Death toll mounts, protests in Israel spread as invasion of Rafah continues

Israeli occupation forces continue to operate in East Rafah, mainly in the border crossing area between Gaza and Egypt. An IDF spokesperson stated that the forces “at this stage” are not advancing towards the city of Rafah, where more than a million people are staying “whose evacuation has not yet begun”. During the last day, 129 were injured. The fatal bombings were recorded in all parts of Rafah. According to reports, the Abu Yusef Al-Janjar hospital in Rafah was completely evacuated.

According to data provided May 8 by the Ministry of Health in Gaza, since the beginning of the war on October 7, 2023, 34,844 Palestinians have been killed throughout the Strip and another 78,404 have been injured – most of them women and children.

Meanwhile, protests continue against the invasion of Rafah, against the war in Gaza and for the deal to release the kidnapped. Police issued traffic reports on the morning of May 8 to 14 protesters for the release of the abductees who blocked Ayalon roads. Each of the protesters was fined 500 shekels (about $185 CDN). The protesters blocked Ayalon North in the area of ​​the Pharmacist Interchange; on May 7, they blocked Ayalon in the morning hours.

During the night on May 7, the relatives of the abductees held an emergency rally on Begin Road in Kirya in Tel Aviv, where they said that “we heard from officials that what separates us and our loved ones was and remains a commitment to end the war. We say to Netanyahu and the government – end the war, bring them back and save lives!”

Focusing on Ministers-without-portfolio Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, they said that “We have seen time and time again how Netanyahu shoves sticks in the wheels of negotiations. The members of the war cabinet have the duty to turn over every stone and remove every obstacle on the way to the return of the abductees. You must demand that Netanyahu give the delegation a mandate for the continuation of the negotiations in order to reach a deal. Don’t allow Netanyahu to torpedo it again. This is the last chance to return the hostages alive – the blood will be on your hands.”

Demonstrators in front of the general headquarters were joined by Hadash and MK Shimcha activists earlier at the corner of Kaplan and Derech Begin streets. They called for an “all for all” deal and the end of the war in Gaza. Among the protesters was MK Ofer Kasif.

In Jerusalem, hundreds of protesters marched through the city center last night and blocked the light rail and King George Street. Police arrested one protester. Additional protests were held yesterday in Kfar Saba and Be’er Sheva. About a thousand people participated in a rally of families of abductees around Gaza. Simona Steinbacher, the mother of the kidnapped Doron, appealed to the ministers of the right-wing government: “How can you even discuss whether there is a deal or no deal. How can you agree to yourselves not to vote in favour. Take advantage of the opportunity to sign an agreement, you are discussing people for life or death.”

Zo Haderekh

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