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    EU states call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza


    The impending offensive in Rafah is leading to clear words from Brussels. Meanwhile, fighting continues – including in neighboring Lebanon. The news at a glance.

    Germany and 25 other EU states are calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza war. This should lead to a permanent ceasefire, the unconditional release of the hostages and the provision of humanitarian aid, said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

    The 26 EU member states also called on Israel not to take military action in Rafah, in the far south of the Gaza Strip. Critics fear that this could further worsen the already dramatic humanitarian situation in the area. More than a million civilians currently live in the city – most of them refugees from other parts of the Gaza Strip.

    Hungary did not want to support the joint appeal, as the German Press Agency learned from several diplomats. Hungary is considered particularly Israel-friendly in the EU.

    Attack on possible weapons depot in Lebanon

    According to Lebanese security sources, at least 14 people were injured in two Israeli air strikes near the coastal town of Ghazieh south of Sidon. An industrial area about 60 kilometers from the Israeli-Lebanese border was hit. The Israeli military confirmed the attack. The target was therefore a weapons depot of the Lebanese Hezbollah militia.

    The attack was a response to a drone attack near the Israeli city of Tiberias. According to initial findings, the drone was launched by Hezbollah, the army said. It was initially unclear whether the injured in Lebanon were Hezbollah fighters or civilians.

    It is the first time since the Gaza war broke out that a town near Sidon, Lebanon's fourth largest city, has been hit. So far, the Israeli army has mainly attacked targets near the border.

    Israeli army takes hospital in Khan Yunis

    Over the weekend, the Israeli military also continued its operations against the Islamist Hamas militia in the city of Khan Yunis in the south of the Gaza Strip. The army took control of Nasser Hospital, one of the larger hospitals in the coastal area. According to employees, the hospital is no longer functional.

    The army said hundreds of terrorists and terror suspects who were hiding in the clinic had been captured. Some of them are said to have posed as medical staff.

    Meanwhile, Defense Minister Joav Galant sees the Islamists' fighting spirit broken after more than four months of war. “200 terrorists surrendered in Nasser Hospital, dozens more in Amal Hospital,” Galant said at a meeting with army commanders. “This shows that Hamas has lost its fighting spirit.” The information could not initially be independently verified.

    Controversial advance to Rafah

    In Rafah, the Israeli army is also preparing to move in to destroy the remaining Hamas battalions and free suspected hostages there. However, the Israeli government has not yet issued any operational orders in this regard. Military action in the Gaza Strip's southernmost city is highly controversial because it is crowded with 1.3 million Palestinians, most of whom have fled fighting in other parts of the coastal area.

    A draft resolution from the United States on the Gaza war indicates that Washington is further distancing itself from Israeli military operations in the south of the Gaza Strip. The draft resolution for the UN Security Council states that Israel's planned ground offensive in the city of Rafah “would lead to further damage to civilians and their further displacement, possibly also to neighboring countries.” Therefore, “such a major ground offensive should not be carried out under the current circumstances.” The text also states that a “temporary ceasefire in Gaza is needed as soon as possible.” The text is available to the German Press Agency.

    Hamas: More than 29,000 dead since war began

    Since the Gaza war began more than four months ago, more than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip, according to the health authority controlled by the Islamist Hamas. The authority said 107 Palestinians were killed and 145 others injured within 24 hours.

    This means the total number of deaths has risen to at least 29,092. In addition, more than 69,000 people have been injured in the Gaza Strip since October 7th. The information could not initially be independently verified. It is assumed that many bodies are still buried. According to UN estimates, the majority of those killed were women and minors. Israel's chief of general staff, Herzi Halevi, recently said that the army had “taken out more than 10,000 terrorists in the Gaza Strip so far, including many commanders.”

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