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Israeli army announces daily ‘tactical pause’ in Gaza

An 11-hour window will allow aid deliveries into the southern part of the war-torn Palestinian enclave, the IDF has said

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has revealed plans for pauses in its military operation for several hours each day in areas of southern Gaza, citing the need to allow humanitarian aid to be delivered to the Palestinians.

According to a statement released on Sunday, daily ‘tactical pauses’ will be carried out between 8:00am and 7:00pm along a road running from the Kerem Shalom crossing to the Salah al-Din Road, and then northward toward the Khan Younis area.

The crossing has suffered from a bottleneck since Israeli ground troops moved into Rafah in early May despite condemnation from the US, UN, and other countries and international organizations.

“This is an additional step in the humanitarian aid efforts that have been conducted by the IDF and COGAT since the beginning of the war,” the IDF said, adding that the first pause was made on Saturday.

The measure, which is being coordinated with the UN and international aid agencies, will be in effect until further notice, the IDF said.

West Jerusalem launched a large-scale military operation in the Palestinian enclave in October last year, shortly after Hamas fighters conducted surprise attacks on villages in southern Israel, killing over 1,000 people and taking around 250 hostages back to Gaza. Over 37,200 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 85,000 have been injured since the conflict broke out, according to the Gaza health authorities.

In November, Israel and Palestine agreed to a week-long ceasefire, during which nearly half of the hostages were traded for Palestinian prisoners and humanitarian aid was allowed to enter Gaza. On December 1, the IDF resumed the military operation after accusing Hamas of violating the truce.

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Due to the hostilities, the flow of humanitarian aid in southern Gaza has dropped, while over a million Palestinians fled Rafah after Israel launched an assault on the city last month.

In June, the UN added the IDF alongside Hamas and Islamic Jihad to its global list of offenders that have committed violations against children. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz slammed the move, calling it “anti-Semitic” and saying it “will have consequences for Israel’s relations with the UN.”

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan, stated that he is seeking arrest warrants for several senior Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. Khan said they are responsible for “causing extermination, causing starvation as a method of war including the denial of humanitarian relief supplies, deliberately targeting civilians in conflict.” Netanyahu accused the ICC of trying to prevent Israel from defending itself against terrorism.

June 16, 2024 at 02:03PM
RT

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