- A week after the start of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Territories, the death toll has already risen to nearly 200 people on both sides, mostly civilians.
- The UN has called for an emergency meeting of the defense council. It must take place at 4 p.m. (French time). At the same time, the European Union will bring together foreign ministers on Tuesday morning.
- France is counting in particular on Egypt, the only state to speak to all parties, to achieve a ceasefire.
The words inevitably seem ridiculous in the face of the images of bombs and the number of deaths that accumulate. But only negotiations could end the new era of violence that began a week ago between Israel and the Palestinian Territories. “Appalled” by “the growing number of civilian casualties,” Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, urgently called a meeting of the UN Security Council. It must take place at 4 p.m. (French time).
For the moment, the Palestinian authorities as well as Israel have been deaf to the repeated requests of the international community to cease fire after the bombings have already caused the deaths of nearly 200 people. Illustration again this Sunday morning: the house of the head of Hamas was bombed by Israel without it being known, however, if he was killed in the explosion. Before this UN meeting which is already promising to be crucial, 20 Minutes looks back on this week of fighting …
What is the provisional record of the violence?
Every morning, each camp counts its dead. And dread hearing the whistle of new rockets or other missiles in the sky. At 11 a.m. on Sunday, the Gaza Strip’s health ministry said Israeli strikes had led to the deaths of 174 people in the Palestinian enclave since the conflict began on Monday. According to this report, 47 children are among the dead. From the same source, 1,200 Palestinians were also injured.
On the Israeli side, the record shows ten people killed, including a child, in rocket fire. It is about a little girl who was killed, along with her father, while they were in a car that was hit by a rocket in Lod, on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. According to the same report, 540 people were injured in the rocket fire. “We are lucky to have the ” Iron Dome ” (anti-aircraft device) which protects us otherwise we would no longer exist …”, explains to 20 Minutes, Anny, a Franco-Israeli living in Netanya, between Tel Aviv and Haifa.
How is the European Union reacting?
Even before the holding of discussions within the UN, Joseph Borrell, the head of European diplomacy, indicated on Twitter that the European Union’s foreign ministers will hold an emergency videoconference on Tuesday morning. “We will coordinate and discuss how the EU can best contribute to ending the violence,” he said.
In view of the ongoing escalation between Israel and Palestine and the unacceptable number of civilian casualties, I am convening an extraordinary VTC of the EU Foreign Ministers on Tuesday. We will coordinate and discuss how the EU can best contribute to end the current violence
– Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) May 16, 2021
Can France play a role in bringing the violence to an end?
On a thread, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is trying not to offend anyone while calling for a ceasefire. Thursday in a statement, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the minister, thus “strongly condemned the attacks carried out against a large part of Israeli territory and claimed in particular by Hamas” while recalling that “the response to these unacceptable attacks must remain proportionate ”.
The voice of France must still be heard… Jean-Yves Le Drian has no illusions and relies above all on a common diplomatic group of which France is part with Germany, Jordan and above all Egypt. “I am counting a lot on Egyptian mediation,” he acknowledged at the microphone of France Info. “The Egyptians are the only ones who speak to everyone, with the Israelis for a long time, with the High Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas. They also speak with Hamas and they are somewhat the only ones who have a minimum of trust with Hamas officials. “
Abdel Fatah Al-Sissi, the Egyptian president, will also be in Paris on Monday morning to meet Emmanuel Macron. And they should, of course, not just talk about the 30 Rafale planes that have just been ordered from the land of the Pharaohs.
What is the origin of the resumption of violence between the two camps?
It all started ten days ago with demonstrations and clashes in East Jerusalem. Originally, the Palestinians wanted to protest against threats of eviction targeting members of their community for the benefit of Israeli settlers, especially in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian area occupied by Israel for more than 50 years.
Noting that many Palestinians had been injured in clashes with the police, Hamas decided to fire a round of rockets at Israel as a sign of “solidarity”. The Israeli government immediately reacted with intense bombardments which have not ceased since.