Israel escalating massacres of civilians – warns Hamas

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A father in a Gaza hospital says goodbye to his child, killed by Israeli bombing

A SENIOR official from Hamas, Basem Naim, said in a statement yesterday that Hamas is open to any initiative to end the war.

‘We affirm our position of categorically rejecting to hold any form of negotiations over prisoners exchange under the continuing Israeli genocidal war,’ he said.

‘We are, however, open to any initiative that contributes to ending the aggression on our people and opening the crossings to bring in aid and provide relief to the Palestinian people,’ he added.

He was responding to a statement from Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who told ambassadors from around the world: ‘Israel is ready for another humanitarian pause and additional humanitarian aid in order to enable the release of hostages.’

Israel was facing another United Nations General Council vote last night in which the overwhelming majority was expected again to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Yesterday morning at least 16 Palestinians were killed and scores wounded in an Israeli air raid on the Jabalia refugee camp, in northern Gaza.

Hamas said: ‘Escalating Israeli massacres against civilians in the Gaza Strip, the latest of which happened on Tuesday morning in Jabalia refugee camp, reflect the criminal policy pursued by the terrorist occupation government.

‘The occupation is trying to carry out a punitive and displacement plan, under the pressure of bombing and massacres and with complete support from the United States administration, which is fully complicit in these crimes.’

Mirjana Spoljaric, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, said there is ‘a lack of everything’ in Gaza. There is a lack of operational space for the humanitarian actors, but most importantly, there is an acute lack of safety and security for people anywhere in Gaza.’

Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) said: ‘At Nasser hospital (in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza), the emergency department is completely full and new patients are being treated on the floor.

‘Doctors are stepping over bodies of dead children to treat other children who will die anyway,’ said Chris Hook, MSF medical team leader in Gaza.

‘The lucky few that survive have life-changing injuries. Many injured people suffer from extreme burns, major fractures that won’t heal properly and may go on to require amputations.’

‘The Palestinians of Gaza are left without the most basic of treatment,’ Dr Ahmed al-Farra, head of paediatrics at Gaza’s Nasser Hospital said.

‘For more than two months, we have not received a single pill or bottle of syrup medication, let alone painkillers or treatment for chronic diseases.’

• ‘We can confirm that 600 Israeli airport staff are now on unpaid leave as air traffic to Israel drops amid the Gaza war,’ the Israel Airports Authority confirmed yesterday.

An additional 1,000 airport staff have have seen their hours reduced by 25 per cent due to the drop in business.