Israel strikes across Gaza as US says it will block cease-fire resolution at UN

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli strikes in Gaza killed at least 18 people overnight, according to medics and witnesses, while the United States said it would veto another draft of a UN ceasefire resolution.

The US, Israel’s main ally, is instead hoping to broker a ceasefire deal and the release of hostages between Israel and Hamas. the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pushed back, calling Hamas’s demands “delusional” and rejecting American and international calls for a path to a Palestinian state.

His cabinet adopted a statement on Sunday saying Israel “categorically rejects international edicts on a permanent settlement with the Palestinians” and opposes any unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state, which they say would “come at a great cost to terror.” after the October 7 attack. led to the war.

Netanyahu has vowed to continue the offensive until a “total victory” over Hamas and expand it Rafah, the southernmost city of Gazawhere more than half of the enclave’s 2.3 million Palestinians have sought refuge from fighting elsewhere.

The head of the World Health Organization meanwhile said that Nasser Hospital, the main medical center serving southern Gaza, has “stopped functioning” after Israeli forces raided the facility in the southern city of Khan Younis last week.

An airstrike in Rafah last night killed six people, including a woman and three children, and another attack killed five men in Khan Younis, the main target of the offensive over the past two months. Associated Press journalists saw the bodies arriving at a hospital in Rafah.

In Gaza City, which was isolated, largely evacuated and suffered widespread destruction According to Sayed al-Afifi, a relative of the deceased, an airstrike leveled the ground in the first weeks of the war, killing seven people, including three women.

The Israeli military rarely comments on individual attacks and blames Hamas for civilian casualties because the militants operate in densely populated residential areas.

THE UN SAYS THE OCCUPIED HOSPITAL IS NO LONGER FUNCTIONING

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the UN health agency, said a WHO team was not allowed to enter the Nasser hospital on Friday or Saturday “to assess the patients’ condition and critical medical needs, despite having reached the hospital complex to supply fuel. together with partner.”

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Israel says it has arrested more than 100 suspected militants, including 20 who it says took part in Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, without providing evidence. The military says it is searching for the remains of hostages at the facility and is not targeting doctors or patients.

The war broke out after Hamas burst through Israeli defenses and attacked communities in southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians. about 250 hostages. Militants are still holding about 130 hostages, a fourth of whom are believed dead, after most others were released during a weeklong ceasefire in November.

At least 28,985 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed in the war, according to the Palestinian Authority Gaza’s Ministry of Health, which makes no distinction between civilians and combatants in its administration. The toll includes 127 bodies taken to hospitals in the past 24 hours, it said Sunday. About 80% of Gaza’s population has been driven from their homes a quarter are struggling with famine.

David Satterfield, the US envoy for humanitarian issues to the Middle East, said on Friday that Israeli attacks on Hamas-led police guarding aid convoys had led to them blocking the escorts. “virtually impossible” to provide much-needed assistance due to the threat of criminal gangs. He also said Israel has not provided specific evidence to support its claims that Hamas is diverting UN aid.

THE US OPPOSES ANOTHER STATE RESOLUTION

Algeria, the Arab representative on the UN Security Council, circulated a draft resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and unhindered humanitarian access, and rejecting the forced displacement of Palestinian civilians.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement late Saturday that the draft resolution conflicts with Washington’s own efforts to end the fighting and “will not be adopted.”

“It is critical that other parties give this process the best chance for success, rather than taking measures that jeopardize it – and the possibility for a lasting resolution of hostilities,” she said.

The US has used its veto on similar previous resolutions with broad international support, and President Joe Biden has done just that Bypassed Congress to ship weapons to Israel while urging the country to take greater measures to spare civilians and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The US, Qatar and Egypt have tried for weeks to broker a ceasefire and release hostages, but… There is a wide gap between the demands of Israel and Hamas and Qatar said on Saturday that the talks were “not progressing as expected.”

Hamas has said it will not release all remaining hostages without Israel ending the war and withdrawing from Gaza. The country is also demanding the release of hundreds of Palestinians jailed by Israel, including top militants.

Netanyahu has publicly rejected both the demands and any scenario in which Hamas could rebuild its military and administrative capabilities. He said he sent a delegation to ceasefire talks in Cairo last week at Biden’s request, but sees no point in sending them again.

In an interview with Israeli public broadcaster KAN on Saturday, Netanyahu’s national security adviser said military pressure and sticking to a strict line in negotiations could lead Hamas to drop its “absurd demands that no one could accept.”

Tzachi Hanegbi said the US supports Israel’s campaign to destroy Hamas’ capabilities and has not pressured Israel to end the war or withdraw troops from Gaza.

Netanyahu has pushed back against international concerns about a planned Israeli ground offensive in Rafah says residents will be evacuated to safer areas. It is not clear where they will go in the largely destroyed Gaza.

The Israeli leader is also opposed to Palestinian statehood, which the US says is the case a key element in his broader vision for the normalization of relations between Israel and regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia, as well as for Arab investment in the post-war reconstruction and governance of Gaza.

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Magdy reported from Cairo and Goldenberg from Tel Aviv, Israel.

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Find more of AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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