Death toll in Gaza near 31,000 as Israeli war enters 153rd day

Ceasefire talks in Cairo breaks down as the Hamas delegation left Egypt in response to continued stalling by Israel

March 07, 2024 by Peoples Dispatch
Photo: Wafa News Agency

On the 153rd day, Israeli bombardment in Gaza continued to cause death, destruction and suffering, with dozens of Palestinians being killed and injured across the battered Gaza strip.

Meanwhile, reports also noted that the Hamas delegation that was in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, to take part in the ceasefire talks, has left the country after repeated stalling by Israel, which has refused to agree to several of the Palestinian resistance group’s legitimate demands, such as ending the genocidal war, withdrawing its forces, and lifting the illegal siege on Gaza.

Nevertheless, Hamas and the mediating parties have said that talks are continuing until they are able to deliver a ceasefire agreement.

Israeli forces continue to disrupt and block the delivery of aid to various parts of Gaza, besides also attacking aid trucks as well as Palestinian civilians seeking aid.

In the wake of the multiple Israeli attacks on aid convoys, trucks, and civilians, which has further aggravated the desperate and dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, South Africa has once again called on the International Court of Justice to order additional emergency measures to avert the disastrous situation from worsening further.

In its application, South Africa, which had a few months earlier filed a case against Israel accusing it of genocide, said that “the threat of all-out famine has now materialized. The court needs to act now to stop the imminent tragedy by immediately and effectively ensuring that the rights it has found are threatened under the Genocide Convention are protected.”

It urged the court to order Israel to take “immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address famine and starvation” in Gaza.

South Africa’s appeal to the ICJ comes as the UN warned that the threat of famine in Gaza is imminent, noting that at least a quarter of Gaza’s population is on the brink of famine. The UNRWA today said that “hunger is everywhere” and called on unrestricted, immediate access to all of the Gaza strip.

The director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, also called for more aid to be allowed into Gaza and said that the children in Gaza who have until now survived the war, may not survive a famine.

As the international outcry and alarm over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the repeated blockades of aid continues to grow, reports today noted that approximately 250 aid trucks were allowed to enter Gaza through the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Israeli airstrikes and ground bombardment continued unabated across Gaza, killing at least 83 Palestinians and injuring another 142 since Wednesday. Israeli attacks have been reported from Deir al-Balah, Rafah, the Nuseirat refugee camp, Wadi Gaza, and Gaza city, among various other locations.

Reports have noted that Israeli forces have again targeted and killed several Palestinians at the Nabulsi roundabout waiting to collect aid, continuing their attacks on aid trucks and aid-seeking Palestinians.

Furthermore, two more Palestinians, one teenage boy and one elderly man, have died from malnutrition, taking the number of malnutrition deaths to 20. The overall death toll in Gaza since October 7, when Israel launched its war, has gone up to at least 30,800 Palestinians killed, along with at least 72,298 Palestinians injured.