Hamas: “Firing on the crowd waiting for aid in Gaza, twenty dead. We will respect the truce in The Hague if Israel does so”

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By John

In a statement published via his official Telegram channel, Hamas said that if the International Court of Justice orders a ceasefire in Gaza, the Palestinian militiamen will abide by the decision if Israel also respects it. Al Jazeera reports it. The statement also says Hamas will release all hostages if Israel releases currently detained Palestinians. “The Zionist enemy must end its 18-year siege of Gaza and provide all necessary aid to the population,” the statement concludes.

In the chronology of the war in Gaza, conducted without holds barred, a new dark episode enters, although still controversial. The complaint came from Hamas, according to which Israel had fired on the crowd waiting for humanitarian aid in Gaza City, causing a massacre, at least 20 dead and 150 injured. “We are checking”, was the first cautious response filtered out by the army, which has been accused several times in this conflict of not doing enough to protect civilians. Harsh criticism, including from the United States, which at the same time does not give up hope of a truce. The head of the CIA will try in the next few days William Burns, sent into the field by Joe Biden to facilitate the release of all hostages still held. “The Israeli occupation has committed a new massacre against thousands of hungry mouths waiting for humanitarian aid at the Kuwait roundabout”, on the outskirts of Gaza City, “causing 20 martyrs and 150 wounded”, said the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health controlled by Hamas, which in a subsequent statement spoke of a “deliberate” attack on a “gathering of citizens”.

Witnesses interviewed by foreign journalists on site assured that they had been targeted by the Israeliswhile numerous victims were taken to Al Shifa and Al Ahli hospitals. CNN also referred to a video in which dozens of people can be seen fleeing, with the sound of gunshots in the distance, in the same area where the Israeli attack allegedly occurred. Israel neither confirmed nor denied, other than the army’s indication that the allegations were taking place. The news arriving from Gaza City however reported another episode involving civilians on Wednesday: a UNHCR shelter in Khan Yunis hit by two tank hits, with an updated toll of 12 dead and 75 injured. An attack about which the White House expressed “concern”. Reminding Israel that it “retains the responsibility to protect civilians, including humanitarian personnel and sites.” The Jewish state, however, has returned to lashing out against the UN, in particular the WHO. Accused of “ignoring the evidence” that the militiamen use the hospitals of the Strip “for terrorist purposes”. Another effect of the continuation of the war is the increase in protests by the population, both Israeli and Palestinian. To Khan Yunis hundreds of people marched with white flags calling for peace and displaying empty water tanks. Hamas is also in the crosshairs because it would profit from international aid. On the Israeli side, at the Kerem Shalom crossing, the transit of humanitarian convoys was blocked for the second consecutive day by the hostages’ families, who are demanding the release of their relatives. Precisely to break this impasse, Joe Biden has decided to entrust the dossier into the hands of William Burns. The head of the CIA, according to Washington Post sources, will go to Europe in the next few days to meet the heads of Israeli and Egyptian intelligence and the prime minister of Qatar.

The goal is to reach an agreement between Hamas and Israel that would include the release of all remaining hostages and a two-month ceasefire: the longest pause in hostilities since the war in Gaza began. For the head of American intelligence, the road promises to be uphill, because relations between Israel and the Arab countries most involved in mediation appear frosty. As demonstrated by the recent tensions between Benjamin Netanyahu and the Doha government. Another day on the gridiron awaits the Israeli prime minister. In fact, tomorrow we expect a first ruling from the International Court of Justice following the genocide lawsuit brought by South Africa. The Hague will not yet comment on this but could order a ceasefire, to be submitted to the UN Security Council for a vote. Hamas has already made it known that it will respect a possible truce, but only if Israel does too. The Jewish state, meanwhile, has displayed confidence: “We expect the Court to reject the false accusations.”