raid on central gaza, what happens in Rafah

Israeli raid in two areas of the central part of the Gaza Strip. This was reported by Qatar’s Al Jazeera. “Israel is preparing a large-scale military operation in Rafah,” Philippe Lazzarini told TassCommissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (Unrwa). “My fear right now is what the Israeli military is planning to do, whether there is military assistance (to Israel from the United States) or not. It appears that preparations are being made for a possible large-scale military intervention in Rafah,” he said.

“We are all extremely concerned about the likelihood of an offensive in Rafah. There are more than 1.45 million displaced people already concentrated in the south”, underlined Lazzarini. “Such an operation would take place in the middle of the human sea. We believe, but not only us, that the international community and all the member states have indicated that this offensive should not take place, that different avenues should be explored,” the UNRWA chief said.

The idea that a ground operation could begin in Rafah is “very worrying,” he said. “People are very anxious because they don’t know where to go,” she added, noting that there is no safe place in Gaza to evacuate. “There is no doubt that if an offensive of this type goes ahead, we will have thousands more people killed,” the UNRWA chief continued. “And I don’t understand how, after such a large number, the indignation of the international community has still not managed to put an end to this killing, this massacre. And I don’t understand why this hasn’t led to a ceasefire yet,” he said. “I believe the ceasefire could save thousands of lives. And the absence of a ceasefire will mean more people killed,” he concluded.

Iranian analyst: “Israel’s attack on Rafah could trigger regional war”

The announced Israeli military operation in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, “has the potential to trigger a regional war” since it “incites public opinion in Arab countries against their leaders”, he said in an interview with ‘Adnkronos Afifeh Abedi, researcher on foreign policy issues at the Center for Strategic Research (Csr) in Tehran, one of the main think tanks of the Islamic Republic, while international calls for the Netanyahu government to desist from launching an attack against Rafah are multiplying .

According to Abedi, Israel’s goal is to “occupy Gaza and transform its social, economic and political structures into Israeli ones.” The operation planned in Rafah is part of “Israel’s ongoing efforts to weaken Hamas and secure access to Gaza”, explains the analyst, according to whom, however, the emergence of “a new dimension of crimes”, such as the discovery of mass graves makes “Washington’s ability to continue to support Israel increasingly difficult”.

As for Iran, he specified, its demands are always that Israel cease its attacks on Gaza and Rafah, that it withdraw completely from Gaza and that the inhabitants of Gaza return to their homes. “On this basis it will continue to hold regional and international consultations.”

Thousands take to the streets in Tel Aviv for hostage release and early voting

Meanwhile, thousands of protesters took to the streets in Tel Aviv to demand the release of the hostages still held in the Gaza Strip and early elections that would lead to a government other than the one led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As reported by the Times of Israel, protesters blocked the northbound Ayalon Highway until police intervened. Clashes also broke out between officers and protesters with the arrest of Ayala Metzger, the daughter-in-law of hostage Yoram Metzger, who was later released. Meirav Svirsky, sister of hostage Itay Svirsky who was killed while being kidnapped, has called on the Israeli government not to send forces to Rafah to avoid the deaths of more hostages. Einav Zangauker, mother of hostage Matan Zangauker, said Prime Minister Netanyahu is ”sacrificing” her son and the rest of the hostages.

The protests were fueled even further by the publication yesterday by Hamas of a video showing two Israeli hostages captured during the October 7 attacks alive: Omri Miran, 46 years old and Kith Segal, 64, who is also an American citizen. “The situation here is not pleasant, it is difficult, there are a lot of bombings. Sometimes we have the feeling that it is getting worse. I ask the prime minister and the entire government to participate in the negotiations”, says Siegel in the video, then asking the families of the hostages to “do everything possible and continue with the protests” to bring about an agreement. “I have seen the demonstrations in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem several times”, he added in the video, in which a date does not appear, but there is a reference to Jewish Easter, the Pesach holiday which is being celebrated between the 22nd and 29th April. The hostages also point out that they have been prisoners for 202 days.

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