*** ----> Israel steps up ground combat and air strikes | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Israel steps up ground combat and air strikes

AFP | Rafah 

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Israeli forces battled Hamas in Gaza yesterday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu angrily dismissed a bid for an international arrest warrant against him on charges of war crimes in the Palestinian territory.

US President Joe Biden backed Netanyahu in condemning as “outrageous” the bid by the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor who also sought warrants against leaders of Palestinian group Hamas.

Israel’s military reported ground combat and air strikes on 70 targets in Gaza in 24 hours, while its forces were also engaged in deadly clashes in the other major Palestinian territory, the occupied West Bank.

At least seven Palestinians were killed in the northern city of Jenin, the Ramallah-based health ministry said, as the army said it was “fighting armed men” in a pre-dawn operation.

Palestinian official news agency Wafa said a hospital surgeon, a school teacher and a student were among those killed in Jenin, a stronghold of Palestinian fighters.

The bloodiest ever Gaza war started after Hamas’s October 7 attack which sparked an Israeli retaliation that has brought a spiralling civilian death toll and levelled vast swathes of Gaza.

Out of words “We are running out of words to describe what is happening in Gaza,” Edem Wosornu of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs told a Security Council meeting on Monday.

“We have described it as a catastrophe, a nightmare, as hell on earth. It is all of these, and worse,” she said of conditions in the besieged territory of 2.4 million people.

Wosornu said “1.1 million people face catastrophic levels of hunger and Gaza remains on the brink of famine.”