Home News Is­rael’s war on Gaza: List of key events, day 167 | Israel War on Gaza News

Is­rael’s war on Gaza: List of key events, day 167 | Israel War on Gaza News

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Is­rael’s war on Gaza: List of key events, day 167 | Israel War on Gaza News

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has begun a tour of the Middle East hoping to secure a ceasefire in Israel’s war on Gaza.

Here’s how things stand on Thursday, March 21, 2024:

Fighting and humanitarian crisis

  • Israel’s military said on Wednesday it had killed about 90 gunmen and arrested 160 in a raid on Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital, an allegation the Palestinian group Hamas denied.
  • Al-Shifa, the Gaza Strip’s biggest hospital before the war, is now one of the few healthcare facilities partially operational in the north of the territory and had also been housing displaced civilians.
  • Separately, Israeli authorities ordered 25 patients who had been receiving treatment in hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem to return to Gaza on Wednesday, the UN office for humanitarian affairs (OCHA) reported on Wednesday.
  • On a video call with US Republican senators on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu estimated the death toll in Gaza at 28,000, Senator Josh Hawley told The New York Times. In January, Israeli intelligence officials admitted Gaza’s Ministry of Health’s death toll figures are accurate.
  • That figure places the number killed in the besieged enclave since Israel began its offensive in October at 4,000 lower than Gaza’s Health Ministry, which estimates at least 31,923 deaths as of March 20. The United Nations and international humanitarian organisations and experts consider the Gaza Health Ministry toll reliable.

Diplomacy and regional tensions

  • Hamas senior official Osama Hamdan said on Wednesday that the Israeli response to its latest Gaza ceasefire proposal was “negative”, making it likely talks in Qatar would again fail to yield an agreement.
  • Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken began a tour of the Middle East by holding talks in Saudi Arabia, hoping to secure a ceasefire in Israel’s war on Gaza.
  • In Saudi Arabia, Blinken said he believed “the gaps are narrowing” and a ceasefire agreement is “very much possible”, the Saudi news channel Al Hadath reported on Wednesday.
  • On Wednesday, Netanyahu told US Republican senators that Israel will continue its efforts to defeat Hamas in Gaza, after the Israeli prime minister addressed them via videolink.
  • Separately, the US military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that it destroyed an unmanned aerial vehicle and an unmanned surface vessel launched on Wednesday from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen into the Red Sea.
  • A small group of Israeli protesters picketed outside the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) office in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday calling for the organisation to be disbanded.
  • Almost 70 former US officials, diplomats and military officers have urged President Joe Biden to take a firmer stance with Israel over its actions in Gaza, as well as the expansion of settlements and failure to respect civil liberties in the occupied West Bank.

Violence in the occupied West Bank

  • Two Palestinian men were killed by an Israeli drone attack on Nur Shams refugee camp in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, the Palestinian Red Crescent has said, according to the Wafa news agency.
  • Dozens of mourners gathered in the village of Aqraba, near the West Bank city of Nablus, on Wednesday for the funeral of Fakher Basem Bani Jaber. The 40-year-old Palestinian man was shot in the back a day earlier by an Israeli settler near the village of Yanun, southeast of Nablus, the Wafa news agency reported.

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