In the Gaza Strip, the war has entered its fourth month. Since the beginning, Israeli military operations have left 23,084 dead in Gaza, mostly women and minors, according to a latest report on Monday from Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007. This report could not be verified in any way. independent.

Israel vowed to “destroy” the Islamist movement – ​​considered terrorist by Israel, the United States and the European Union – after its attack on Israeli soil on October 7, which left some 1,140 dead, mainly civilians. , according to a count by Agence France-Presse (AFP) based on the Israeli assessment. Around 250 people were taken hostage; around a hundred of them were released during a truce at the end of November. In total, 132 are still held hostage by different Palestinian armed groups. On Monday, Islamic Jihad released a video of a living Israeli hostage.

The bombings razed entire neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip, displaced 85% of the population and caused a catastrophic humanitarian crisis according to the UN. In recent hours, the Israeli army struck Khan Younes, the main city in southern Gaza and the new epicenter of the fighting, killing “ten terrorists preparing to fire rockets at Israel”.

The head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, is expected in Israel to try to obtain a de-escalation of the war in Gaza and prevent a rise in tensions in the region, in particular on the Israeli-Lebanese border. On Saturday, in Beirut, the head of diplomacy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, declared that Lebanon should not be “dragged into a regional conflict”.

According to American officials, Mr. Blinken’s trip aims to press Israel – which Washington supports politically and militarily – to enter a new military phase less costly in Palestinian lives, and to initiate a dialogue in the region on the post-war period. war.

Arriving in Saudi Arabia on Monday afternoon, the head of American diplomacy met the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed Ben Salman, whose country had announced at the start of the war that it was suspending negotiations on possible normalization with Israel.

On Monday, a Hezbollah military official was killed about ten kilometers from the border with Israel. He “played a leading role in directing operations” in southern Lebanon, the scene of almost daily clashes between the pro-Iranian Lebanese movement and the Israeli army, according to a Lebanese security source. He was killed “in an Israeli strike which targeted his car in the village of Khirbet Selm”, about ten kilometers from the border with Israel, added the same source, who requested anonymity.

According to Hezbollah, this is “Commander Wissam Hassan Tawil”, the highest military official of this formation killed since it opened a front with Israel to support Palestinian Hamas.

“The war has changed stages,” Israel’s top military spokesman, Daniel Hagari, said in an interview with The New York Times on Monday. “But the transition will be unceremonious,” he added. “It’s not about making spectacular announcements.” Hagari said the Israeli campaign had already begun transitioning this month to an offensive that would involve “fewer ground troops and airstrikes.” “The army is moving towards more targeted raids rather than large-scale maneuvers,” Mr. Hagari said.

The Israeli military spokesperson later added that Israel would now focus on the group’s southern and central strongholds, particularly around the towns of Khan Yunis and Deir Al-Balah. He said Israel also aims to allow “more humanitarian aid, including tents to house displaced people,” into Gaza, according to the New York Times.

But it is “far from obvious” that the new phase of the Israeli offensive will be less dangerous for Gazan civilians, according to the American media.

Two family members of the head of the Gaza bureau of Al-Jazeera media, Wael Al-Dahdouh, were killed Monday in a strike on their vehicle in Rafah, in the south of the territory, the Hamas health ministry announced .

The Israeli army “murdered three citizens by targeting a civilian car,” a ministry spokesperson said, specifying that there were three deaths and offering condolences to Wael Al-Dahdouh, including the wife and three of his children have been killed since the start of the war. The journalist confirmed to Agence France-Presse that Mohammed and Ahmed Al-Dahdouh, two brothers, were his nephews.

Having become the incarnation of Palestinian journalists covering the war in Gaza, Wael Al-Dahdouh, who had already lost his wife and two of his children at the end of October in an Israeli strike, was again mourned on Sunday by the death of his son Hamza Wael Al -Dahdouh, who also worked for the Qatari channel. He was killed with his colleague Moustafa Thuraya in a strike on their car in the south of the Palestinian territory, subjected to relentless shelling by Israeli forces in retaliation for Hamas attacks on October 7. A third journalist, Hazem Rajab, was seriously injured. The driver of the car was also injured.

The Israeli army declared to AFP that it had “hit a terrorist who was piloting a flying device representing a threat to the troops”, adding that it was “aware of information according to which, during the strike, two other suspects who were in the same vehicle had also been hit.”

After the deaths of its two journalists, Al-Jazeera accused Israel of “targeting” Palestinian journalists in Gaza. On Monday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was “very concerned about the high death toll of journalists in Gaza, calling for the killings of all journalists to be addressed of a “thorough investigation.”

In the besieged Gaza Strip, international organizations continue to warn of the ongoing health disaster, with humanitarian aid arriving in dribs and drabs, despite a UN Security Council resolution requesting the delivery of ‘help.

Rik Peeperkorn, representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Palestinian territories, pleaded with AFP on Monday for a “humanitarian ceasefire, the only way to respond to the desperate needs” of Gazans .

Joe Biden, briefly interrupted during a speech by demonstrators calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, also said Monday that he was “working discreetly” so that Israel “significantly reduces” its presence in the Palestinian territory.

The WHO announced on X the cancellation for the fourth time since the end of December of a delivery of urgent medical supplies to northern Gaza, due to lack of security guarantees. The Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem, for its part, accused Israel of “starving Gaza”, calling for an opening of the floodgates of food aid, in a new report on Monday.

The conflict has also increased violence to a level not seen in nearly twenty years in the West Bank, territory occupied by Israel since 1967. Nine Palestinians were killed there on Sunday, including seven in an Israeli raid in Jenin, a stronghold of Palestinian armed factions where the violence also caused the death of an Israeli police officer and an Israeli civilian.

On Israel’s northern border, the army again fired shots towards southern Lebanon on Monday morning, according to images from AFPTV. During the night, she claimed to have carried out air raids against two Hezbollah sites.

Clashes in this area intensified after the assassination, attributed to Israel, on Tuesday, near Beirut, of Saleh Al-Arouri, number two in Hamas. Since the start of the war, cross-border hostilities have left more than 180 dead in Lebanon, including more than 135 Hezbollah fighters, according to an AFP count. On the Israeli side, nine soldiers and five civilians were killed, according to the authorities.