Israel Continues Raids Amid Gaza Ceasefire, Kills Eight Palestinians
Despite the ongoing truce, Israeli forces have killed at least eight Palestinians, including a child, in multiple raids in the occupied West Bank in the past 24 hours. The raids raise concerns about the validity of the ceasefire in effect.
A Palestinian farmer was killed, and another injured in the Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza despite the truce. The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that the Israeli army besieged two hospitals in the West Bank during the raids.
The prisoner exchange, scheduled for the second day of a four-day truce, was delayed due to Hamas allegations of Israeli violations, stalling progress in the talks.
Israel has killed more than 14,800 Palestinians, mostly women and children, since 7 October, in contrast to the official death toll in Israel standing at 1,200. The Palestinian death toll continues to increase despite the ceasefire in effect.
Senior Palestinian commander Ahmed al-Ghandour, in charge of northern Gaza, was confirmed as one of the casualties of the conflict, alongside three other military leaders.
On the first day of the truce, 39 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were released. It marked the first peaceful night in the region after seven weeks of the Israel-Hamas war.
The exchange also included the release of 10 Thais and 1 Filipino held captive in Gaza. A second list of captives was scheduled to be released on the second day of the four-day truce.
Israel reportedly received a second list of 13 captives to be released by Palestine. Most of the Israelis freed on Friday appeared to be in good physical health.
The release process involves the captives being transferred to the Rafah Crossing by the Red Cross, where the Israeli military conducts an initial medical check at an airbase in southern Israel. The captives are then flown by helicopter to various hospitals around Tel Aviv.
Meanwhile, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar’s social media post drew the ire of Israeli officials. Varadkar’s remarks about a Palestinian child held captive sparked controversy, leading to the Israeli Foreign Ministry summoning Ireland’s ambassador.
Spain summoned the Israeli ambassador over Israel’s actions in Gaza. In response, Israel summoned the Spanish and Belgian ambassadors.
The ceasefire, which provides relief for families, is only set to last four days. A possibility exists that the war may intensify even if the ceasefire is extended.
The UN reported intense Israeli bombardments in Gaza just before the truce began.
The region experienced the heaviest Israeli artillery bombardment, tank fire, and troop operations hours before the ceasefire came into effect. The Jabalia refugee camp bore the brunt of the assault according to the UN reports.
Israeli forces opened fire and launched tear gas canisters on the first day of the truce, resulting in at least one Palestinian death and dozens of injuries. These clashes erupted as people attempted to move from southern Gaza back to their homes in the northern regions.
Several areas across Rafah in the south were burdened with sewage flowing in the streets due to fuel shortages affecting a wastewater treatment facility.
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