June 9, 2024

Central News

at the center of it

Palestinian death toll in Gaza’s Israel-Hamas war passes 25,000, humanitarian crisis worsens, says health ministry

Rescuers gather in front of a building destroyed in a reported Israeli strike in Damascus, Syria, on Jan. 20, 2024.

PALESTINIAN death toll from the more than three months of fighting in Israel has passed the 25,000 mark, the Hamas-controlled Gaza health ministry has said.
As of 15.00 hours (G.M.T. Sunday), 25,102 have been killed in the war between Israel and Hamas while 62,681 people have been injured in the conflict, the ministry says.
“In the past 24 hours, 178 Palestinians have been killed and 293 were injured.”
British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps tells Sky News (Sunday) that it is “disappointing” to hear of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition to a Palestinian state.
“Unless you pursue a two-state solution, I really don’t see that there is another solution,” Shapps says.
Netanyahu said Saturday that he “will not compromise on full Israeli control” over Gaza and stated that “this is contrary to a Palestinian state,” rebuffing U.S. President Joe Biden’s comment that creative solutions could bridge wide gaps between the leaders’ views on Palestinian statehood.
Discussing his administration’s position Friday, Biden said, “There are a number of types of two-state solutions” when he was asked if a two-state solution was impossible with Netanyahu in office, Biden replied, “No, it’s not.”
Biden said Friday he spoke with Netanyahu, the first call the White House had in nearly a month with the Israeli leader, about possible solutions for creation of an independent Palestinian state, suggesting one path could involve a nonmilitarized government.
“In his conversation with President Biden, Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated his policy that after Hamas is destroyed Israel must retain security control over Gaza to ensure that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel, a requirement that contradicts the demand for Palestinian sovereignty,” a statement from the Israeli prime minister’s office says.
Meanwhile, a divide over the direction of the war, now in its fourth month, is growing inside the Israeli cabinet.
Former Israeli army chief Gadi Eisenkot, a member of Israel’s War Cabinet, has said a cease-fire is the only way to secure the hostages’ release, a comment that implied criticism of Israel’s current strategy not to let up on Israel’s war on Hamas militants until their destruction.
Netanyahu is also under heat by members of his right-wing governing coalition who want an all-out war against Hamas, while the U.S., Israel’s main ally, is calling for restraint in Gaza.
The Israeli leader has said he will push for “complete victory” against Hamas but has not outlined how he would achieve it.
A strike on a residential building in Damascus, Syria, Saturday killed five members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran says, blaming Israel.
Hours later, the IRGC issued statements identifying the five dead as Hojjatollah Omidvar, Ali Aghazadeh, Hossein Mohammadi, Saeed Karimi and Mohammad Amin Samadi.

Syrian state television says the building, which was destroyed in the midmorning strike, is in a neighborhood of the Syrian capital where several embassies are located.
There was no immediate comment from Israel, which rarely acknowledges its actions in Syria, but the strike came as Israel hit targets across Gaza, Saturday.
Israel says it targeted militants in northern Gaza who it says are trying to plant explosives and fire missiles at Israeli tanks.
In Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, witnesses report intense shelling overnight (Saturday-Sunday) near Nasser Hospital.
Israel says its troops raided a militant compound where it found explosives and destroyed rocket launchers.
Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas, which governs Gaza, after the militant group sent fighters rampaging into Israel on October 7, 2023, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, according to Israel.
Hamas, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and others, also took about 240 people as hostages.
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry Sunday reported one of the largest single-day death tolls, including 165 Palestinians killed and 280 more wounded in the last 24 hours.
The ministry does not distinguish between combatants and civilians, but most of the nearly 25,000 Palestinians killed since the war began are civilians, health officials say.
The unrelenting humanitarian crisis in Gaza “remains dire,” the Red Crescent said Saturday on X, formerly Twitter, “with 800,000 Palestinians grappling with a severe scarcity of essential supplies.”
Women hit hard during war
Women have been particularly hard-hit in the Gaza crisis. Seventy per cent of the nearly 25,000 people killed in Gaza have been women and children, a figure that includes two mothers per hour, according to a report issued Friday by U.N. Women, the U.N. agency for gender equality and empowerment for women and girls.
“We have seen evidenced once more that women and children are the first victims of conflict and that our duty to seek peace is a duty to them,” says Sima Bahous, executive director of U.N. Women, in a statement accompanying the report on Friday.
Israel arrested 22 Palestinians overnight in the occupied West Bank, including a woman and children, according to Al Jazeera. The arrests were conducted in Hebron, Nablus, Tubas, Bethlehem, Jenin and Jerusalem, the report says.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club tells Al Jazeera the arrests “were accompanied by widespread raids and abuse, in addition to widespread sabotage and destruction of citizens’ homes, the destruction of infrastructure, and the confiscation of money and vehicles.”