Israel's army says it has killed dozens of terrorists in the Gaza Strip. The military said today that these included commanders involved in the October 7 massacre in Israel.
According to reports, soldiers killed 20 terrorists on Thursday in the Al-Maghasi refugee district in the center of the coastal area alone. In Khan Yunis in the south of the Gaza Strip, the army attacked a military compound belonging to the Islamist Hamas from the air. Seven terrorists were killed. The military also confiscated weapons. The information cannot yet be independently verified.
Military strike against Houthi rebels
The USA and other allies responded with military strikes to repeated attacks by the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea. The attacks in Yemen on Friday night drew sharp criticism from Iran and Russia as well as angry reactions from the Houthis, allied with Tehran. The development is fueling fears that the numerous tensions and violent clashes in the region could escalate into a larger conflict in the Middle East.
The military strike is a response to the Houthis' "illegal, dangerous and destabilizing" attacks on ships in the Red Sea and is based on the right of self-defense, said a joint statement from the alliance, which, in addition to the USA and Great Britain, includes the Netherlands, Canada, Bahrain and Australia belong. It is also supported by the federal government, as Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said during a visit to Malaysia.
A Houthi representative threatened retaliation. The rebels also said they would continue their attacks on merchant ships allegedly linked to Israel in the Red Sea.
Genocide trial before the International Court of Justice
In view of the high number of civilian casualties and the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the sealed-off Gaza Strip, Israel has come under increasing international criticism. A hearing began yesterday at the UN's highest court in The Hague on a lawsuit in which South Africa accuses Israel of systematically committing genocidal acts against the Palestinians in the Gaza war. The hearings in the genocide trial in The Hague were accompanied by demonstrations by hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian supporters.
Israeli representatives firmly rejected the accusation of genocide. The allegations made by South Africa are baseless and absurd, said the Israeli Foreign Ministry's legal advisor, Tal Becker, in The Hague. The victims of the Gaza war and the suffering of the civilian population were solely the responsibility of the terrorist organization Hamas. "Israel is at war with Hamas, but not with the Palestinian people."
The judges are now discussing an urgent application by South Africa to order an end to the military actions. Israel rejected this demand, saying it would deprive the country of its right to self-defense. A main trial on allegations of genocide can drag on for years.
Becker justified the attacks in the Gaza Strip with Israel's right to self-defense after the attack by Hamas and other extremists on October 7 last year. Becker described the massacres in which around 1,200 people were killed and around 250 were kidnapped from Israel, around half of whom have so far been released. "Israel does not want to destroy a people, but to protect a people, its own," said the legal advisor.
UN Human Rights Office: Violation of international humanitarian law
According to the UN Human Rights Office, Israel is violating the basic principles of international humanitarian law in its military operations in the Gaza Strip. This included, among other things, precautionary measures to protect the civilian population. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, has already emphasized that violations of international humanitarian law increase the risk of being held accountable for war crimes, said a spokeswoman for the office in Geneva.
Israel's calls for the civilian population to leave certain areas before planned military operations are not enough. The military is still responsible for sparing civilians.
The UN Human Rights Office also criticizes the fact that hundreds of Palestinians have reportedly been taken prisoner and are being held in unknown locations. Those released reported ill-treatment and torture by the Israeli military. This must stop and those responsible for abuse and torture must be held accountable.
UN emergency agency warns of unrest in the Gaza Strip
The UN Emergency Relief Office (OCHA) warns of unrest in the Gaza Strip if humanitarian aid is not significantly increased. The few UN convoys that made it north were stopped just beyond the checkpoint and cleared out, an OCHA official said. "The level of desperation of the people is palpable," said Andrea De Domenico, head of OCHA's office for the Palestinian territories, who is a regular in the Gaza Strip. He spoke via video link to reporters in Geneva.
De Domenico emphasized that the people were not aggressive, but rather starving and in desperate need of more help. "Tensions will rise if we cannot expand aid deliveries." After a trip to the north this week, employees reported that there were bodies lying on the road behind the Israeli checkpoints that had not been recovered. According to estimates, 300,000 to 400,000 people still live in the north.
Doctor in the Gaza Strip: No more morphine
Almost 100 days after the start of the Gaza war, conditions in the few remaining functioning hospitals in the Gaza Strip remain horrendous, according to aid workers. "There is no more morphine," said American doctor Seema Jilani in an audio message distributed by the aid organization International Rescue Committee (IRC). Jilani had previously returned from a two-week assignment with the IRC at Al-Aqsa Hospital in the central Gaza Strip.
“So we give patients on the verge of death, in the agony of death, midazolam, a drug for anxiety, but which does not relieve pain,” said the doctor. According to Jilani, it is thanks to “absolutely heroic nurses, doctors and volunteers” that Al-Aqsa Hospital is still functioning at all. But even so, it will only be able to work for a few more days, she said.
Government: Israel can provide medicine to Hamas hostages
Through the mediation of the Gulf Emirate of Qatar, Israel says it has reached an agreement with the terrorist organization Hamas to provide medicine to the hostages kidnapped in the Gaza Strip. The medicines will be delivered “in the next few days,” as the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office announced in Jerusalem. In return, Israel should supply medicines to the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip. Hamas initially did not comment.
The Hostage Families Forum, meanwhile, called for "visible evidence" that the medicines reached the hostages before Israel makes medicines available to the Palestinian population. "The shocking images of hostages in their captivity call for increased pressure on the countries involved in the negotiations," the forum's statement said. The aim is to “urge for the immediate release of the hostages and not just hand over medication.”
Israel assumes that 136 hostages are still being held in the sealed-off coastal area. 25 of them are probably no longer alive. Those abducted also include old and sick people, many of whom suffer from cancer or diabetes and therefore need regular medicine. On the hostage issue, Qatar is an important mediator between Hamas and Israel, which do not speak to each other directly.
As a result of Israeli military operations, 23,469 people have been killed and a further 59,604 injured since the start of the war, according to the latest figures from the Hamas-controlled health authority. The numbers cannot currently be independently verified.