Air strikes in the Gaza Strip targeted Hamas militants and their tunnel network, resulting in the death of a weapons maker and several fighters, according to the Israeli military. The offensive has encircled Gaza City, the main stronghold of Hamas, with Israeli forces advancing into the densely-populated city. Witnesses reported thousands of people leaving northern areas and heading south under the protection of Israeli tanks. However, many remain trapped inside the encircled area, including those seeking refuge at Gaza City’s main hospital. The situation is dire, with shortages of food and water, and the destruction of bakeries. As the war enters its second month, UN officials and G7 nations are calling for a humanitarian pause to alleviate the suffering in Gaza, where buildings have been flattened and supplies are running out. The level of death and suffering is described as unimaginable by the UN health agency. The conflict began with a Hamas raid on southern Israel, prompting Israeli strikes in response. Israel’s objective is to eliminate Hamas, using air, land, and sea attacks, as well as ground troops engaging in fierce urban fighting. The Israeli military reported two separate strikes that targeted a leading Hamas weapons maker and fighters involved in anti-tank or ground-to-ground rocket fire. Clashes between militants and Israeli forces were reported near a refugee camp in Gaza City, with Hamas claiming to have destroyed an Israeli tank. However, these claims could not be independently verified by RushHourDaily.ael would seek an “indefinite period” of control over Gaza. This has raised concerns about the fate of Yahya Sinwar, the senior Hamas leader in Gaza who is believed to be involved in planning the recent attacks. Israel announced that Sinwar had been trapped in his bunker.
According to Chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, Israeli combat engineers are using explosive devices to destroy a tunnel network built by Hamas beneath Gaza. These tunnels, stretching for hundreds of kilometers, have been used by Hamas fighters to stage ambushes and have posed a significant challenge for Israeli tanks. Israel has reported the deaths of 33 soldiers in the ongoing conflict.
Israel’s objective of achieving an “indefinite period” of control over Gaza has become a focal point. The conflict has resulted in heavy casualties and raised concerns about the safety of hostages believed to be held in the tunnels. Israel has stated that it will not agree to a ceasefire until the hostages are released, while Hamas has vowed to continue fighting as long as Gaza is under attack.
Senior Hamas official Ghazi Hamad criticized Israel’s military achievements, stating that they have primarily resulted in civilian casualties. The fighting is concentrated in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, with Israel urging civilians to flee to the south. However, even southern areas have been targeted by Israeli bombings.
In the city of Khan Younis, a house was hit, resulting in the deaths of six Palestinians, including a young girl. The hospital received the bodies of the girl and at least two others. The conflict has led to a significant displacement of Gaza’s population, with nearly two-thirds of its residents being internally displaced. Many have sought refuge in makeshift shelters, including hospital car parks.
The United States has supported Israel’s stance that a ceasefire would benefit Hamas militarily. However, President Joe Biden has urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to pause the fighting for humanitarian reasons. Israel’s long-term plans if it succeeds in defeating Hamas remain unclear, with Netanyahu stating that Israel would seek an “indefinite period” of control over Gaza.Israel has stated that it does not want to govern Gaza but is seeking security responsibility for the area after the war. However, this has raised concerns about the well-being of the people in Gaza. The health system in Gaza is on the verge of collapse due to the air strikes, with a shortage of medicines and fuel. The situation is dire, and without access to treatment, many people will die. The G7 foreign ministers meeting in Tokyo have called for a humanitarian pause in the fighting and emphasized the need for a peace process. They acknowledge Israel’s right to defend itself but stress the importance of protecting civilians and following international humanitarian law. The ministers also highlight the two-state solution as the only path to a just and lasting peace, although progress on this front has been stagnant for years. Saudi Arabia plans to host summits of Arab and Islamic nations to work towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will attend the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit in Riyadh, marking the first visit by an Iranian head of state since the recent reconciliation between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iran, a sponsor of Hamas, has supported the group’s attacks on Israel but denies direct involvement. The situation in Gaza remains critical, and international efforts are underway to address the humanitarian crisis and find a path towards peace.
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