Jerusalem, Feb 6 (IANS) Israel has resumed fighting in the northern Gaza Strip amid growing international calls for a ceasefire.
In its latest operational update on Monday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported that its troops have returned to the areas where they previously operated.
In recent weeks, attacks in the northern part of the strip have eased after Israel claimed to have gained control of the area, raising hopes that displaced civilians could return to their homes, a prospect that The Israeli army has indicated that it will not allow it in recent weeks. this stage, the Xinhua news agency reported.
“The forces operating under the division are preventing Hamas from rebuilding its capabilities,” Itzik Cohen, the commander of the IDF’s 162nd Division, said in the update, stressing that the forces were “stepping up operations and pressure on Hamas that remained in the area.”
Israeli shelling continued throughout the enclave, including in Khan Younis, the largest city in southern Gaza, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Over the weekend, at least 20 Palestinians were killed in Israeli attacks in Rafah, a city previously designated as a safe zone by the Israeli army. More than half of Gaza’s more than 2 million residents have fled to Rafah, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories.
At least 133 Palestinians were killed and 205 wounded in Gaza over the past 24 hours, the Hamas-run health ministry said on Monday.
The ministry said more than 27,478 Palestinians have been killed and 66,835 others injured in Israeli attacks on Gaza, which were triggered by a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7, 2023, which Israel said killed about 1,200 people.
On Monday morning, a food aid convoy was hit by Israeli fire as it waited to move to northern Gaza, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA ).
“Fortunately, no one was injured,” Tom White, director of UNRWA affairs in Gaza, wrote in a post on the social media platform X. Photos circulating on X showed damage to the ‘sending.
An Israeli security source told Xinhua news agency that the military was reviewing the report without providing further details.
Also on Monday, speaking at a press conference during his first official visit to Israel, French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne called on the Israeli government to facilitate an “immediate ceasefire” and a “massive influx” of ‘aid to Gaza.
As Qatari, Egyptian and US mediators awaited a response from Hamas to a ceasefire offer, which includes the release of hostages, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his right-wing Likud party that the war it’s not about to end.
“Our goal is a complete victory over Hamas. We will kill the leadership of Hamas. Therefore, we must continue to act in all areas of the Gaza Strip,” he said.