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GAZA: Palestinians mourn near the bodies of relatives at Rafah's Al-Najjar hospital on Feb 21, 2024 following overnight Zionist air strikes on the southern Gaza Strip. - AFP
GAZA: Palestinians mourn near the bodies of relatives at Rafah's Al-Najjar hospital on Feb 21, 2024 following overnight Zionist air strikes on the southern Gaza Strip. - AFP
Kuwait regrets truce veto as hunger grips Gaza, deaths spiral

KUWAIT/GAZA: Kuwait regretted Wednesday the renewed use of the veto at the UN Security Council (UNSC) on a draft resolution submitted by Algeria on behalf of the Arab group, calling for a Gaza ceasefire and cessation of the brutal aggression launched by Zionist occupation forces against the disarmed Palestinian people for over four months.

In a statement, the Kuwaiti foreign ministry reiterated the country’s support for an immediate and complete ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, warning of the consequences of the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the territory and the incessant bloodshed of Palestinian civilians.

It reaffirmed that the Security Council’s failure to adopt the draft resolution regrettably reflects the size of challenges the international community is facing, something that necessitates a swift move to address it in order to ensure that the Security Council can do its basic duties of safeguarding international security and peace.

Meanwhile, heavy fighting rocked besieged Gaza on Wednesday as aid agencies warned of looming famine and new talks were held in Cairo towards a Zionist-Hamas ceasefire and hostage release deal. The White House sent Middle East envoy Brett McGurk for renewed talks involving mediators and Hamas, a day after the UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire was blocked by the US. Hamas said the US veto amounted to “a green light for the occupation to commit more massacres”.

Global concern has spiraled over the high civilian death toll and dire humanitarian crisis in the war. Combat and chaos again stalled the sporadic aid deliveries for desperate civilians in Gaza, where the UN has warned the population of 2.4 million is on the brink of famine and could face an “explosion” of child deaths. The UN World Food Program said it was forced to halt aid deliveries in north Gaza because of “complete chaos and violence” after a truck convoy encountered gunfire and was ransacked by looters. Hamas called the move a “death sentence”.

More Zionist strikes continued to pound Gaza, leaving 103 people dead during the night, according to the health ministry in the territory, which put the overall death toll at 29,313. Air strikes were ongoing into Wednesday evening in southern Rafah and Khan Yunis, according to an AFP correspondent. Abdel Rahman Mohamed Jumaa said he lost his family in strikes on Gaza’s far-southern Rafah area. “I found my wife lying in the street,” he told AFP. “Then I saw a man carrying a girl and I ran towards him and.... picked her up, realizing she was really my daughter.” He was holding a small shrouded corpse in his arms.

Particular concern has centered on the packed city of Rafah, where 1.4 million people now live in crowded shelters and makeshift tents, fearing attack by nearby Zionist ground troops. Aid groups warn a ground offensive could turn Rafah into a “graveyard” and the United States has said the vast numbers of displaced civilians must first be moved out of harm’s way. Palestinians in Rafah were digging new graves in the sand on Wednesday near a makeshift camp, with shrouded bodies carried on donkey-led carts.

The Zionist entity has heavily bombed Gaza since and launched a ground invasion that has seen troops and tanks push through from the north towards the south, leaving vast swathes entirely destroyed and many people struggling to find basic supplies. One sewing workshop in Rafah said it has started to use medical cotton, gauze and lab coats to sew makeshift diapers, each made by hand — but warned their capacity is far from enough to meet the demand. “I don’t have money to provide food, so how can I provide diapers for her?” said mother Hanan Al-Bahtiti, adding that her baby daughter gets painful skin rashes. “She screams in pain and I cry when I see her like this,” she told AFP.

Concern also remained high around Nasser Hospital in the heavily-bombarded southern city of Khan Yunis, where the World Health Organization has called the devastation “incredible”. The UN agency managed to evacuate some 32 patients from the besieged hospital, which was raided by Zionist troops last week. It called the situation in Gaza “inhumane”, saying the territory had become “a death zone”.

As the bloodiest ever Gaza war has continued into a fifth month, the Zionist entity has faced a growing international chorus of criticism. Colombian President Gustavo Petro accused the Zionist entity of “genocide” after Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had compared the Gaza campaign to the Holocaust. In Syria, state television said a Zionist missile strike killed at least two people in Damascus. Violence has also flared in the occupied West Bank where the Zionist army said its troops killed three Palestinians during an overnight raid in the northern city of Jenin. – AFP

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