Deadly Gaza Battles, Hezbollah Rockets As War Enters 10th Month

Deadly Gaza Battles, Hezbollah Rockets As War Enters 10th Month

The fighting and bombardment in besieged Gaza raged on unabated on Sunday (File)


Israel carried out deadly air strikes in the Gaza Strip on Sunday as the war entered its 10th month, with fighting raging across the Palestinian territory and fresh diplomatic efforts underway to halt the violence.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement fired another 20 rockets at northern Israel, leaving one person injured there, the latest cross-border attacks launched in solidarity with Gaza’s Palestinian group Hamas. 

Efforts towards a truce continued with US, Qatari and Egyptian mediators hoping to halt the worst-ever Gaza war, which has caused mass civilian casualties and devastated the coastal territory since Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel.

Egypt’s Al-Qahera News reported that Cairo was “hosting Israeli and American delegations to discuss the outstanding points” for a ceasefire and hostage release deal, citing an unnamed high-level official source.

Mediators were in contact with Hamas amid “intensive Egyptian meetings this week with all parties to push efforts” for a truce, said the news report late Saturday, without giving further details or dates.

Israel has also said it would send a delegation in the coming days to continue talks with Qatari mediators, even though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman said Friday that “gaps” remained 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.

Talks subsequently 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 the group’s new ideas had been “conveyed by the mediators to the American side, which welcomed them and passed them on to the Israeli side”, adding that “now the ball is in the Israeli court”.

Heavy clashes

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

The Palestinian Red Crescent said the bodies of six people including two children were taken to Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in the central city of Deir al-Balah.

And paramedics said six people were killed in one strike on a house in Gaza City and three in another elsewhere in Gaza’s largest urban area.

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 two weeks.

The Israeli army said that in Shujaiya, its “troops eliminated several terrorists, dismantled terror infrastructure sites and located numerous weapons, including explosive devices, AK-47 rifles, machine guns and pistols”.

It also said 30 “terrorists” had been killed in far-southern Rafah over the past day and that Israeli forces had carried out an operation in nearby Khan Yunis where Hamas had taken up position in a municipality building.

On Saturday, the Gaza health ministry said 16 people were killed in a strike on a school run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA that was sheltering displaced people in Nuseirat, in central Gaza.

The Israeli military said its aircraft had targeted “terrorists” operating around the Al-Jawni school.

‘Catastrophic hunger’

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

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

In response, Israel has carried out a military offensive that has killed at least 38,098 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to data from the health ministry in the Hamas-ruled territory.

The war has uprooted 90 percent of Gaza’s population, left almost 500,000 people enduring “catastrophic” hunger and shuttered most hospitals, UN agencies say.

“The situation is very difficult,” said Dr Muhammad Salha, acting director of Al-Awda Hospital in Jabalia. 

“There is no fuel in the hospital to work. We only operate the small generator for two hours a day and we have postponed many scheduled operations due to the lack of fuel.”

Hezbollah rockets

Amid the Gaza war, Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah have exchanged almost daily cross-border fire and the attacks and rhetoric have escalated over the past month, sparking fears of a full-scale war.

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

Early on Sunday, air raid sirens again sounded across northern Israel and the army then reported that 20 rockets were fired, some of which were intercepted by air defence systems.

One person was wounded by shrapnel in Kfar Zeitim near Tiberias, around 30 kilometres (over 18 miles) inside Israel, local police said, adding they were in stable condition.

Hezbollah said that “in response to the attack and assassination that the Israeli enemy carried out”, it had targeted “one of the main bases” in northern Israel, west of Tiberias, with “dozens of Katyusha rockets”.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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