Find here our situation update published yesterday.

In Khan Younes, the Israeli army announced that it had “eliminated terrorists” and discovered on Saturday a tunnel in which “around twenty hostages” had been locked up with “little oxygen and terrible humidity”. The soldiers found drawings there made by a five-year-old captive child. The army is also carrying out operations around Jabaliya, in northern Gaza, according to witnesses consulted by Agence France-Presse (AFP).

On the ground, Hamas reported numerous airstrikes and artillery fire, notably in Khan Younes, the large southern city, now the epicenter of the fighting on the 107th day of war. On Sunday, dozens of displaced people, cans in hand, waited during a water distribution organized by Doctors Without Borders in Rafah, in the far south of Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of people have taken refuge, noted Agence France-Presse. In a territory devastated by fighting, the population is exposed to the risk of famine and epidemics, warns the United Nations (UN), according to which at least 1.7 of the approximately 2.4 million inhabitants have been displaced. .

According to the Hamas health ministry, there has been “no progress” in increasing humanitarian aid deliveries to the besieged territory, with the Israeli government remaining deaf to international pressure for a humanitarian ceasefire.

Delivering its “version of events” for the first time, Hamas acknowledged that “perhaps mistakes took place” in the “chaos” caused by the “sudden collapse of the security and military apparatus” at the border between Israel and Gaza, Sunday. However, he denied having targeted civilians, except “by accident, and during confrontations with the occupying forces.” For the organization classified as terrorist in the European Union, the United States and Israel, the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation was a “necessary step” and a “normal response” to “all Israeli plots against the Palestinian people.”

In its document, Hamas demands “an immediate end to Israeli aggression” while Israel, which aims to “annihilate” the Islamist movement in Gaza, refuses any end to the fighting without the release of the hostages. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video that he “categorically” rejected Palestinian Hamas’ conditions for freeing the hostages, after the publication of this report.

Hamas also asserts that the “Palestinian people” can “decide on the future” of the territory and rejects “international or Israeli projects”. On Saturday, Mr. Netanyahu refused future “sovereignty” for the Palestinians over the coastal strip, where Hamas took power in 2007.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, based in Qatar, met Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in Turkey on Saturday, diplomatic sources announced on Sunday without specifying the exact location of the meeting. The “release of the hostages” and “the establishment of a ceasefire as quickly as possible” were at the heart of the discussions, according to these sources. The last official contact, by telephone, between the two officials dates back to October 16.

From the start of the conflict, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered to mediate between Hamas, a “liberation movement” according to him, and Israel, which he has repeatedly described as a “terrorist state”. But the discussions have so far been mainly led by Qatar and Egypt.

Despite Ankara’s fervent support for the Palestinian cause, Turkish authorities had discreetly asked Hamas officials present in Turkey to leave its territory after the unprecedented attack on October 7 on Israeli soil.

On Saturday, pro-Iran fighters attacked a base in Iraq housing US and international coalition troops, a senior US official said on Sunday. “This was a very serious attack, using ballistic missiles that posed a real threat,” Jon Finer, one of US President Joe Biden’s national security advisers, said in an ABC interview.

All missiles targeting the al-Assad air base in western Iraq could not be stopped by air defense systems, and at least one Iraqi soldier was injured, according to the US Middle East Military Command (Centcom).

“The United States has shown in the past that when these attacks have occurred in Iraq and Syria, we respond when we believe it is necessary,” he added. “We will have more to say on the subject very soon. » The attack was claimed by the “Islamic Resistance in Iraq”, a network of fighters from pro-Iran armed groups.

“Sergeant Shay Levinson, 19, fell on October 7” and “his body is in the hands of Hamas,” the Islamist movement that took power in Gaza in 2007, the army said in a statement. The young man lived in Givat Avni, a village in northern Israel, and served in a combat unit.

This announcement brings to 28 the number of hostages who have been killed and whose bodies are being held in the Gaza Strip, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse based on Israeli data.

The Hamas attack resulted in the deaths of around 1,140 people on the Israeli side, the majority civilians killed on October 7, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli figures. Around a hundred were released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners during a truce in fighting at the end of November. According to the results of the Israeli authorities, 132 are still in Gaza.

The French Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, meets families of Hamas hostages in Israel on Monday, before meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and several members of the war cabinet. Emmanuel Macron recently called for “resuming negotiations again and again for [the] release” of Hamas hostages. Three French people are still “disappeared”, probably hostages in Palestinian territory.

The discussions will focus “on the situation in Gaza, on efforts to obtain the release of French hostages and missing persons, on the protection of civilian populations and the humanitarian support provided by France” but also on efforts to avoid a “regional escalation, notably in Lebanon and the Red Sea”, where Yemeni Houthi rebels are carrying out attacks against ships, the French minister’s office said on Sunday.

This is the second visit by the French Minister of the Armed Forces to Israel since the start of the war triggered by the attack of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on Israeli soil on October 7. During this previous tour, Sébastien Lecornu visited, in addition to Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He also later traveled to the Dixmude helicopter carrier moored in Egypt near Gaza and where Palestinian civilians are being treated, then to southern Lebanon where 700 French soldiers from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon are deployed, the UN mission which acts as a buffer between Lebanon and Israel.