Mourners react during the funeral of Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in Deir Al-Balah, in central Gaza Strip, on June 7, 2024.

Israeli strikes hammered a Gaza refugee camp on Friday, June 7, after a deadly strike on a UN-run school there, as the war sparked by Hamas’s unprecedented attack on Israel entered its ninth month. The conflict has killed thousands, laid waste to much of the Gaza Strip, uprooted most of its 2.4 million population and put them at risk of starvation.

Diplomatic efforts to mediate the first ceasefire since a week-long pause in November appear to have stalled, only a week after US President Joe Biden offered a new three-stage roadmap. Hamas has yet to respond to Biden’s proposal. Israel has expressed openness to discussions while insisting on pursuing its war aim of destroying the Palestinian Islamist group.

Strikes across Gaza

A day after the UN-run school was struck, eyewitnesses said the Nuseirat refugee camp came under attack again as Gaza faced Israeli attacks from land, sea, and air. A source at Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital said the Isa family home in the Bureij refugee camp was targeted, wounding several people. Witnesses also confirmed Israeli strikes east of Deir Al-Balah, as well as intensive fire from army vehicles near the Bureij camp, where a blaze was raging.

The Israeli military said it “eliminated dozens of terrorists” in eastern Bureij and eastern Deir Al-Balah, and was continuing operations in the southern city of Rafah.

In Gaza City, casualties were reported from an Israeli strike on the Ashram family home near Al-Salam mosque, according to a source at Baptist Hospital.

Six people were killed and several wounded in an Israeli strike on the Wafati home in Maghazi camp, said a source at Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital.

Fighter jets targeted the Al-Sultan neighborhood of Rafah, sources in the city on the border with Egypt said.

Gaza also came under fire from the sea, with Israeli warships bombarding homes in the fishermen’s port area, among others, west of Gaza City, an Agence France-Presse (AFP) correspondent said.

Osama al-Kahlut of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said “occupation forces and snipers” east of Deir al-Balah were firing on people along Gaza’s main thoroughfare. “Gunfire on Salaheddin Street has severely restricted people’s movement, and several wounded people have been evacuated from the area,” he told AFP.

‘No time to lose’

Meanwhile, a week ago, Biden outlined what he labeled an Israeli plan to halt the fighting for six weeks while hostages are exchanged for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the delivery of aid into Gaza is stepped up. Major current sticking points include Hamas insisting on a permanent truce and full Israeli withdrawal – demands Israel has rejected.

G7 powers and Arab states have backed the proposal, with 16 world leaders joining Biden’s call for Hamas to accept the deal. “There is no time to lose. We call on Hamas to close this agreement,” the joint statement said.

Partner service

Learn French with Gymglish

Thanks to a daily lesson, an original story and a personalized correction, in 15 minutes per day.

Try for free

Egypt’s state-linked Al-Qahera news quoted a high-level source on Thursday saying Cairo had “received positive signs from the Palestinian movement signaling its aspiration for a ceasefire.”

However, the Beirut-based senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan later cast doubt on the proposal, calling it “just words.” Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday that Hamas has not yet given its response to the truce plan.

Le Monde with AFP