Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with soldiers stationed near the northern Gaza Strip in Jerusalem, December 25, 2023.
Avi Ohayon | Anadolu | Getty Images
Israeli warplanes launched strikes into central Gaza on Sunday as fighting raged amid the rubble of towns and refugee camps in a war that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said would take “many more months” to end. Residents and medical personnel said the measures have been strengthened.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comments suggest that the campaign that has left thousands dead and flattened large swaths of the Gaza Strip is not slowing, but threatens to undermine Israel’s control over the enclave’s border with Egypt. The prime minister’s vow to recover raises new questions about the eventual two-state solution.
Air strikes on Al Maghazi and Al Buraij in the heart of the Palestinian enclave kill eight people in a single house, and many more head to Rafah on the Egyptian border from the front lines where Israeli tanks engage Hamas fighters. I ran away.
Read more about the war between Israel and Hamas:
A Red Crescent video released on Sunday showed the chaotic aftermath of the attack in central Gaza, with rescue workers working in the dark to remove an injured child who was breathing through the rubble. I was worried.
The Israeli military’s stated target is Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that launched surprise cross-border attacks on Israeli towns on October 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking 240 hostages. It is to eliminate.
Health officials say Israeli airstrikes and shelling have killed more than 21,800 people in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, with many more feared dead in the rubble, and nearly all of the 2.3 million people have been forced to flee their homes. I was disappointed.
The handout, published on December 29, 2023, shows Israeli soldiers working in the Gaza Strip amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas.
Israel Defense Forces | via Reuters
The Palestinian Ministry of Health’s casualty numbers do not distinguish between combatants and civilians, but the ministry said 70% of those killed in the Gaza Strip were women and under 18 years old. Israel disputes Palestinian casualty figures, claiming it killed 8,000 fighters.
War and material shortages have put 40% of Gaza residents at risk of starvation, the United Nations Palestinian Refugee Agency’s Gaza chief said on social media on Saturday.
Israel blocked most food, fuel and medical supplies after the October 7 attack. The government announced on Sunday that some Western ships were ready to deliver aid directly to the Gaza coast after security checks in Cyprus.
People sat outside makeshift tents in Rafah on Sunday, sandwiched between the ruins of homes destroyed by Israeli shelling, some begging for food and clean water, Reuters photos showed. Plumes of black smoke rose above the fighting in central Gaza.
The United States, Israel’s main ally, has urged a winding down of the war, and European countries have expressed alarm at the extent of suffering among Palestinian civilians.
However, Prime Minister Netanyahu said on Saturday that he would not resign despite opinion polls showing his government as widely unpopular and that his security record despite the October 7 attack The statements made in defense of the current situation indicate that there will be no relaxation for the time being.
He said the “war is at its climax” and Israel will have to regain control of the Gaza Strip and Egypt’s borders. The area is now crowded with civilians fleeing the enclave’s remaining massacres, and aid agencies are leading the establishment of “tent cities.” “For the families of displaced people sleeping rough on the streets.
Retaking the border could also effectively reverse Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, raising new questions about the future of the enclave and the prospects for a Palestinian state.
In his final comments as Israel’s foreign minister before switching to the energy portfolio, Eli Cohen said Sunday that the border is likely the source of weapons that Hamas has acquired in recent years.
Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior Palestinian Authority official in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, said on social media that Israel’s occupation of the border was evidence of its determination to “return the occupation in its entirety.”
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately comment on Israel’s plans to retake the border area or whether Hamas weapons had entered Gaza from Egypt.
Umm Mohammed, 45, a Palestinian woman taking shelter near the border, said: “We moved here from Khan Younis because Rafah is a safe place. Rafah is overcrowded with displaced people.” And we don’t have the space.”
“If they control the borders, where will people go?” she asked, saying this would be a “disaster.”
The war risks escalating into a broader regional conflict involving Hamas’s ally Iran and Iranian government-backed organizations across the Middle East.
Israel and Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah regularly exchange fire across the border, and the Israeli military announced Sunday that it had struck targets in Lebanon. Israel attacked Iranian-linked targets in Syria. And Iranian-backed groups attacked U.S. targets in Iraq.
The U.S. military said Yemen’s Iranian-allied Houthis, who have been attacking ships in the Red Sea for weeks in response to Israel’s war in Gaza, attacked the Maersk cargo ship on Saturday and Sunday. Announced.
Three of the four small boats used by the Houthis in Sunday’s attack were sunk by a U.S. Navy helicopter, the military said, and a fourth was driven back to shore.
Israel said 174 soldiers were killed in the fighting in Gaza, but the operation was making progress, including destroying some Hamas tunnels beneath the enclave.
Hamas media reported on Saturday that Hamas militant leader Abdel Fattah Marri was killed in an Israeli military attack in the Gaza Strip. The newspaper said Marri, originally from the West Bank, was released during a prisoner exchange in 2011 and deported to Gaza. Reports did not say when he was killed.
Palestinian media reported Saturday night’s attack killed Sheikh Yousef Salama, a senior cleric who served as Gaza’s religious minister before Hamas took control of the enclave.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad, both of which have vowed to destroy Israel, said they continue to target Israeli forces operating in the enclave.