After Gaza City, then Khan Younes, Israel is now aiming for a ground operation in Rafah, a town bordering Egypt, in the far south of the Gaza Strip. Early Saturday February 10, witnesses reported to AFP strikes in the surroundings of this city, now populated by around 1.3 million Palestinians, the vast majority of whom took refuge there to escape the operations of the Israeli army further north. Follow our live stream.
Fights in progress. The Hamas health minister counted 110 dead in the evening and night from Friday to Saturday, including 25 in strikes in Rafah, and reported “intense fights” Saturday in the Nasser hospital in Khan Younès. On Friday, Israeli forces stormed the city’s other major hospital, al-Amal.
Moody’s downgrades Israel’s rating. Ratings agency Moody’s on Friday downgraded Israel’s debt rating by one notch to A2 and gave it a negative outlook, meaning it could downgrade it again within months. future. “The main factor” of this decline is the evaluation “that the ongoing military conflict with Hamas, its aftermath and its broader consequences materially increase political risk for Israel and weaken its executive and legislative institutions as well as its fiscal strength”, specifies the press release.
The negotiations have ended. New negotiations between Qatari and Egyptian mediators and Hamas, launched Thursday in Cairo to try to reach a truce agreement, ended Friday. “The Hamas delegation left Cairo”a Hamas official said, saying, without further details, “wait for a response from Israel”. According to the Axios website, the head of the CIA must go to Egypt next week to try to bring about a new break in the fighting and the release of hostages in Gaza.
Benjamin Netanyahu asks the army for an “evacuation plan” for civilians from Rafah. After ordering the army on Wednesday to prepare an offensive on Rafah, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked it on Friday to submit a “combined plan” of“evacuation” civilians from Rafah and “destruction” Hamas in this city. “Forcing more than a million Palestinians displaced in Rafah to evacuate again without finding a safe place to go would be illegal and have catastrophic consequences,” declared Nadia Hardman, migrant and refugee rights specialist for Human Rights Watch, overnight.
Biden considers Israel’s response to Gaza “excessive”. In a rare criticism of Israel since the war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas began four months ago, US President Joe Biden said “excessive” there “response in the Gaza Strip” to the attack of October 7. The United States, Israel’s main ally, has expressed fears for civilians in Rafah. “Carrying out such an operation now without planning and thought in an area housing a million people would be a disaster,” warned the US State Department this week.