Hamas claims capture of Israeli troops

  • Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Obeida says Hamas fighters “lured a Zionist force” into a tunnel and “killed, wounded, and captured” an unidentified number in northern Gaza’s Jabalia camp. The Israeli military denied the claim.
  • Hamas official Osama Hamdan said there was no need for new negotiations with Israel, saying such talks only give the Israeli military “more time to continue the aggression” in Gaza.

    UNRWA official on difficulties in getting aid into Gaza

    Aid trucks from Egypt have entered Gaza through the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing. Aid supplies have been hit badly since Israel launched its ground offensive in Rafah on May 7.

    The UN said 143 UN humanitarian trucks crossed through the crossing from May 6 to 25, significantly less than 146 trucks that entered Gaza per day on average in April.

    Sam Rose, the director of planning at the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), talks about how the entry of aid would affect the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

    “We see this as a positive development, something we have been calling for a long time. But until we are able to get those supplies in and distribute them around Gaza, only then we will be able to resume distribution of floor and other food commodities to population that remains inside Rafah and other parts of Gaza.”

    Rose said getting supplies through Karem Abu Salem had become difficult since October. Aid delivery, the UNRWA official said, requires detailed and in-depth coordination with Israeli authorities.

    “We also need to coordinate the entry of fuel through the same crossing. Without the fuels, we cannot run trucks and generators that power water wells, hospitals, intensive care units, dialysis machines etc.

    “We have thousands of aid trucks either inside Egypt [across the border from Rafah] or Ashdod in Israel. So aid is there on the boundaries close-by while the population in Gaza gets closer to famine.”

    Qassam Brigades claims it destroyed Israeli forces in Jabalia

    Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has said it “destroyed a group of enemy forces penetrating the al-Qassaib neighbourhood” in the Jabalia refugee camp with heavy caliber mortar fire.

    The Israeli army continues with its operation in Jabalia in northern Gaza that started earlier in the month, causing mass displacement of the Palestinians there towards other areas.

    Reports suggest Israel’s military operations in Gaza ‘not going well’

    Mohamad Elmasry, a Professor in the Media Studies program at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, spoke to Al Jazeera about Israel’s military operations in the enclave.

    Citing a report in Politico, he said that “70 percent of Hamas’s fighting force remains intact on fighting in Gaza” and that Hamas has been able to recruit thousands of new members.

    The report, he said, also indicated Hamas’s extensive tunnel network under the Gaza Strip remains largely intact.

    Elmasry said that there had also been reports that Hamas has been able to repurpose unexploded Israeli bombs, so the Palestinian group no longer has a weapons supply issue.

    “I think Israel is clearly getting all it can handle on the battlefield right now,” he concluded.

    Which aid crossings are open in Gaza after ICJ ruling?

    The UN has described the Karem Abu Salem and Rafah crossings as “the two main arteries for getting aid into Gaza”.

    Both the crossings that allow entry into the Gaza Strip through the eastern parts of Rafah were seized by Israeli forces on May 7.

    “Israel’s seizure of those crossings places Israel in control of all access to and from Gaza,” South Africa’s legal team told the ICJ at an emergency hearing on May 16.

    In response to South Africa’s submission, the ICJ has ordered Israel to open the Rafah crossing for “unhindered provision at scale of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance”.

    Although the Rafah crossing has remained closed, some trucks have been entering Gaza through the Karem Abu Salem crossing. The exact number of trucks is not known since the UN says it has been unable to maintain a presence at either crossing to monitor them since May 7.

    The UN has said 143 UN humanitarian trucks crossed through the Karem Abu Salem crossing between May 6 to 25, significantly less than the 146 trucks that entered Gaza per day on average through Karem Abu Salem in April.

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