For the third straight day, Israel attacked new targets in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian territory, this Thursday (11), while armed groups continued to launch rockets into Israeli territory, where warning sirens were triggered in several cities.
The violence in the region has already left a balance of 28 dead – 27 Palestinians and one Israeli -, including 6 children, and 86 wounded, according to local authorities. Among the fatal cases, one occurred in Israel and the rest in Gaza. At least 10 dead were civilians, which the United Nations called unacceptable. Itamaraty condemned the Israeli attacks.
The tension began last Tuesday with attacks by Israel against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement – one of the Palestinian resistance groups that operate in the occupied territory, like Hamas – but is considered “terrorist” by Israel, the European Union and the United States.
On Wednesday, rocket fire began in the direction of Israel: 507 in all, 154 of which were intercepted by the anti-aircraft defense system, according to the Israeli army. Hamas said the rocket launches were part of the “unified resistance” and constituted a response to the “massacres” carried out by Israel.
Before daybreak on Thursday, Israel attacked the top floor of a building in Khan Yunis, in southern Gaza, killing three Islamic Jihad members, including Ali Hassan Ghali, believed to be the leader of the rocket launch programme.
According to the Israeli army, there is a launching pad for the Jihad. The attacks, which killed seven other people, have raised fears that the violence will spread further. Hours later, a man became the first fatal victim on the Israeli side, after a rocket hit a building in Rehovot, a city in the central region of the country. Five other people were injured.
On Thursday, both sides vowed to react firmly to incoming attacks. Israel, which maintains a strict blockade over part of the Gaza Strip, keeps its borders closed. Iran’s government, which supports Islamic Jihad, denounced what it called “atrocities”. Egypt, the usual mediator between Israel and Gaza’s armed groups, is trying to negotiate a ceasefire.
Two years ago, an 11-day war between Hamas and Israel spurred Israeli Arab citizens to rise up in support of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. The violence left 260 Palestinians and 14 Israelis dead. Shortly afterwards, the extreme right grew politically, so much so that today it is a central part of the coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned Israel’s bombing of residential areas in the Gaza Strip. Read the note, released on Tuesday (9), in full:
The Brazilian government became aware, with consternation, of the bombing carried out at dawn today by the Israeli Air Force on residential areas in the Gaza Strip, in the State of Palestine, causing the death of at least 13 Palestinian citizens, including 10 civilians, among which children.
The Brazilian government expresses condolences to the families of the victims and expresses its solidarity with the people and government of the State of Palestine.
Brazil regrets that in 2023, the year of the 30th anniversary of the Oslo Peace Accords, more than 100 Palestinians and more than 15 Israelis have died in conflict. By reiterating that there is no justification for resorting to violence, especially against civilians, the Brazilian government appeals to the parties to refrain from actions that lead to an escalation of tension.
Brazil reiterates its commitment to international law, international humanitarian law and the two-state solution, so that Palestine and Israel can live together in peace and security, within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders. It also reaffirms that the mere management of the conflict does not constitute a viable alternative for dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and that the resumption of peace negotiations is urgent.
(With information from BBC News and the newspapers O Globo and Washington Post)
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho