The Gaza Health Ministry announced that the death toll from the Israeli aggression, which began on 7 October 2023, has reached 30,717, while 72,156 others have been wounded. The ministry also accused Israel of deliberately targeting and killing 348 medical staff and detaining 269 more, including hospital directors.

The ministry added that 18 people have died from malnutrition and dehydration in the Gaza Strip, as Israel continues to impose a tight blockade on the coastal enclave. It also documented nine massacres committed by Israel in Gaza, resulting in 86 deaths and 113 injuries within 24 hours.

Israel has been waging a brutal war on Gaza since the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation, which has killed and injured tens of thousands of civilians, mostly women and children. The war has also caused widespread destruction of infrastructure and an “unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe”, according to Palestinian and international sources.

On Wednesday, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said that its efforts to resume humanitarian aid deliveries to northern Gaza, which is facing famine, were largely unsuccessful on Tuesday. The WFP suspended its operations on February 20 due to the unsafe security situation and the attacks on its convoys by desperate crowds.

The WFP said in a statement that it sent 14 trucks of food assistance to northern Gaza, but they were turned back by the Israeli army after waiting for three hours at the Wadi Gaza crossing. The statement added that the trucks were diverted and later intercepted by a large crowd that looted about 200 tons of food.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday that she will visit Cyprus later this week as the European Union works to establish a possible humanitarian corridor through the island in the Mediterranean Sea to support the people of Gaza.

The spokesperson said in a press briefing, “We are focused on ensuring that we can assist the Palestinians. We all hope that this corridor will be opened very soon.”

In a press release on Wednesday, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) said that it has shown the necessary flexibility to reach a deal that would end the Israeli aggression, noting that Israel is still avoiding the obligations of such a deal, especially those that would ensure a lasting ceasefire in Gaza.

Hamas stressed that it will continue to negotiate through its mediators to reach a deal that meets the demands and interests of its people.

On Tuesday night, the Hebrew Walah website quoted two unnamed senior Israeli officials as saying that the Israeli negotiators will ask Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet to expand their authority, in an attempt to break the deadlock in the talks related to a possible deal with Hamas.

On Thursday, the Israeli Security Cabinet is expected to convene to discuss the ongoing negotiations regarding a potential deal with Hamas that would lead to a ceasefire in Gaza and the exchange of Israeli captives for Palestinian prisoners.

In the meantime, the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, said that they shelled the command and control center of the Israeli occupation south of Gaza City with a barrage of mortar shells. The Brigades also said that they hit an Israeli “Numir” armored vehicle with a projectile on Street 10, south of the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City.

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