Israel says part of Hamas ‘dismantled’ as war enters fourth month


In Gaza City, bereaved Palestinians reburied bodies exhumed from a cemetery, an AFP video showed.

The footage from the cemetery in the Al-Tuffah neighbourhood showed bodies wrapped in bags and laid out on mounds of soil.

Amid a swarm of flies, a few dozen men wearing gloves and surgical masks were busy reburying them.

“We were surprised to see the exhumed bodies,” one of the men burying the corpses told AFP.

DIPLOMATIC PUSH

Top Western diplomats were in the region over the weekend as part of a fresh push to boost the flow of aid into Gaza and address mounting fears of a wider conflict.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Jordan on Sunday during a Middle East tour that will take him to Israel and the occupied West Bank next week.

“One of the real concerns is the border between Israel and Lebanon, and we want to do everything possible to make sure we see no escalation,” he told reporters in Greece, where he stopped before continuing to Jordan.

Blinken was due to hold talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah II before heading to Qatar and Abu Dhabi later in the day.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Saturday visited Beirut, where he met a senior figure in Hezbollah’s political wing as part of efforts to avoid Lebanon being drawn into the war, an EU source confirmed.

Borrell also held talks with the head of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc, Mohammad Raad, Lebanese media reported.

“It is imperative to avoid regional escalation in the Middle East. It is absolutely necessary to avoid Lebanon being dragged into a regional conflict,” Borrell told a news conference in Beirut.

Borrell said he would go to Saudi Arabia next to discuss “a joint EU-Arab initiative” for peace.

The Hamas-allied Hezbollah movement has been trading near-daily fire with Israeli forces since early October and earlier fired a barrage of dozens of rockets at an Israeli military base in response to the killing of a senior Hamas figure in a suspected Israeli strike in Beirut on Tuesday.

Hezbollah said it had targeted the Israeli military’s Meron air control base with 62 missiles in its “initial response” to the killing of Saleh al-Aruri, Hamas’s deputy leader, in Beirut.

The Israeli army reported “approximately 40 launches from Lebanon” and said it struck Hezbollah “military sites” in response.



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