The besieged Gaza Strip witnessed a cautious calm on the ground on the second day of the temporary truce, while the Palestinian people awaited the release of the second batch of prisoners from Israeli occupation prisons and the release of a new batch of detainees held by the Palestinian resistance in Gaza.
On Friday evening, the occupation authorities released 39 Palestinian prisoners, in exchange for 13 Israeli detainees held by the resistance in Gaza.
Taher Al-Nono, advisor to the head of the political bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), accused the occupation of violating the agreement in several ways. He said that the occupation forces opened fire in more than one location in Gaza, killing two people.
He also said that Israel did not follow the agreed criteria for the release of prisoners, and the conditions related to the entry of trucks. He added: “If the occupation does not deliver aid to northern Gaza, this will endanger the entire agreement. We are still monitoring the implementation of the agreement, and we are sending a message to the occupation and the United Nations that we will not accept any excuses.”
Al-Nono stated that the resistance offered some gestures that were not part of the deal, such as the release of the Thais. He expressed Hamas’s readiness to cooperate with the mediators and to seek seriously to reach new deals.
Meanwhile, the Director of Media at the Palestinian Red Crescent said on Saturday that a convoy of 61 aid trucks headed to the areas north of the Gaza Strip, describing it as “the largest since the beginning of the aggression.”
He pointed out that the Palestinian Red Crescent received 196 trucks on Friday from the Egyptian side through the Rafah crossing. The trucks carried humanitarian aid, including food, water, medical supplies and medicines.
On the other hand, Diaa Rashwan, head of the Egyptian State Information Service, said that Cairo had received a list of the names of 13 detainees in the Gaza Strip, and 39 Palestinians held captive in Israeli prisons, whose release was scheduled to be exchanged on Saturday.
Rashwan confirmed that there are currently intensive Egyptian contacts with the Palestinian and Israeli sides, to achieve the release of a larger number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and those detained by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
In the meantime, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said that the Israeli occupation forces arrested 17 Palestinians in the West Bank from Friday evening until Saturday morning, bringing the total number of detainees to 3,160 since the start of the aggression on 7 October.
The club said that these arrests were accompanied by widespread harassment, severe beatings, and field investigation, in addition to cases of sabotage and destruction of citizens’ homes.
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Gaza Ministry of Health spokesperson Ashraf Al-Qudra announced that the Indonesian Hospital had been completely evacuated and that efforts were underway to evacuate the rest of the wounded from Al-Shifa Medical Complex.
Al-Qudra said that the medical aid that entered the Gaza Strip was insufficient and much less than what had been entering previously. He warned that the health situation in the Gaza Strip was very bad, very disastrous, and collapsed and that there were no health facilities.
Also on Saturday, the Hamas movement appreciated the stance of the prime ministers of Belgium and Spain who “rejected the destruction of Gaza and the killing of civilians,” calling on the world to side with the justice of the Palestinian cause, stop the “genocide” in the Gaza Strip, and hold the occupation leaders accountable for their crimes against children and civilians, according to the movement’s statement.
On Friday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez denounced what he described as the indiscriminate killing of Palestinians in Gaza. The statement sparked an angry reaction from Israel, which said those statements supported terrorism.
During a visit to the Rafah border crossing in Egypt on the Gaza border, with his Belgian counterpart, Alexander De Croo, Sanchez called for a permanent humanitarian ceasefire “to end the catastrophic situation that the residents of the Gaza Strip are experiencing.” He also said: “The indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians, including thousands of young people, is completely unacceptable.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen later issued a statement accusing Sanchez and De Croo of adopting “false allegations that support terrorism,” and said that he had summoned the Spanish and Belgian ambassadors to clarify those statements.
Moreover, Ayman Al-Safadi, Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that Israel would not enjoy security by killing the Palestinians, as security would only be achieved by resolving the conflict and the two-state solution. He added that this year (2023) was the bloodiest for the Palestinians in more than 10 years.
“Israel attacks anyone who does not agree with its policy, and it cannot remain above international law. If this decision is not taken, the Security Council is responsible for perpetuating this barbarity represented by the Israeli aggression against our people in Gaza,” Al-Safadi said.