ARAB AND WORLD

Wed 15 May 2024 8:18 pm - Jerusalem Time

Blinken discusses with his Turkish counterpart a possible ceasefire in Gaza

The official spokesman for the US State Department, Matthew Miller, said on Wednesday that “Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke by phone today with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan,” and they apparently discussed the latest developments that Gaza is suffering from in light of the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza.


According to the statement issued by Miller: “Secretary Blinken and Secretary of State Fidan discussed efforts to achieve an immediate ceasefire that would secure the release of the hostages and help alleviate the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza. The two ministers also discussed ongoing efforts to ensure a lasting and lasting peace in the region.”


Minister Blinken stressed the importance of avoiding escalation of the conflict in the Middle East and ensuring increased delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, according to the statement.


Knowing that Miller's statement did not specifically talk about Rafah, Jerusalem knew that Rafah, the Israeli attack, and the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from the besieged city dominated the content of the discussion.


Hundreds of thousands of Gazans fled the southern Rafah area last week, after Israel expanded evacuation orders amid continued bombing and heavy fighting there, and many of them headed to the area that the Israelis designated as a “humanitarian zone,” even though it is overcrowded and lacks adequate medical services. According to a report from the New York Times.


The newspaper reports that maps and analysis of satellite images show that the area along the coast is already crowded, and is often damaged by strikes.


For months, Israeli occupation forces have threatened a comprehensive invasion of Rafah to target Hamas, despite warnings from humanitarian officials, as well as its allies, about the potentially catastrophic toll on civilians.


Israel has been launching military operations in eastern Rafah since last week, describing them as "limited", although they have been intense in recent days.


Health officials said that dozens of Gazans had been killed in Israeli strikes in Rafah since May 6, and the United Nations reported that one of its employees also died, the first international UN employee to be killed since the war began. The United Nations estimated on Tuesday that about 450,000 people had fled Rafah.


Before the war, Rafah was home to less than 300,000 people. After October, Israel launched its barbaric war. Since that time, the fighting forced more than two million Gazans to flee, and many of them ended up in Rafah, which has now turned into a focal point in the Israeli campaign.


Israel said that Rafah is the last stronghold of Hamas, with several brigades holed up in tunnels under the city, but the Palestinian resistance strikes in the north over the past two days prove that Israeli claims in this regard are false.


Last week, Israel seized the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt after Hamas fired rockets from the area and killed four Israeli soldiers.


Satellite images taken after the May 6 incursion show new, widespread damage to the eastern parts of Rafah.


From May 5 to May 7, more than 400 buildings were destroyed in the evacuation zone, according to an analysis of satellite images by The New York Times.


Humanitarian workers say these areas likely contain unexploded ordnance from the war.


The Israeli incursion has had dire consequences for medical workers and patients, doctors and humanitarian groups say. Abu Youssef Al-Najjar Hospital, located in eastern Rafah, has been completely closed.

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Blinken discusses with his Turkish counterpart a possible ceasefire in Gaza

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