Israel PM to undergo hernia surgery as Gaza war rages


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to undergo hernia surgery on Sunday, his office said, after nearly six months of fighting in the Gaza war.
The news comes as domestic pressure grows on Netanyahu over his failure to bring home all the hostages held by Palestinian militants.
Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Yariv Levin will stand by as Netanyahu, 74, undergoes full anesthesia, his office said.
It said doctors had detected the hernia during a routine checkup on Saturday and after consultation it was decided to undergo surgery after the Prime Minister completed his daily schedule.
Deadly air strikes once again shocked Gaza Strip As negotiations toward a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas According to Egyptian television, protests were set to resume in Cairo on Sunday, although a Hamas official expressed frustration about the process.
To help ease the suffering of Gaza's 2.4 million people, a Help The ship had set sail from the Mediterranean island-nation of Cyprus to bring 400 tons of food, as part of a small fleet.
Foreign powers have increased aid airdrops, although UN agencies and charities warn this falls far short of what is desperately needed and say trucks are the most effective way of delivering aid.
Many people died in the stampede or drowned while trying to retrieve goods from the sea.
– Pope's Easter Appeal –
On Thursday the world's top court ordered Israel to “ensure immediate humanitarian assistance” to Gaza without delay, saying,Draught “Setting up in”.
The health ministry of the Hamas-ruled region said at least 77 people, mostly women and children, were killed in bombings and fighting during the past 24 hours.
A UN Security Council The resolution on March 25 demanded “urgent” Ceasefire“And the release of all hostages held by terrorists, but the binding resolution has failed to stop the fighting in or around hospitals.
Tensions have risen between Israel and its main backer, the United States, over the rising civilian death toll, and particularly over Israel's threats to send ground troops into Gaza's crowded far-southern city of Rafah. Has gone.
Washington has approved billions of dollars worth of bombs and fighter planes for Israel in recent days, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed officials.
Pope Francis reiterated his appeal in his Easter message to “ensure access for humanitarian aid to Gaza and calls once again for the early release of hostages captured on 7 October”, after Hamas attacked Israel and escalated the war. began.
Speaking at the Vatican, Francis called again “for an immediate ceasefire” in Gaza.
-Massive protests in Tel Aviv –
According to Israeli official figures, the Hamas attack resulted in approximately 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians.
Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 32,782 people, mostly women and children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Palestinian militants also captured about 250 Israeli and foreign hostages. Israel believes about 130 people remain in Gaza, including 34 who are presumed dead.
Under intense pressure to bring the detainees home, Netanyahu on Friday approved a new round of ceasefire talks in Doha and Cairo.
Egyptian TV station Al-Qahera, which is close to the country's intelligence services, said talks would resume in Cairo on Sunday.
But a Hamas official told AFP on condition of anonymity that the Islamist group had not decided whether to send a delegation to the new round “in Cairo or Doha”.
The official also expressed doubt that the process could bring results because Netanyahu “is not interested.”
Netanyahu has vowed to continue the fight by sending troops against Hamas fighters in Rafah, where about 1.5 million civilians are sheltering.
Relatives and supporters of people held hostage by Hamas have held regular protests, including on Saturday night in Tel Aviv, where police used water cannon against protesters who set fires and blocked highways. .
Raz Ben Ami, a survivor of Hamas captivity, said, “The Prime Minister, on behalf of the hostage men and women, on behalf of the people of Israel, order the negotiators in Qatar: do not return without an agreement.”
Anti-government protesters and hostage supporters planned to rally outside the Knesset, the parliament in Jerusalem, on Sunday evening and again every night through Wednesday, organizers said.
– Fighting near hospitals –
In Gaza, where vast swaths of territory have been turned into debris-filled wastelands, heavy fighting has rocked areas around several Gaza hospitals.
Israel has accused Palestinian militants of hiding under medical facilities and in tunnels and using patients and medical staff as cover, but the groups deny this.
The army said on Saturday it “continued to eliminate” militants around Gaza City's largest hospital, al-Shifa, before on Monday it reported nearly 200 people had been killed in the operation that began two weeks ago. Was.
The Gaza Health Ministry said 107 patients remained inside al-Shifa, including 30 who are disabled, and that the army had halted efforts to evacuate them.
The army said soldiers raiding the hospital's maternity ward found “numerous weapons hidden inside pillows, hospital beds, ceilings and walls of the premises, including dozens of mortar shells, explosive devices, sniper rifles, Kalashnikov rifles, pistols, Magazines, mortars and spare ammunition”.
It said that while searching the compound, soldiers encountered “senior terrorists” on a staircase and were later killed during a shootout.
Israeli military operations were also ongoing at two hospitals in the southern city of Khan Yunis – Nasser Hospital and al-Amal Hospital, according to the Red Crescent, according to the Hamas government press office.
The UN World Health Organization warned that Gaza now has only 10 “minimally functioning” hospitals, down from 36 before the war.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said 9,000 patients needed to leave Gaza for “life-saving health services, including treatment for cancer, injuries from bombings, kidney dialysis and other chronic conditions.”

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