Israel presses on with Gaza offensive after U.S. veto derails Security Council efforts to halt warfare

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — Israel‘s military pushed ahead with its punishing air and ground offensive in Gaza on Saturday, bolstered by a U.S. veto derailing U.N. Security Council efforts to end the war and word that an emergency sale of $106 million worth of tank ammunition had been approved by Washington.

Unable to leave Gaza, a territory 25 miles long by about 7 miles wide, more than 2 million Palestinians faced more bombardment Saturday, even in areas that Israel had described as safe zones.

The sale of nearly 14,000 rounds of tank ammunition was announced a day after the U.S. vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, a measure that had wide international support. The U.S. said Secretary of State Antony Blinken determined that “an emergency exists” in the national interest requiring the immediate sale, meaning it bypasses congressional review. Such a determination is rare.

A day after Israel confirmed it was rounding up Palestinian men for interrogation, some men told The Associated Press they had been treated badly, providing the first accounts of the conditions from the detentions.

Ahmad Nimr Salman showed his marked and swollen hands from zip ties. “They used to ask us, ‘Are you with Hamas?’ We say ‘no,’ then they’d slap us or kick us,” he stated. The Israeli army had no quick remark when requested in regards to the alleged abuse.

With the warfare in its third month, the Palestinian demise toll in Gaza has surpassed 17,700, the bulk girls and kids, based on the Health Ministry within the Hamas-controlled territory. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilian and combatant deaths.

PHOTOS: Israel presses on with its Gaza offensive after US veto derails Security Council efforts to halt warfare

Two hospitals in central and southern Gaza acquired the our bodies of 133 individuals from Israeli bombings over the previous 24 hours, the Health Ministry stated noon Saturday.

Israel holds the Hamas militants accountable for civilian casualties, accusing them of utilizing civilians as human shields, and says it has made appreciable efforts with evacuation orders to get civilians out of hurt’s means. It says 97 Israeli troopers have died within the floor offensive after Hamas raided southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 individuals, largely civilians, and taking about 240 hostages.

Hamas stated Saturday that it continued its rocket fireplace into Israel.

In Gaza, residents reported airstrikes and shelling, together with within the southern metropolis of Rafah close to the Egyptian border – one space the place the Israeli military had advised civilians to go. In a colourful classroom there, knee-high kids’s tables had been strewn with rubble.

“We now live in the Gaza Strip and are governed by the American law of the jungle. America has killed human rights,” stated Rafah resident Abu Yasser al-Khatib.

In northern Gaza, Israel has been attempting to safe the army’s maintain, regardless of heavy resistance from Hamas. The army stated that it discovered weapons inside a faculty in Shujaiyah, a densely populated neighborhood of Gaza City, and that, in a separate incident, militants shot at troops from a U.N.-run faculty within the northern city of Beit Hanoun.

More than 2,500 Palestinians have been killed for the reason that Dec. 1 collapse of a weeklong truce, about two-thirds of them girls and kids, based on Gaza’s Health Ministry.

The truce noticed hostages and Palestinian prisoners launched, however Israel says 137 hostages stay in Gaza.

On Saturday, a kibbutz that got here beneath assault on Oct. 7 stated 25-year-old hostage Sahar Baruch had died in captivity. His captors stated Baruch was killed throughout a failed rescue mission by Israeli forces Friday. The Israeli army stated Hamas killed him.

With no new cease-fire in sight and humanitarian support reaching little of Gaza, residents reported extreme meals shortages. Nine of 10 individuals in northern Gaza reported spending a minimum of one full day and night time with out meals, based on a World Food Program evaluation in the course of the truce. Two of three individuals within the south stated the identical. The WFP referred to as the state of affairs “alarming.”

“I am very hungry,” stated Mustafa al-Najjar, sheltering in a U.N.-run faculty within the devastated Jabaliya refugee camp within the north. “We are living on canned food and biscuits and this is not sufficient.”

While adults can cope, “it’s extremely difficult and painful when you see your young son or daughter crying because they are hungry,” he stated.

Israelis who had been taken hostage additionally noticed the meals state of affairs deteriorate, the lately freed Adina Moshe advised a rally of 1000’s of individuals in Tel Aviv looking for the fast return of all. “We ended up eating only rice,” stated Moshe, who was held for 49 days.

The rally audio system accused Israel‘s government of not doing enough to bring loved ones home. “How can I sleep at night? How can I protect my daughter?” asked Eli Albag, the father of 18-year-old hostage Liri Albag.

On Saturday, 100 trucks carrying unspecified aid entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt, said Wael Abu Omar, a spokesman for the Palestinian Crossings Authority. That is still well below the daily average before the war.

Despite growing international pressure, President Joe Biden’s administration stays against an open-ended cease-fire, arguing it might allow Hamas to proceed posing a menace to Israel.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has argued that “a cease-fire is handing a prize to Hamas.”

Blinken continued to talk with counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and elsewhere amid open criticism of the U.S. stance.

“From now on, humanity won’t think the U.S.A. supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated in a speech.

Protesters on the COP28 local weather summit in Dubai referred to as for a cease-fire, regardless of restrictions on demonstrations.

Amid considerations a few wider battle, Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen threatened to forestall any ship heading to Israeli ports from passing by means of the Red Sea and Arabian Sea till meals and drugs can enter Gaza freely. Spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree stated in a speech that every one ships heading to Israel, irrespective of their nationality, will likely be a goal.

In southern Gaza, 1000’s had been on the run after what residents referred to as an evening of heavy gunfire and shelling.

Israel has designated a slender patch of barren southern shoreline, Muwasi, as a protected zone. But Palestinians described desperately overcrowded situations with scant shelter and no bogs. They confronted an in a single day temperature of round 52 levels (11 levels Celsius).

“I am sleeping on the sand. It’s freezing,” stated Soad Qarmoot, who described herself as a most cancers affected person compelled to depart her residence within the northern city of Beit Lahiya.

As she spoke, her kids huddled round a fireplace.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.