movement launched an unprecedented offensive in the south of the Hebrew state on October 7, killing some 1,140 people, most of them civilians, according to an Agence France-Presse account based on official data. About 250 people were also taken hostage, of whom 129 are still being held in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli military figures.

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Since then, Israel has retaliated with violent bombardments, including ground attacks since October 27 that have killed 22,313 people, most of them women and children, according to the latest figures from the Hamas Health Ministry.

According to the United Nations, Gaza's population of 2.4 million, more than 85 percent of whom are displaced, are suffering from a catastrophic humanitarian crisis, and most of them are on the brink of famine, according to international agencies. , in light of severe shortages of food, water, fuel and medicines, humanitarian aid does not enter, except in very limited quantities, despite the United Nations issuing a resolution to this effect.

Residents weeping with their dead loved ones at a hospital in Khan Yunis said an airstrike in southern Gaza killed displaced Palestinians living in tents.

Among them was Baha Abu Hadtab, who said his brother's sons were killed, and he described, “They were living in a tent in the farmland to protect themselves from the cold.” Israeli planes came and bombed them while they were sleeping. Why? Are these children a threat to Israel and America?

For his part, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Dürk on Thursday expressed “deep concern” after reports of Israeli officials encouraging Palestinians to leave the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians inspect a site under Israeli attack amid ongoing clashes between Israel and Hamas in Jabalia, northern Gaza Strip, January 3, 2024 (Reuters)

Turk wrote on the “X” site that it “expresses deep concern over reports by senior Israeli officials about plans to transfer civilians from the Gaza Strip to third countries,” noting that “international law prohibits the forcible transfer of people protected within the occupied territory or their deportation from it.”

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Tensions are also rising in Syria and Iraq, with attacks targeting US military bases in both countries, as well as Yemeni Houthi pirate attacks on merchant ships in the Red Sea, causing disruption to navigation. Important sea route.

A military chief and a member of a faction allied with Iran were killed in a “US bombing” targeting the headquarters of the Popular Mobilization Forces in Baghdad on Thursday. For an international coalition against “ISIS” led by Washington.

The attack comes as US and international coalition forces have come under more than a hundred strikes by missiles and drones since mid-October, just days after war broke out between Israel and Hamas.

Israeli soldiers move near the border between Israel and Gaza, seen from southern Israel, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024 (AP)

12 nations led by the United States warned on Wednesday that Yemen's Houthi rebels could face unspecified consequences unless they immediately halt attacks on ships in the Red Sea.

The coalition of nations said in a statement released by the White House: “The Houthis must be held accountable for the consequences if they continue to threaten life, the global economy and the freedom of movement of goods in the region's essential waterways.”

He added, “Let our message be clear now: We call for an immediate end to these illegal attacks and the release of illegally detained ships and their crews.”

The only Arab country to sign the statement is Bahrain, which sees tensions in its relations with Iran, which backs the Houthis. Other signatories include Australia, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands.

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