February, 22, 2024
Gaza Conflict: Strikes, Aid Dispute, and Mediation

Gaza Conflict: Strikes, Aid Dispute, and Mediation

Infostani International: In the tumultuous backdrop of ongoing hostilities between Israel and Gaza, recent Israeli air strikes in southern Gaza have claimed 125 lives, intensifying the focus on Khan Yunis, the region’s main city. Amidst the conflict, a bitter dispute over funding for the UN agency aiding Palestinian refugees has emerged, further escalating tensions. As mediation efforts strive for a ceasefire, the situation unfolds with reports of extensive damage, humanitarian concerns, and geopolitical ramifications.

Escalating Crisis in Gaza: Israeli Air Strikes Claim 125 Lives, UNRWA Funding Suspended, and Hospitals Under Fire

Israeli air strikes in Gaza have resulted in 125 deaths, mainly concentrated in Khan Yunis, the primary city in southern Gaza. The Israeli army has initiated actions to flood Hamas tunnels, and ongoing mediation efforts are underway to cease the hostilities that have persisted for nearly four months.

A dispute over the main aid organization for Palestinians, UNRWA, has escalated, leading major donors like the United States and Germany to suspend funding. This move is based on accusations of UNRWA staff involvement in the October 7 raids in Israel. UN agencies warn that withholding funds could lead to the collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza.

In Khan Yunis, constant air raids and shelling have devastated large areas, including the Nasser Hospital, where thousands of displaced Palestinians sought shelter. Witnesses report people fleeing the city amid artillery fire and airstrikes. The Palestinian Red Crescent notes ongoing Israeli shelling and gunfire around another hospital in Khan Yunis, causing anxiety among staff, patients, and displaced individuals.

Gaza Conflict: Strikes, Aid Dispute, and Mediation
Embattled UN agency warns its aid operation in Gaza is ‘collapsing’ over a wave of funding cuts

Developments in Gaza: Israeli Military Operations, Mediation Efforts, and Regional Dynamics

The Israeli military claims to have killed 15 “terrorists” in northern Gaza and captured 10 “militants” during an attack on a school. It also acknowledges the beginning to flood tunnels to neutralize the threat of Hamas’s subterranean network.

Mediation efforts, spurred by a meeting of US, Israeli, Egyptian, and Qatari officials, have proposed a framework for a new truce and prisoner release. Qatar expresses hope that the negotiations might lead to a permanent ceasefire. Hamas is open to discussing various issues, including a prisoner exchange and Gaza Strip reconstruction, while demanding a complete cessation of Israeli aggression and troop withdrawal from Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejects the release of “thousands” of Palestinian prisoners and emphasizes that the army will not withdraw from Gaza. In a related development, Kataeb Hezbollah in Iraq announces a halt to attacks on US occupation forces. Meanwhile, the US and Britain launched air strikes against Yemen’s Houthis, who retaliated by firing missiles at a US warship in the Red Sea.