Israel bombs Gaza during Eid festivities as Biden warns Netanyahu of "mistake"

Gaza City, Gaza - Israeli strikes hit Gaza on Wednesday as Muslims marked the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan and after US President Joe Biden labelled Israel's approach to the war a "mistake."

Palestinians in Gaza City gather for Eid in the ruins of the Omari Mosque, partially destroyed by Israeli attacks.
Palestinians in Gaza City gather for Eid in the ruins of the Omari Mosque, partially destroyed by Israeli attacks.  © AFP

Palestinians gathered for morning prayers on the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday amid the ruins of Gaza, which has been devastated by more than six months of horrific Israeli attacks.

Over 500 mosques in the strip have either been destroyed or damaged, with many people forced to pray in improvised settings, often out in the open.

Tens of thousands also flocked to Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound, where one worshiper, nurse Rawan Abd, said: "It's the saddest Eid ever... you could see the sadness on people's faces."

Israel bombs south and north of Gaza amid mass Palestinian exodus from Rafah
Israel-Gaza War Israel bombs south and north of Gaza amid mass Palestinian exodus from Rafah

"Usually we come to Al-Aqsa to celebrate, this year we came just to support each other," the 32-year-old said at Islam's third-holiest site, which is also revered by Jews as the Temple Mount.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces kept up their relentless assaults and air strikes on Gaza, a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed no let-up in the campaign to destroy Hamas and bring home the remaining hostages taken in the October 7 attack that killed over 1,100 people.

Netanyahu insisted on that "no force in the world" would stop Israeli troops from entering Gaza's southern city of Rafah which is packed with displaced Palestinians.

Biden criticizes Netanyahu, but policy remains unchanged

Israel has imposed conditions of famine on Gaza, with many children suffering from malnutrition and some already dying of starvation.
Israel has imposed conditions of famine on Gaza, with many children suffering from malnutrition and some already dying of starvation.  © AFP

Biden had previously voiced yet more frustration with Netanyahu.

"I think what he's doing is a mistake," he told Spanish-language TV network Univision in an interview that aired Tuesday night after being recorded last week. "I don't agree with his approach."

The Democrat urged Netanyahu to "just call for a ceasefire, allow for the next six, eight weeks, total access to all food and medicine going into the country."

Joke of the Night for May 18, 2024: The best jokes to laugh Caturday day away
Joke of the Day Joke of the Night for May 18, 2024: The best jokes to laugh Caturday day away

Aside from killing more than 33,000 Palestinians – most of them women and children – Israel has imposed a siege that has left Gaza on the brink of, if not already experiencing, famine. The use of starvation as a weapon of war constitutes a war crime under international law.

All the while, and despite its change of tone in public, the Biden administration has continued to provide crucial military, diplomatic, and financial backing to a war that has been credibly characterized as genocidal.

Cover photo: AFP

More on Israel-Gaza War: