Food trucks surrounded as hunger spreads in Gaza

  • Footage verified by Al Jazeera shows hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza City rushing towards aid trucks before fleeing after Israeli forces open fire at them.
  • Gaza’s Health Ministry says an eighth person has died at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis after the Israeli military cut electricity and oxygen supplies.

    Rafah ground assault almost inevitable: Ex-Israeli official

    Avi Melamed, a former Israeli intelligence official, says there is little chance that Netanyahu’s government would heed international criticism to call off a Rafah ground assault.

    “Rafah is the last bastion of Hamas control and there remain battalions in Rafah which Israel must dismantle to achieve its goals in this war,” Melamed, a former Israeli negotiator in talks with Palestinians, told the Reuters news agency.

    Melamed said the only potential delay to the Israeli assault on Rafah would come if Hamas gave ground in captive negotiations and handed them over.

    “Even that would only delay the advance on Rafah unless it is coupled with the demilitarisation of the city and surrender of the Hamas battalions there,” he added.

    Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on Friday said Israel was planning operations in Rafah targeting Hamas fighters, command centres and tunnels, but gave no timeline for the campaign.

    Israeli parliament to vote on expelling MP for backing ICJ case

    The Knesset is set to vote today on whether to expel far-left lawmaker Ofer Cassif over his support for the genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice.

    Cassif, a Knesset member for the Hadash-Ta’al party, signed a petition in early January supporting South Africa’s case of genocide against Israel in The Hague.

    In late January, the Knesset House Committee overwhelmingly voted to expel Cassif for his actions, with his impeachment then referred to the parliament plenum.

    The motion to impeach Cassif will now require the support of 90 members of parliament, and though it’s backed by far-right members of the Knesset, it is less certain whether it would receive the support of centrist politicians that would likely be necessary for it to pass.

    Even if passed, Israel’s High Court of Justice is likely to overturn the motion due to its questionable legal standing.

    Hamas slams Israel’s plan to restrict access to Al-Aqsa during Ramadan

    Hamas says the plan is a reflection of the religious war waged by hardliner elements in the Israeli government against the Palestinian people.

    In a statement, the group said the restrictions would be a “violation of the freedom of worship” in the holy mosque, adding that the plan showed Israel’s intention to increase its attacks on the mosque during Ramadan.

    The statement called on Palestinians in the occupied East Jerusalem, occupied West Bank and Israel to reject and resist this “criminal decision”, urging them to “take action and flock to Al-Aqsa Mosque”.

    As we reported earlier, Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz has said the government will allow worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan and the restrictions would only be for security reasons.

    Sirens heard in Israeli kibbutzim near Gaza border

    Rocket warning sirens have been sounded in Israel’s kibbutzim of Nirim and Nir Oz near the border with Gaza.

    The warning by Israel’s national emergency portal, Home Front Command, was also issued for the Third Eye facility – an Israeli military site.

    There is no clarity on why the warning was issued or whether any rockets were fired.

    Last week, a barrage of rockets were fired towards northern Israel from Lebanon, killing one person and injuring several others. The Lebanese armed group Hezbollah says cross-border firing will only end with a ceasefire in Gaza.

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