Israelis strike to mark 100 days of Gaza war

Israelis strike to mark 100 days of Gaza war

Hundreds of Israeli companies went on strike for 100 minutes on Sunday as a sign of solidarity with more than 130 hostages still being held in the Gaza Strip.

They were responding to a call by the Israeli umbrella organization of trade unions, Histadrut, to mark 100 days since the start of the Gaza war on October 7.

At the beginning of the strike, thousands of participants in a rally organized by relatives and supporters of the hostages remained silent for 100 seconds as a sign of solidarity. The rally in Tel Aviv is set to last 24 hours until Sunday evening.

Histadrut leader Arnon Ben-David said at the rally: “[Israel is] in the middle of a terrible dream, and I want to wake up from this terrible dream and create a new Israel.”

“We are striking today to work together to rebuild the land of Israel.

“We will rebuild everything they have tried to destroy.”

Israel has been fighting the Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas in Gaza since Hamas militants and other extremist groups launched a bloody raid on Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 and kidnapping around 240.

Israel estimates that 136 hostages are still being held in Gaza and that two dozen of them have died.

Israel responded to the massacre with massive airstrikes and launched a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip.

According to the Hamas-controlled health authorities in Gaza, about 24,000 have been killed and some 60,600 others injured in the sealed-off coastal strip since the beginning of the Israeli campaign. These figures cannot currently be independently verified.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock reaffirmed her hope for the release of all hostages. “We will not give up, we will not let up in our work until all Hamas hostages are back home,” Baerbock wrote on the social media platform X on Sunday.

“For 100 days, children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends have been missing in #Israel. 100 days of uncertainty, despair, grief – and hope.”

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) renewed its appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire. “The massive death, destruction, displacement, hunger, loss, and grief of the last 100 days are staining our shared humanity,” UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini wrote in a statement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again pledged that his country will fight “until total victory.”

“Nobody will stop us,” Netanyahu said late Saturday, referring to the genocide lawsuit filed by South Africa at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

“The hypocritical onslaught at The Hague against the state of the Jews that arose from the ashes of the Holocaust, at the behest of those who came to perpetrate another Holocaust against the Jews – is a moral low point in the history of nations,” Netanyahu said.

The state of Israel, its armed forces and security services are waging a “moral and just war that is unrivalled, against the Hamas monsters, the new Nazis,” said Netanyahu, who is under pressure domestically.

In the Hamas tunnels under the Gaza Strip, the army had found copies of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” Netanyahu said. Hamas members are “the new Nazis,” said Netanyahu, quoting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Netanyahu thanked Scholz for Germany’s clear rejection of the genocide claim.

“We are continuing the war until the end – until total victory, until we achieve all of our goals: Eliminating Hamas, returning all of our hostages and ensuring that Gaza will never again constitute a threat to Israel.”

There were civilian casualties in new attacks from Lebanon in northern Israel on Sunday. A 40-year-old man was killed and a 70-year-old woman seriously injured in the border town of Kfar Yuval, according to the Magen David Adom rescue service.

The Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attack with anti-tank missiles on the village and three others in the border area. According to the militia, the attack was in support of the Palestinian people.

According to the Israeli army, a house in Kfar Yuval was hit by a rocket. For their part, Israeli fighter jets had attacked “Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure and military targets in Lebanon.”

There was another exchange of fire overnight, the army said earlier in the day. The soldiers returned fire, and four militants were killed, it said.

People stand with Israeli flags during the "100 days in hell" rally to remember the fate of the Israeli hostages who have still not been freed. Henning Kaiser/dpa

People stand with Israeli flags during the “100 days in hell” rally to remember the fate of the Israeli hostages who have still not been freed. Henning Kaiser/dpa

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