Israel, Gaza and the world marked 100 days of fighting since Oct. 7 attack
A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:
In Israel, Gaza and around the world, people marked 100 days of war over the weekend.
LEILA FADEL, HOST:
It was a somber moment, remembering more than 24,000 people killed in Gaza, the majority women and children, following the Hamas attack which killed 1,200 in October. Those numbers are according to the Gaza health ministry and the Israeli government, respectively. Today, nearly 2 million people are displaced inside Gaza. That's almost the entire population. And people are starving, with only a trickle of aid being allowed in to the Palestinian enclave.
MARTÍNEZ: NPR's Lauren Frayer is in Tel Aviv. Lauren, those numbers that Leila just mentioned - I mean, it's - they're horrible, horrible, horrible numbers. How are Israelis and Palestinians marking this?
LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: There's grief across Israel, the West Bank and, of course, Gaza, where fighting continues. Overnight, Hamas issued a video of three hostages held in Gaza pleading with the Israeli government to end this war and bring them home. It's unclear when this video was recorded. They're presumably speaking under duress. A spokesperson for Hamas' armed wing made an appearance on TV, saying many of the hostages may already be dead, killed by Israeli bombing of Gaza.
MARTÍNEZ: Wow. That has got to be difficult for families to hear.
FRAYER: That's right. There have been vigils across Israel this past weekend for the hostages - a sense that time may be running out for them. Here's Karin Rose (ph). She's an Israeli teacher whom my colleague Aya Batrawy interviewed in a gathering in Tel Aviv on Saturday.
KARIN ROSE: Everyone in Israel can't - no one will be able to go on with life until they're back. I know that everyone feels that this is the top priority, and I just don't understand why it's not happening.
FRAYER: Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people have rallied in other countries this weekend, including the U.S. and Europe, calling for an end to Israeli attacks on Gaza. Our Gaza producer, Anas Baba, is in Rafah in southern Gaza, where he spoke with a man named Muhammad Subek (ph).
MUHAMMAD SUBEK: (Speaking Arabic).
FRAYER: He says he's from the north of Gaza, describes fleeing his home under fire, squeezing into the south with more than a million other evacuees. The United Nations says famine is imminent there, and it accuses Israel of using food, water and medicine as, quote, "instruments of war."
MARTÍNEZ: Now, the U.S. has stood by Israel, but President Biden has said that too many Palestinians have died in Gaza. So what role is the United States playing a hundred days in?
FRAYER: The U.S. is pushing Israel to tamp down that bombardment of Gaza and shift to targeted special operations to hunt Hamas leaders and find those hostages. Here's the National Security Council spokesperson, John Kirby, on CBS "Face The Nation" yesterday.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "FACE THE NATION")
JOHN KIRBY: We have been talking to them intensely about a transition to low-intensity operations. We believe it's the right time for that transition.
FRAYER: But, you know, the U.S.-Israel relationship is showing some signs of strain.
MARTÍNEZ: Wonder now if this conflict is in danger of spreading to other countries in the region.
FRAYER: That's a worry. I mean, Israel's been trading fire over its northern border, too, with militants based in Lebanon. Two Israelis were killed yesterday when an anti-tank missile hit their home in that border region. And the conflict is also spilling over into global sports, actually. An Israeli soccer player who plays professionally in Turkey was briefly detained there after he displayed a wristband with the words 100 days and a Star of David on it. And Israel's defense minister, in response, has accused Turkey of acting like, quote, "the de facto executive arm of Hamas." So tensions are running high across the region over this war.
MARTÍNEZ: That's NPR's Lauren Frayer in Tel Aviv. Lauren, thank you.
FRAYER: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
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