As Israel-Hamas war enters Day 100, US leads second strike on Houthis

More than 30 Palestinians, including young children, were killed in Israeli bombardments overnight into Saturday in the Gaza Strip, officials said even as a new US strike against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen heightened fears that the crisis could escalate into a regional conflict. A top UN official said Saturday that the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza was staining humanity, as the conflict in the besieged territory moves into its 100th day.
“The massive death, destruction, displacement, hunger, loss and grief of the last 100 days are staining our shared humanity,” the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Philippe Lazzarini, said in a statement as he visited the Gaza Strip.
Lazzarini condemned the “horrific attacks” that Hamas and other groups launched on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of 1,140 people, mostly civilians. “It’s been 100 days of ordeal and anxiety for hostages and their families,” Lazzarini said. Some 250 more were taken hostage, of whom 132 are still in Gaza, though 25 are thought to be dead.
Following a Houthi campaign of drone and missile attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, the US and Britain launched multiple airstrikes against the rebels Friday, and the US hit another site Saturday. The strike on a radar facility, carried out at 3.45am Saturday local time by the USS Carney using Tomahawk missiles, was “a followon action on a specific military target,” Central Command said in a statement posted on social media. A Pentagon official said Friday night that the strike was meant to further the job begun by the widespread coordinated air and naval assault on a number of Houthi targets in Yemen the night before.
A military spokespers on for the Houthis, Yahya Saree, said in a post on social media that the US-led strikes would “not go unanswered and unpunished.” He said the strikes had killed at least five members of the Houthi forces, an armed group that controls northern Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa. US and British forces fired more than 150 missiles and bombs at several dozen targets in Yemen, chosen specifically to damage the Houthis’ ability to imperil shipping — weapons storage areas, radars, and
missile and drone launch sites — US officials said.
It was the first Western assault after repeated warnings by the United States and its allies that the Houthis and Iran must halt the attacks at sea or face consequences, only to see them increase. US President Joe Biden said he believes Yemen-based Houthi rebels that have attacked Red Sea shipping are a terrorist organization, though he didn’t think officially designating the group as such would make a difference. “I think they are,” Biden said Friday when asked by reporters if he would be willing to call them a terror organization. The Biden administration upon taking office removed a formal designation against the group over concerns that associated sanctions would worsen the humanitarian situation in Yemen, which had been wracked by years of civil war.
In Gaza, where Hamas has put up but stiff resistance to Israel’s blistering air and ground campaign, the war continued unabated. The Gaza health ministry said Saturday that 135 Palestinians were killed in the last 24 hours, bringing the overall toll of the war to 23,843. The total number of war-wounded surpassed 60,000.
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