June 18, 2024

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Western leaders pile pressure on Israel to end killing of Gaza civilians

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Israel faced mounting pressure from western allies to end the killing of civilians in Gaza as its bombardment and land offensive forces most hospitals to close and pushes the strip’s health system into collapse. 

French president Emmanuel Macron on Friday urged Israel to stop killing babies and women, as he became the first leader of a big western country to call for a ceasefire after more than a month of heavy fighting.

“De facto — today, civilians are bombed — de facto,” he said in an interview with the BBC. “These babies, these ladies, these old people are bombed and killed. So there is no reason for that and no legitimacy. So we do urge Israel to stop.”

Macron’s comments followed a warning from Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, that “far too many Palestinians” had been killed in the fighting, as the Jewish state stepped up its operations in and around hospitals in Gaza, with the UN saying that “several” had suffered direct hits on Friday.

But Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that world leaders should be condemning Hamas, not Israel, for the harm to civilians.

“It must be remembered that Israel entered the war due to that terrorist organisation’s brutal murder of hundreds of Israelis and holding hostage more than 200 Israelis,” he said.

Arab and Muslim leaders were meeting at an emergency summit in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, where they are expected to reiterate their calls for an immediate ceasefire to the five-week war.

Gaza medical authorities announced on Saturday that the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, the biggest hospital in the enclave, had been forced to suspend operations because it had run out of fuel for its generators.

Speaking from the hospital on Saturday to Jazeera TV against the sound of bombardment, Ashraf al-Qudra, the Gaza health spokesman, said that “the last generator in…

2023-11-11 07:52:17

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