Violence flares in Rafah, Gaza, as US urges restraint by Israel in Lebanon

News Desk6 days ago

But days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted that the war’s “intense phase” was coming to an end and as his defense minister traveled to Washington for crisis talks, Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip seemed to abate.

Following an increase in cross-border fire, Israel’s main ally, the United States, cautioned it about the possibility of a major conflict against Hezbollah, a militant organization supported by Iran, in Lebanon as the war in Gaza approaches its tenth month.
“It would not be difficult for another war between Israel and Hezbollah to turn into a regional conflict with dire consequences for the Middle East,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned his Israeli colleague Yoav Gallant during their visit.

According to Austin, “diplomacy is by far the best way to prevent more escalation.”

Leading Israeli figures, such as Netanyahu, have indicated that they are amenable to a diplomatic settlement of the border disputes; but, Gallant stated that Israel has to be prepared for “every conceivable scenario.”

Following the announcement last week by the Israeli military that plans for an operation in Lebanon had been “approved and validated,” Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, issued new threats.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called for “extreme restraint” and cautioned that any “miscalculation” may lead to all-out conflict on Tuesday in Beirut.

Meanwhile, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly advised her country’s nationals living in Lebanon to depart “while they can” out of caution.

Read more: Death Toll Rises to 22 in Shelling Incident Near Gaza Red Cross office

Witnesses in Rafah, on the border between Gaza and Egypt, reported fighting during the night, and the Israeli military claimed that one of its aircrafts hit a rocket launch point.

Ten Gazan children lose one or both legs every day, according to UN agencies, while half a million Palestinians in the besieged area endure “catastrophic” malnutrition.

Three children were among the at least four persons who died in an early hit on Wednesday that targeted a house in Beit Lahia, in the north, according to the hospital doctors and the civil defense service in Hamas-run Gaza.

Humanitarian organizations and the UN have regularly expressed concern that relief workers are not secure in Gaza, which is hindering their vitally needed efforts to provide aid to the 2.4 million people living there.

Approximately a dozen employees of UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, were charged by Israel earlier in the conflict of being involved in Hamas’s October 7 attack and having ties to “terrorist” activities.

Although most have since resumed it, the Israeli claims have caused a number of significant donors to halt funding for UNRWA, which is essential to humanitarian activities. According to an impartial assessment, Israel did not present sufficient proof to back up its claims.

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