Dec 9, 2023 at 6:36 PM Update: 3 minutes ago
NU.nl regularly gives you an overview of the situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. This time: harsh accusations against the United States after they decided to veto a ceasefire in Gaza. In the meantime, the fighting there is increasing.
Developments in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are following each other in rapid succession. We therefore regularly list recent events. Subscribe to the tag ‘Gaza conflict update’ to receive a notification when we post another overview like this.
The US has vetoed a UN proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza, sparking criticism from Hamas, human rights groups and Turkish President Erdogan. The fighting intensifies. Israel is expanding its attacks, mainly targeting the southern city of Khan Younis, where Hamas’s headquarters are believed to be located. Israeli forces are expected to need another two months to complete the “first phase” of the war against Hamas, according to a defense official.
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Israel bombed the Gaza Strip from north to south on Saturday in what it said was an “extended phase” of the war against Hamas that has been going on for two months.
There is heavy fighting on both sides. Israeli bombings mainly target the southern city of Khan Younis, where Hamas’s headquarters are believed to be located. Reports are coming in that Israeli troops, including tanks, are going door to door and tunnel to tunnel to track down Hamas members.
Israel is also trying to free hostages. So far without success. Hamas is said to have killed several hostages in response, Reuters news agency reports.
In the southern city of Khan Younis, Israeli combat troops would go door to door to track down Hamas members. Photo: AFP Get notified of news about Israel and the Palestinian Territories Stay informed with notifications
‘Israel still needs two months for the first phase of the war’
Israeli forces need about two more months in the Gaza Strip to complete the “first phase” of the war against Hamas, a defense official told US media.
The army foresees another three to four weeks to complete its current offensive in Khan Younis and another three to four weeks of intensive fighting.
Israel steps up attacks on Gaza
Israeli forces increase attacks on Gaza. They say that they have hit more than 450 targets in the Gaza Strip in 24 hours. That is the largest number since the ceasefire expired last week.
The armed forces also say they will continue to search for and destroy “tunnel shafts, weapons and other terrorist infrastructure”, among other things. Hamas fighters are also said to have been killed in the massive attacks, especially in Khan Younis.
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Six dead in Israeli attack on West Bank
According to the Palestinian health ministry, the Israeli army has killed six Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli Armed Forces (IDF) says it is still investigating the reports.
According to the Hamas-controlled ministry, the Al Fara refugee camp near the northern town of Tubas was attacked by Israeli soldiers.
Emergency aid organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) sees a “clear shift” in violence in the West Bank. “Previously they shot limbs,” international MSF chief Christos Christou said of the Palestinian victims. “Now they have gunshot wounds to the abdomen, chest and head. When you see that shift in injuries, you’re going to see more deaths.”
Photo of a Palestinian family that fled the violence from Gaza City via Khan Younis to Rafah, according to the AFP news agency. Photo: AFP
German government assumes that German family has been killed in Gaza
The German government assumes that a German family has been killed in the Gaza Strip. It is responding to several media reports that a German family of six was killed by an Israeli bombardment of their home.
“We unfortunately have to assume at this time that a family of six are among the victims of the fighting in the Gaza Strip,” a ministry statement said.
Hamas: Israeli liberation operation foiled, hostage killed
Hamas says it has foiled an Israeli operation to free hostages in the Gaza Strip. Several people are said to have died, including a hostage.
According to Hamas, the killed hostage was a 25-year-old Israeli soldier. It is not clear how the hostage died.
While a new ceasefire seems further away than ever, the fighting continues in full force. Photo: AFP
US vetoes UN proposal for ceasefire in Gaza
The United States has vetoed a UN proposal for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Because the Americans have the right to veto, the resolution was rejected.
UN chief António Guterres urged the Security Council this week for a ceasefire on humanitarian grounds. The Palestinian population could therefore receive help.
Thirteen countries were in favor of the proposal, the United Kingdom abstained and the United States vetoed it.
Hamas and human rights organizations call US veto ‘unethical and inhumane’
Hamas calls it “unethical and inhumane” that the United States has vetoed this UN proposal. According to US UN envoy Robert Wood, the resolution was “not realistic”.
There is also criticism of the American veto from other human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW).
“By blocking the proposal, the Americans are participating in the killings and massacres,” Hamas said in a statement.
President Abbas believes the US is complicit in Israel’s war crimes
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said that the US’ veto on the Security Council is “complicit in the genocide, ethnic cleansing and war crimes that Israel is committing against Palestinians.”
According to Abbas, the US is “responsible for the bloodshed of children, women and the elderly.” “The American position in the conflict is aggressive and immoral and a direct violation of all humanitarian values and principles.”
Amnesty International CEO Agnes Callamard also said in an X-message that she was shocked by the American veto. “Terribly common and morally indefensible.”
US veto of ceasefire resolution displays callous disregard for civilian suffering in face of staggering death toll. It is morally indefensible, a dereliction of the US duty to prevent atrocity crimes and a complete lack of global leadership. Just appalling https://t.co/vl6Pv6Lcv6
— Agnes Callamard (@AgnesCallamard) December 8, 2023
Erdogan: Just world is possible, but not with US
Finally, Recep Tayyip Erdogan also contributed his share of criticism of the United States. “Unfortunately, the ceasefire was rejected, with only the American vote against. A just world is possible, but not with the US,” the Turkish president said.
Erdogan immediately wants reforms at the United Nations. “It is impossible for humanity to move forward with this United Nations, with this UN Security Council.”
The conflict explained