The war in Gaza Strip welcomed the new year with the firing of rockets Hamas against Tel Aviv just as the clock struck midnight, while Israel continued its bombardment of Palestinian territory.
The warning sirens sounded in Israel at the beginning of 2024, and journalists from several news agencies stationed in Tel Aviv witnessed when the defense systems They intercepted the rockets in the sky, sending some revelers running for cover while others continued celebrating.
“I’m terrified, my heart is racing”said Gabriel Zemelman, 26, who came to celebrate with his friends on a lively street in Tel Aviv.
The brigades Ezzedine al-Qassamarmed wing of the terrorist group Hamas, claimed responsibility for the attack M90 rockets carried out in “response to the massacre of civilians” perpetrated by Israel.
The Israeli army confirmed the attack without initially reporting casualties or damage.
Amid the festive atmosphere, Ran Stahl, a 24-year-old waiter, didn’t feel like celebrating since one of his friends died at the music festival. Tribe of Nova during the attacks of October 7 of Hamas.
“As soon as I start dancing, I feel guilty, the sadness and pain return,” said the young man, who came to work in the bar area of Tel Aviv.
Meanwhile, in Gaza, night bombings of Israel killed at least 24 people, according to the Ministry of Health in charge of the Palestinian terrorist group, in attacks across the territory.
The nearly three-month war in Gaza was sparked by the bloody Hamas attacks on October 7 that left 1,140 deadmostly civilians, according to a count by the AFP based on Israeli figures. Among the dead there are more than 300 soldiers.
The Islamist group also took some 250 hostages, most of whom remain captive in Gaza, according to Israel.
In response, Israel launched a relentless offensive in the Gaza Strip which left large areas of the territory in ruins and killed at least 21,822 peoplemostly women and children, according to the territory’s Ministry of Health.
He israeli army It says 172 of its soldiers have died in Gaza, with no indication the conflict will end.
The first Minister, Benjamin Netanyahuwarned Saturday that the fighting will last “many months until Hamas is eliminated and the hostages returned.”
In the besieged Gaza Strip, where according to UN 85% of the population has been displaced, Hamdan Abu Arab 20 years old says he hopes that “2024 will be better.”
“A moment ago I was talking to my friends and we remembered how (…) we went out and enjoyed the last day of the year. But this new year there are only missiles and remains of people,” she lamented.
The siege imposed by Israel left Gazans short of food, water, medicine and fuel.
The Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterrescondemned the “epic human suffering” faced by Palestinian civilians, while the World Health Organization (WHO) warned of the risk of infectious diseases.
“We are exhausted, we have been displaced five times in this war,” said Bassam Hana, 29 years old.
“We hope that things will improve in 2024 and that we will live like any other human being. “Now we live like animals.”
For his part, the Israeli military spokesman, Daniel Hagaricommented that on Sunday night several Islamist fighters died or were captured that day in fighting in Khan Younisin southern Gaza.
“We continue to take care of the underground tunnels and attack the rocket launch batteries to reduce launches into the State of Israel,” he added.
While, international mediators Efforts to reach a new pause in the war continue.
A Hamas delegation visited Cairo on Friday to discuss an Egyptian plan for rolling truces, staggered release of hostages in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners, and an end to the war, sources close to the terrorists said.
His allies of the Islamic Jihad They said Saturday that Palestinian factions are “in the process” of evaluating the proposal and would respond soon.
The war in Gaza raised fears of a broader regional conflict, with clashes in neighboring countries with groups often backed by Iran.
The Israeli army announced Sunday night that it intercepted two “hostile aircraft” launched from Syria towards northern Israel. It previously reported launches from Lebanon.
“Throughout the day, IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) tanks and helicopters attacked three terrorist squads in Lebanon,” the army said in a statement.
And in the Red Sea, the United States announced Sunday that its helicopters fired on Houthi rebel boats off the coast of Yemen that were attacking a cargo ship.
Sources in Yemen stated that 10 rebels were killed in the events.