Austin presses Israel on civilian deaths as extra hospitals are attacked | EUROtoday

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JERUSALEM — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Israel on Monday in search of to steer Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s authorities to wind down the bloodiest part of its warfare in Gaza, with the dying toll approaching 20,000 and new talks underway on a doable deal to free extra hostages held by Hamas.

American weaponry and public help have performed a key function in Israel’s struggle in opposition to militants, however concern is mounting in Washington and different Western capitals over its army ways and the fast-deteriorating humanitarian state of affairs in Gaza, the place about 2.2 million Palestinian civilians and greater than 100 Israeli hostages are trapped within the battle zone.

In fastidiously balanced remarks from the lectern in Tel Aviv, Austin informed reporters that U.S. help for Israel was “unshakable,” and that bringing hostages house was a precedence for the Biden administration — however that defending civilians all through was a “moral duty and a strategic imperative.”

Unguided ‘dumb bombs’ utilized in nearly half of Israeli strikes on Gaza

A U.S. intelligence evaluation, made public final week, revealed that nearly half of the air-to-ground munitions utilized by Israel in Gaza have been unguided bombs, a ratio that arms consultants and human rights screens mentioned was in all probability contributing to the civilian dying toll.

“We know that the past 72 days have been some of the most painful days in Israel’s history. But it would compound this tragedy if all that was waiting for the Israeli people and your Palestinian neighbors at the end of this awful war was more insecurity, fury and despair,” Austin mentioned.

The protection secretary’s look in Israel, his second because the battle started, was considered one of a string of high-profile visits by U.S. officers in latest days to press the identical message with Israeli counterparts. He met with Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and different prime officers to debate how Israeli forces will transition to the following part of the warfare.

“I’m not here to dictate timelines or terms,” Austin informed reporters. “Our support to Israel’s right to defend itself is ironclad.”

War broke out after a number of thousand Hamas fighters entered Israeli border communities Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 folks in a brutal rampage. At least 240 folks have been taken again to Gaza as hostages, hidden underground and in condo buildings throughout the war-battered enclave.

The information Saturday that three of them had been mistakenly killed by Israeli forces whereas shirtless and carrying white flags in northern Gaza brought about a surge of anger throughout Israel, and added strain on its wartime authorities to barter a brand new hostage launch deal.

After releases, an invisible divide separates Israel’s hostage households

CIA Director William J. Burns, who has emerged as the primary U.S. negotiator within the hostage disaster, held a gathering with Israel’s Mossad spy chief and Qatar’s prime minister in Warsaw on Monday in his newest effort to dealer an settlement, in response to two folks accustomed to the matter.

A U.S. official, talking on the situation of anonymity to debate the key assembly, mentioned the lads additionally met twice final month.

Burns has pushed in earlier conferences for Hamas and Israel to broaden the main target of their ongoing negotiations over captives — at the moment restricted to girls and kids — to embody the discharge of males and army personnel. Some of the remaining American hostages embody males who have been serving within the Israel Defense Forces close to Gaza on Oct. 7.

“I can’t report a date … or tell you in good faith that another deal is imminent,” the National Security Council’s John Kirby informed reporters Monday. “All I can do is assure you, we continue to work this very, very hard.”

The Gaza Health Ministry mentioned Monday that the warfare has killed no less than 19,453 folks, with greater than 52,000 wounded. The community of hospitals to look after them can be underneath assault. At least 18 hospitals have been broken in bombings, in response to Insecurity Insight, a gaggle that researches the influence of armed battle on civilians.

A month after Israeli forces besieged after which stormed Gaza’s largest hospital, different services have skilled an analogous destiny.

World Health Organization Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned Sunday that he was “appalled by the effective destruction” of the Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, which he mentioned had led to the deaths of no less than eight sufferers and had rendered the power nonfunctional.

Israeli forces withdrew Saturday after focusing on the hospital for greater than every week.

“We learned that many patients had to self-evacuate at great risk to their health and safety, with ambulances unable to reach the facility,” he mentioned in an announcement on Xpreviously Twitter. “Of the deceased patients, several died due to lack of adequate health care, including a 9-year-old child.”

