Benjamin Netanyahu insists that “there will be no ceasefire until Hamas releases the hostages” and his words become reality in the form of the harsh daily bombings on Gaza. Without rest, without pause. Yesterday Israel reopened a four-hour window on one of the main routes it controls so that the civilians remaining in the north of the Strip, some 400,000, can move south, but the attacks on two refugee camps in the center and southern Gaza kept people from moving. The Israelis struck in Maghazi and Al Bureij, killing at least seventy people, according to the Ministry of Health. During these temporary windows, the military assures that they will not attack the highway, but after almost 10,000 deaths, most of them women and children, the population is distrustful.
In Gaza there are eight refugee camps that were once built to receive Palestinians expelled from their lands in 1948 and 1967. This means that the majority of inhabitants are considered refugees by the UN. The war once again forces them to leave their homes in 2023 and the international organization assures that 1.5 million Gazans have become internally displaced. They have moved to the south, but that has not freed them from enemy attacks and living conditions are worsening day by day. The challenge has been paralyzed in the north.
From the World Food Program they assured that “access to bread is increasingly difficult. The only operational mill in Gaza remains unable to grind wheat due to a lack of electricity and fuel. “Eleven bakeries have been attacked and destroyed since October 7.” Tel Aviv intensifies the siege as a weapon of war to pressure Hamas, but the Islamists maintain their parallel life in the tunnels, which allows them to continue launching rockets into Israel and engage in hand-to-hand combat with the Defense Forces.
Netanyahu is trying to project an image of a solid leader amid an environment of growing criticism. Hundreds of people gathered Saturday night in front of his official residence in Jerusalem to call for his resignation. It was the first demonstration against the prime minister since the start of the war and those gathered shouted at him to get rid of him due to his inability to manage this conflict and the crisis generated by the more than 200 captives in the hands of Hamas. The prime minister also faces the need to try to control radical members of his government, who make inflammatory statements against the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.
Saturday marked the anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Isaac Rabin at the hands of a Zionist ultranationalist, but there were no events due to the war situation. Twenty-eight years later, the ideas that promoted this assassination are very present in the Government thanks to the Jewish supremacist and anti-Arab formation Jewish Power, with ministers such as Eliyahu, Itamar Ben Gvir or Bezalel Smotrich. From these sectors come comments such as expelling the Gazans to the Sinai to reoccupy the Strip.
Gaza is bleeding and Antony Blinken is unable to make his idea of establishing “humanitarian pauses” go ahead. The US Secretary of State traveled to Ramallah yesterday and held a one-hour meeting with Mahmoud Abbas in which the Palestinian president asked for an “immediate ceasefire.” Blinken did not utter these words during a symbolic meeting lacking practical results. Israelis and Americans plan a future in the Strip without Hamas and under the control of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), but Abbas and his team have no capacity to act in Gaza.
Nobody in this territory expects Abbas to provide any solution to the war. Late in the afternoon Israel cut communications again and intensified bombing, which is usually a sign that some major ground movement is coming. The troops have surrounded Gaza City for days and are about two kilometers from the Al-Shifa hospital, the main reference center in the Strip and alleged cover for the large underground headquarters of Hamas.
Military spokesman Daniel Hagari called a press conference to press the accusation that Hamas uses hospitals “for its underground terrorist infrastructure.” Hagari showed images, photos and voice recordings that would prove, according to the Army, that Islamists operate in the Indonesian Hospital and the Qatari Hospital. A few hours after this complaint, Israel intensified its attacks on the doors of the Al Quds and Al Shifa hospitals in Gaza City, which are places of refuge for thousands of families and where there are thousands of wounded, many of them in serious condition. waiting for an almost impossible evacuation to Egypt.
Hagari also confirmed that this weekend, as had already been announced on Friday, the Defense Forces completed the siege of Gaza and divided the Strip into two halves. “Today there is north of Gaza and south of Gaza,” he said. The operation will allow the troops to now focus on the capital area, penetrating from different points on the outskirts in order to continue their process of dismantling the militia’s tunnels and underground shelters. It also makes it easier for the Defense Forces to establish a filter between the two divided territories, so that they can control the access of people and supplies to the north. Hagari explained that the civilian evacuation corridor to the south will remain open and warned that shelling will continue in the north.