Israel’s genocidal Gaza war entered its 10th month on Sunday amid continuous bombardment of the territory and growing protests in Tel Aviv.

Israeli protesters blocked roads in the capital for a second day Sunday, demanding the government secure a hostage deal with Hamas.

A nationwide “disruption day” began at 6:29 a.m., corresponding to the start of the Oct. 7 Hamas incursion attacks on southern Israel that set off the conflict.

Flag-wielding demonstrators stopped traffic at an intersection in Tel Aviv, calling for elections and for the government to do more to free the remaining captives in Gaza.

Police stepped up security around Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Jerusalem residence before a rally called for Sunday.

The night before, anti-government demonstrators blocking a highway clashed with mounted police before authorities deployed water canons to clear the road.

Mediators have launched new truce talks between Israel and Hamas and some hostage families say they have been given renewed hope.

“For the first time, we all feel that we are closer than ever to getting our loved ones back,” Sachar Mor, a relative of hostage Ofer Kaderon, told a Saturday rally. “This is an opportunity that cannot be missed.”

No end to Israeli violence

Israel, however, continued its campaign of deadly airstrikes across the Gaza Strip on Sunday.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, in the meanwhile, fired another 20 rockets at northern Israel, leaving one person injured there, the latest cross-border attacks launched in solidarity with Gaza’s Palestinian resistance group Hamas.

Efforts toward a truce continued with U.S., Qatari and Egyptian mediators hoping to halt Israel’s worst-ever war on Gaza, which has caused mass civilian casualties and devastated the coastal territory.

Egypt’s Al-Qahera News reported that Cairo was “hosting Israeli and American delegations to discuss the outstanding points” for a cease-fire and hostage release deal, citing an unnamed high-level official source.

Mediators were in contact with Hamas amid “intensive Egyptian meetings this week with all parties to push efforts” for a truce, said the news report late Saturday, without giving further details or dates.

Israel has also said it would send a delegation in the coming days to continue talks with Qatari mediators, even though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman said Friday that “gaps” remained with Hamas.

U.S. President Joe Biden announced a plan in late May that included an initial six-week truce and the exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners.

Israeli soldiers operate during a ground operation in the southern Gaza Strip, Palestine, July 3, 2024. (Reuters Photo)

Talks subsequently stalled, but a U.S. official said Thursday that a new proposal from Hamas “moves the process forward and may provide the basis for closing the deal.”

Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the group’s new ideas had been “conveyed by the mediators to the American side, which welcomed them and passed them on to the Israeli side,” adding that “now the ball is in the Israeli court.”

Heavy bombing

The fighting and bombardment in besieged Gaza raged on unabated on Sunday, with medics and emergency services reporting yet more deaths in several strikes.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said the bodies of six people including two children were taken to Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in the central city of Deir al-Balah.

Paramedics said six people were killed in one strike on a house in Gaza City and three in another elsewhere in Gaza’s largest urban area.

An AFP correspondent said Israeli drones were firing in Gaza City’s Shujaiya district, which has been largely evacuated and rocked by intense battles for two weeks.

On Saturday, the Gaza Health Ministry said 16 people were killed in a strike on a school run by the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) that was sheltering displaced people in Nuseirat, in central Gaza.

‘Catastrophic hunger’

The war was triggered by the Oct. 7 Hamas incursion on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

The resistance members also seized 251 hostages, 116 of whom remain in Gaza, including 42 the military says are dead.

In response, Israel has carried out a genocidal war that has killed at least 38,098 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Health Ministry.

The war has uprooted 90% of Gaza’s population, left almost 500,000 people enduring “catastrophic” hunger and shuttered most hospitals, U.N. agencies say.

“The situation is very difficult,” said Dr. Muhammad Salha, acting director of Al-Awda Hospital in Jabalia.

“There is no fuel in the hospital to work. We only operate the small generator for two hours a day and we have postponed many scheduled operations due to the lack of fuel.”

Hezbollah resolute

Amid the Gaza war, Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah have exchanged almost daily cross-border fire and the attacks and rhetoric have escalated over the past month, sparking fears of a full-scale war.

While the exchanges have been largely restricted to the border areas, Israel has repeatedly struck deep inside eastern Lebanon, including on Saturday in a strike that killed a Hezbollah member.

Early on Sunday, air raid sirens again sounded across northern Israel and the army then reported that 20 rockets were fired, some of which were intercepted by air defense systems.

One person was wounded by shrapnel in Kfar Zeitim near Tiberias, around 30 kilometers (over 18 miles) inside Israel, local police said, adding they were in stable condition.

Hezbollah said that “in response to the attack and assassination that the Israeli enemy carried out”, it had targeted “one of the main bases” in northern Israel, west of Tiberias, with “dozens of Katyusha rockets.”

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