Gaza, smashed by Israeli strikes, sees new risk: Disease

Munir al-Bursh, director normal of the Gaza Health Ministry, informed The Washington Post on Sunday that Israeli forces shot at him and a gaggle of medical doctors whereas they have been holding a information convention in entrance of the hospital. Bursh additionally mentioned Israeli forces arrested 70 medical professionals, amongst them the hospital’s director, Ahmed al-Kahlot.

The Post couldn’t independently confirm the claims. The IDF didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The IDF accused Hamas of hiding weapons on the facility and mentioned it detained 90 “Hamas terrorists that were interrogated by security forces.” Hussam Abu Safiya, a pediatric physician, and Mohamed al-Madhoun, a civilian who was sheltering within the hospital, informed The Post that there have been no Hamas fighters or weapons there.

The IDF launched an unverified picture of 4 shirtless males carrying weapons above their heads and recognized the lads as Hamas fighters, which Abu Safiya denied. The Post couldn’t independently confirm the competing claims.

On Sunday, Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra accused the IDF of storming al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza after besieging it for a number of days. Qudra mentioned medical workers have been made to strip and troopers detained an unknown variety of them, together with hospital director Ahmed Muhanna.

“We fear that the occupation forces will repeat the scenario of what happened at Kamal Adwan Hospital,” Qudra mentioned in an announcement.

After 16 years underneath Israeli and Egyptian blockade, most individuals in Gaza have been depending on humanitarian assist earlier than the battle started. The Biden administration has pressured Netanyahu’s authorities to agree to permit assist deliveries into the territory, however aid teams warn that the now-daily circulate of vehicles into Gaza nonetheless quantities to a drop in an ocean of want.

With solely 10 % of crucial meals provides coming into Gaza because the starting of the battle, the World Food Program on Saturday warned of the “immediate possibility” of hunger, highlighting that provides of meals and water have been practically nonexistent in some areas.

In a report Monday, Human Rights Watch accused Israeli officers of pursuing a coverage of hunger, by blocking the supply of water, meals, and gas, whereas impeding humanitarian help and razing agricultural areas.

Tal Heinrich, a spokesperson for the Israeli prime minister’s workplace, described the claims as “ridiculous,” pointing to the truth that 201 truckloads of humanitarian aid had entered Gaza since Sunday, together with by the Kerem Shalom crossing — opened by Israel over the weekend after U.S. strain.

As the warfare more and more spills past Gaza’s borders, the Biden administration can be taking steps to counter a wave of assaults on ships within the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden off Yemen.

Yemen’s Houthi militants have carried out a couple of dozen missile and drone assaults on vessels transiting the world since final month, in response to the Pentagon. At least one ship was hijacked.

Hoping to safeguard international commerce and stanch the unfold of regional violence, Austin on Monday introduced the institution of a multinational activity drive targeted on securing the Red Sea, together with Britain, France and Bahrain, amongst others.

“The recent escalation in reckless Houthi attacks originating from Yemen threatens the free flow of commerce, endangers innocent mariners, and violates international law,” Austin mentioned in an announcement. “This is an international challenge that demands collective action.”

Loveluck reported from London. John Hudson and Missy Ryan in Washington, Meg Kelly in London and Sarah Dadouch in Beirut contributed to this report.

Israel-Gaza warfare

Israeli troopers combating in Gaza mistakenly shot lifeless three Israeli hostages, the IDF mentioned. Follow the newest information on the Israel-Gaza warfare.

A U.S. intelligence evaluation has discovered nearly half of the munitions Israel has utilized in Gaza because the warfare started have been unguided bombs, a ratio that some arms consultants say helps clarify the battle’s huge civilian dying toll.

Hostages: More than 100 held within the Gaza Strip have been launched. Here’s what we find out about these launched by Hamas to this point.

Oct. 7 assault: Hamas spent greater than a yr planning its assault on Israel. A Washington Post video evaluation reveals how Hamas exploited vulnerabilities created by Israel’s reliance on know-how on the “Iron Wall,” the safety barrier across the Gaza Strip, to hold out the deadliest assault in Israel’s historical past. Traders earned thousands and thousands of {dollars} anticipating the Oct. 7 Hamas assault, a examine discovered.

Israeli-Palestinian battle: The Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip has a sophisticated historical past. Understand what’s behind the Israel-Gaza warfare and see the historical past of the Israeli-Palestinian battle.