Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Israel conducted new air strikes on Gaza on Tuesday, coinciding with global efforts to negotiate a ceasefire before a crucial UN Security Council vote. The United Nations raised concerns about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza, warning of potential famine-related child fatalities.

According to UN estimates, four months of relentless conflict have devastated much of Gaza, leaving 2.2 million people on the brink of famine and displacing three-quarters of the population. Palestinian voices, such as that of Dr. Ahmad Moghrabi from Khan Yunis, underscored the urgent need for intervention to halt the mounting casualties and devastation.

Despite international efforts, including a collective call from EU members for an “immediate humanitarian pause,” the path to a ceasefire remains elusive. Israel’s impending deadline for a ground incursion, set to coincide with the start of Ramadan around March 10, adds further urgency to the negotiations.

At the UN Security Council, competing ceasefire proposals have emerged. While Algeria’s proposal demands an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the release of hostages, the United States has introduced an alternative draft emphasizing support for a temporary ceasefire and expressing concern for the potential civilian harm in Rafah.

However, negotiations have stalled, with Hamas demanding increased aid access to Gaza, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejects negotiations involving recognition of a Palestinian state. Protests in Israel, both at the Egypt-Gaza border and outside Netanyahu’s residence, reflect growing public frustration over the handling of the crisis.

The conflict, which erupted after Hamas’s attack on October 7, has resulted in significant casualties on both sides, with civilians bearing the brunt of the violence. As Israel intensifies its military operations in Gaza, concerns mount over the humanitarian toll, with civilians facing the dual threats of hunger and bombardment.

Amid allegations of human rights abuses, including killings and sexual assault, UN rights experts have called for an independent investigation. Israel has vehemently denied these accusations, further complicating efforts to address the crisis and negotiate a sustainable ceasefire.

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