Bombings and fighting between the Israeli army and Hamas left dozens dead in twenty-four hours in the Gaza Strip, where the Palestinian Islamist movement said on Tuesday, January 30, that it was examining a proposed truce agreement. with Israel.

Faced with the risks of the conflict expanding, American President Joe Biden assured that he was not “seeking” a “wider war in the Middle East”. Fears of a conflagration resurfaced after a drone strike, attributed to pro-Iranian fighters, which killed three American soldiers on Sunday in Jordan, near the Syrian border. Mr. Biden said he considered Iran “responsible” for providing the weaponry needed for the strike and had decided how to retaliate, without elaborating.

The war in Gaza is also fueling violence in the West Bank, a Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, where a commando of Israeli forces killed three Palestinians presented as “terrorists” in Jenin. According to Palestinian sources, they were “shot” in a hospital by soldiers disguised as caregivers, carrying weapons equipped with silencers.

After almost four months of war, the exiled leader of Hamas, Ismaïl Haniyeh, based in Qatar, affirmed that his movement had received a truce proposal with Israel, the result of a meeting in Paris between the director of the CIA, William Burns, and Egyptian, Israeli and Qatari officials. “Hamas is examining the proposal that circulated during the meeting” in Paris and is preparing its response, according to a statement in Gaza from the movement, considered a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel.

The Prime Minister of Qatar, Mohammed Ben Abderrahmane Al Thani, whose country is the main mediator in this conflict, announced Monday that a framework for a truce accompanied by new releases of hostages would be transmitted to Hamas, reporting “progress notables” at the meeting in Paris.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, affirmed that Israel would not “withdraw the army from the Gaza Strip” and would not release “thousands of Palestinian terrorists” in exchange for hostages.

The civilian aid operations of the United Nations (UN) agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) are now under threat after Israel accused twelve of its 30,000 regional staff of involvement in the attack on 7 october. Twelve countries have announced the suspension of their aid to UNRWA.

This controversy, “as important as it is, distracts attention from the nearly 27,000 deaths, 70% of them women and children” in Gaza, lamented a spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO). ), Christian Lindmeier, in Geneva. “This distracts from the fact that an entire population is prevented from having access to drinking water, to food, to shelter”, and “is subjected to continuous bombardment”, he insisted .

“There is in no way an organization that can replace or substitute for the enormous capacity, the fabric of UNRWA, and their knowledge of the people of Gaza,” said the UN humanitarian coordinator. UN for the territory, Sigrid Kaag, to the press, after a closed meeting of the Security Council.

The Israeli government has accused the UN agency for Palestinian refugees of being “fundamentally compromised”, in particular by letting the Islamist movement Hamas “use its infrastructure” to carry out its military activities and “hide terrorists”.

The Israeli army admitted sending “large volumes of water” into tunnels used by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip to “neutralize” them, ensuring that it did not compromise access to drinking water. of the civilian population. “Various tools have been developed to send large volumes of water into the tunnels (…),” the army added in a statement.

“This capacity has been professionally developed, including analysis of soil and pipe characteristics” in the affected areas to ensure there is no damage to groundwater, she said. clarified, referring to a method used only in places where it was “appropriate”.

Nicknamed “the Gaza Metro” by the Israeli military, the maze of tunnels dug by Hamas under the Gaza Strip was first used to circumvent the blockade imposed by Israel after Hamas took power in the territory in 2007 Hundreds of galleries have been dug under the border with Egyptian Sinai to circulate people, goods, weapons and ammunition between Gaza and the outside world.

Dozens of bodies were buried in a mass grave in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, after Israel returned the remains of exhumed Palestinians, according to Palestinian officials, to Agence France-Presse (AFP). An AFP photographer saw residents taking bodies wrapped in blue plastic bags out of a truck to transport them to a mass grave.

Employees of the health ministry in the Hamas-administered Gaza Strip then buried them near the tents of people displaced by the war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.

According to a source in the Hamas Ministry of Religious Affairs, the bodies were “stolen” from the Bani Suheila cemetery, east of Khan Younes, two weeks ago.