Deadly Gaza fighting, Hezbollah rockets as war enters 10th month | World News - Hindustan Times
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Deadly Gaza fighting, Hezbollah rockets as war enters 10th month

AFP |
Jul 07, 2024 08:16 PM IST

Deadly Gaza fighting, Hezbollah rockets as war enters 10th month

Israel launched deadly strikes Sunday on the Gaza Strip as its war against Hamas entered its 10th month, with diplomatic efforts underway to secure a ceasefire and hostage release deal.

Deadly Gaza fighting, Hezbollah rockets as war enters 10th month
Deadly Gaza fighting, Hezbollah rockets as war enters 10th month

Lebanon's Hezbollah movement, an ally of Palestinian militant group Hamas, fired rocket salvoes at northern Israel, in the latest cross-border clashes that have sparked fears of a full-scale war.

In Israel, anti-government protesters demanding a hostage release deal blocked roads in the commercial hub of Tel Aviv as they marked a nationwide "disruption day" from 6:29 am, the time Hamas launched their attack on October 7.

Efforts towards a truce continued with US, Qatari and Egyptian mediators hoping to halt the Gaza war, which has caused mass civilian casualties and devastated swathes of the coastal territory.

Egypt's state-linked Al-Qahera News said Cairo was "hosting Israeli and American delegations to discuss the outstanding points", citing an unnamed high-level official source.

Mediators were in contact with Hamas amid "intensive Egyptian meetings this week with all parties", said the news report late Saturday, without elaborating.

Israel has said it would send a delegation to continue talks with Qatari mediators, though a government spokesman said Friday there were still "gaps" with Hamas.

US President Joe Biden announced a plan in late May that included an initial six-week truce and the exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.

Talks quickly stalled but a US official said Thursday that a new proposal from Hamas "moves the process forward and may provide the basis for closing the deal".

Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan told AFP that US mediators "welcomed" the group's latest proposals "and passed them on to the Israeli side".

"Now the ball is in the Israeli court," said Hamdan.

At a rally in Tel Aviv, Israeli data scientist Yoni Peleg, 34, said protesters were crying "out for help... to end the war" and pressure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to secure the release of the remaining hostages.

The fighting and bombardment in besieged Gaza raged on unabated, with medics and emergency services in the Hamas-run territory reporting yet more deaths in several strikes on Sunday.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said two children were among six dead when a central Gaza house was hit, and paramedics reported nine fatalities in two strikes on Gaza City.

An AFP correspondent said Israeli drones were firing in Gaza City's Shujaiya district, which has been largely evacuated and rocked by intense battles for nearly two weeks.

The Israeli military said that in Shujaiya, its troops killed "several" militants and "dismantled terror infrastructure sites".

Israeli forces killed 30 Palestinian militants in far-southern Rafah over the past day, the military added, also reporting clashes in nearby Khan Yunis.

Hamas's unprecedented October 7 attack on southern Israel that set off the war resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

The militants also seized 251 hostages, 116 of whom remain in Gaza, including 42 the military says are dead.

Vowing to destroy Hamas, Israel has carried out a military offensive that has killed at least 38,153 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to data from the territory's health ministry.

The health ministry toll includes 16 people killed Saturday in a strike on a UN-run school in the central Nuseirat refugee camp that was sheltering displaced Palestinians, which the Israeli military said had been used by militants.

The war has uprooted nearly all Gazans, left almost 500,000 people enduring "catastrophic" hunger and shuttered most hospitals, UN agencies say.

Dr Muhammad Salha, acting director of Al-Awda Hospital in Jabalia, said severe shortages amid Israel's siege of Gaza left the facility with "no fuel".

"The situation is very difficult," he said. "We have postponed many scheduled operations due to the lack of fuel."

Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah have exchanged almost daily cross-border fire since the Gaza war began.

The attacks and rhetoric have escalated in recent weeks, sparking fears of a wider conflagration.

While the exchanges have been largely restricted to the border areas, Israel has repeatedly struck deep inside eastern Lebanon, including on Saturday in an attack that killed a Hezbollah operative.

Early on Sunday, air raid sirens sounded across northern Israel and the military reported that 20 rockets were fired, with some intercepted.

Hezbollah said it had targeted an Israeli army base west of Tiberias "in response to the... assassination" carried out the day before.

Israeli police said one person was wounded by shrapnel in Kfar Zeitim near Tiberias, around 30 kilometres from the Lebanese border.

Hezbollah later claimed a second barrage of rockets targeting a military base elsewhere in northern Israel.

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This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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