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Hamas Frees Two More Hostages as Israeli Bombardment Intensifies

Hamas says it has freed two hostages. The conflict between Hamas and Israel has entered its third week. Human population is constantly increasing. It was the worst clash in recent years.

Two new hostages were released by Hamas on Monday evening, after the United States ordered the release of all those kidnapped during its deadly attack on Israel on October 7.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office released the identities of the two freed hostages, who were Israeli nationals and from Kibbutz Nir Oz: Yocheved Lifsitz, 85, and Nurit Kuper, 79. Their husbands are still in custody.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it facilitated their release on Monday evening.

The release comes three days after an American woman and her daughter.

More than 200 hostages

220 Israeli, foreign or binational hostages were identified by Israel as being held in the Gaza Strip after a deadly attack by Hamas in the middle of the weekly Jewish holiday of Shabbat.

Hundreds of fighters from the Palestinian movement crossed into Israel from Gaza in the first attack since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

More than 1,400 people were killed in Israel, most of them civilians shot, burned or mutilated, according to officials.

On Monday, Hamas said 5,087 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 2,055 children, had been killed by Israeli retaliatory bombing since the beginning of the conflict.

“Complete Removal”

Israel has vowed to “destroy” Hamas, which seized power in the Gaza Strip in 2007 and has since come under an Israeli blockade.

“Hamas – we want to completely eliminate its leadership, its military unit and its means of operation” In a video released by the Israeli army on X from Monday to Tuesday night, Israeli Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi announced, surrounded by several armed men.

Strikes have intensified in recent days in the 362 km2 area, where 2.4 million Palestinians have gathered and are subject to a blockade imposed by Israel since October 9 that deprives them of food, water and electricity.

The Israeli military announced the attack overnight from Sunday to Monday “More than 320 military targets”, The infrastructure of Hamas and its ally, Islamic Jihad. These two groups are categorized “Terrorists” by the United States, the European Union, and Israel.

International aid began to flow through Egypt in trickles and spurts from Saturday. On Monday, a third convoy crossed the border at Rafah, the only point of entry into Gaza that is not under Israeli control.

In total, about fifty trucks were able to enter in three days, while at least 100 are needed per day, according to the UN.

35 humanitarian workers were killed

The US announced on Sunday that it had secured an agreement from Israel and Egypt to carry out the aid “From now on there will be a continuous flow.” But Joseph Borrell, the EU’s diplomatic chief, said we needed “more help, faster” and a “humanitarian pause” to allow its delivery.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Durk called on Monday for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza, while 35 humanitarian workers have died since the start of the conflict, including six in the past 24 hours.

China’s foreign minister, who has not publicly condemned the Hamas attack, told his Israeli counterpart on Monday that “all countries (have the right to defend themselves).”

“The most urgent task now is to prevent the situation from worsening and leading to a more serious humanitarian disaster” Wang Yi told Eli Cohen, according to a press release from his ministry.

The Israeli military continues its preparations for a ground attack, massing troops on the outskirts of the Gaza Strip, targeting Hamas infrastructure and carrying out limited incursions aimed at finding missing or kidnapped people.

The prospect worries the international community, which fears the conflict could escalate.

Hamas’ ally Iran has warned that the situation in the Middle East risks spiraling “out of control”.

The US has strengthened its military presence in the region. An initiative that runs the risk of an “escalation” of the conflict, the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, announced in Tehran on Monday.

Strikes in the South

Since October 15, the Israeli military has called on civilians in the north of the Gaza Strip, where the bombings are most intense, to flee to the south.

However, strikes continue to affect the south, close to the Egyptian border, where the displaced have flocked by the hundreds of thousands.

The UN has warned that the humanitarian situation is “catastrophic”, with at least 1.4 million Palestinians displaced from their homes.

In Rafah, men filled plastic containers from water tanks while others searched the rubble of a building destroyed by the strike, looking for survivors.

“They put my son’s mutilated body in a blue bag, Sam burned” Ayman Abo Samala, a 34-year-old Palestinian who lost two children and his wife in the blast, was suffocated.

Further south in Khan Younes, a family was preparing to bury children killed in the blast, their bodies wrapped in white and carried to the grave by relatives.

In Lebanon, more than 19,000 people have been displaced after clashes escalated between the Israeli army and Lebanese Hezbollah, backed by Iran and its ally Hamas, along the border between the two countries, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

Israel’s border area was also evacuated.

Source : Balkan Travellers

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