Israel Intensifies Gaza Strikes as UN Calls for Arms Embargo, US Urges Restraint
Israel Intensifies Gaza Strikes as UN Calls for Arms Embargo, US Urges Restraint
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Gaza City: Israeli airstrikes pounded central and northern Gaza overnight, resulting in the deaths of at least 14 people and injuring dozens, as reported by local medics. Simultaneously, Israeli tanks extended their incursion into Rafah in Gaza's south, according to residents.

In Al-Nuseirat camp, Israeli planes targeted a house, resulting in two fatalities and 12 injuries. Tank shelling in Al-Maghazi and Al-Bureij camps caused further casualties, as confirmed by health officials. These areas are among Gaza's eight refugee camps.

In Deir al-Balah, an Israeli airstrike on Thursday claimed the life of one Palestinian and wounded several others, medics reported. Later the same day, an Israeli airstrike on a house in Gaza City's Zeitoun neighborhood resulted in the deaths of seven Palestinians, with no immediate comment from the Israeli military.

The Israeli military stated that its operations, ongoing across the enclave, are aimed at militants and military infrastructure, described as precision-based and intelligence-led activities.

UN Calls for Halting Arms Transfers to Israel
Over 30 United Nations experts jointly urged countries and companies to cease arms and ammunition transfers to Israel. They warned that such transfers could constitute severe violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, potentially implicating states in international crimes, including genocide.

The experts, including special rapporteurs and independent experts from the UN Human Rights Council, emphasized the need for immediate cessation of sales, transfers, and diversions of military equipment to Israel, regardless of existing export licenses. Companies named in the statement included BAE Systems, Boeing, Caterpillar, General Dynamics, and Lockheed Martin.

US Advocates Restraint amid Israel-Lebanon Tensions
On Friday, verified footage depicted a Hezbollah aerial strike on a military site in Metula, northern Israel, targeting radar and communications infrastructure. This incident occurred amidst escalating clashes between Israeli and Hezbollah forces along the border.

During meetings on Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed to Israeli officials the importance of avoiding further escalation in Lebanon amid the Gaza conflict, as communicated by the State Department.

White House Responds to Israeli Criticism
Tensions between Israel and the US escalated following critical remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The White House expressed deep disappointment over these comments, highlighting ongoing discussions between US officials and Israeli counterparts regarding the Gaza conflict and bilateral relations.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken were engaged in talks with Israeli officials to address these issues, reiterating US support for Israel's self-defense needs while emphasizing the need for constructive dialogue.

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