By: Rania Kisar
The Latest ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR Escalation.
The seven-day truce concluded on Friday morning as Hamas did not provide a list of the women and children it intended to release and initiated rocket launches just an hour before the truce’s scheduled end, resulting in the return of all women and children hostages.
This marked a significant failure in the shuttle diplomacy efforts led by the United States, Egypt, and Qatar. Hamas released 105 civilian hostages (comprising 81 Israelis, 23 Thai nationals, and one Filipino), leaving 137 hostages still in Gaza. In parallel, Israel released 210 Palestinian security prisoners, specifically women and minors, and facilitated daily deliveries of 200 trucks, including four fuel tankers and four cooking gas tankers to Gaza.
Upon resuming military operations, the IDF announced the elimination of a Hamas commander, Wissam Farhat, responsible for directing the attack on Nahal Oz on October 7. Farhat was also implicated in the 2014 attacks on the IDF, which led to the kidnapping of IDF soldier Oron Shaul.
Concurrently, Hamas announced the killing of Israeli soldiers stationed northwest of Gaza City during the same time when Israel intensified its raids on the strip. The Israeli army did not comment on Hamas’ announcement.
Avichay Adraee, the Israeli army spokesman, stated on Saturday that dozens of rockets, shells, and other weapons were discovered under boxes belonging to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in the northern Gaza Strip. The Israeli military’s impending operation in southern Gaza is motivated by intelligence obtained from hundreds of militants captured in the north, believed to enable them to locate and target Hamas leaders.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced evacuation maps for residents of Khan Yunis, promising to minimize civilian casualties. Despite this pledge, the situation became challenging when they conducted over 400 attacks in a single day, resulting in nearly 700 deaths.
The IDF succeeded in destroying 500 out of 800 tunnels discovered in Gaza. However, this significant increase in casualties raises questions about the efficacy of the IDF’s strategy to conduct targeted attacks that aim to reduce the loss of civilian lives. Adding to the complexity, Israel’s ambassador to the UK revealed the establishment of a “Mawasi” safe zone in southern Gaza. Nevertheless, a Sky News team found no evidence of aid, food kitchens, or assistance in this designated area.
Source: Al Jazeera
Source: Al Jazeera
European nations are displaying contrasting approaches to the Israel-Hamas conflict. The French President expressed concerns over Israel’s extended military actions against Hamas, potentially lasting years, and has called for Israel to clearly state its goals. He emphasized the dangers of ongoing bombings and the possible destruction of whole areas or civilian infrastructure.
In contrast to France’s stance, the United Kingdom has adopted a more proactive role in the Israel-Hamas conflict. It has been conducting reconnaissance flights over Israel and Gaza with a specific focus on aiding hostage rescue efforts.
These operations are exclusively aimed at gathering intelligence for the safe recovery of hostages. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have criticized the UK’s surveillance activities, accusing Britain of siding with Israel and ignoring historical grievances, particularly those related to the Balfour Declaration. The UK Ministry of Defense clarified that these flights are crucial for a hostage rescue mission and emphasized their commitment to the safety of British nationals.
This Monday, Israeli experts announced the presumed deaths of several hostages in Gaza, based on the analysis of video footage and witness statements that suggested lethal injuries. This effort aims to provide closure to the families of the hostages. Currently, about 137 individuals remain detained in Gaza, with reports indicating 7 deaths since the ceasefire.
Russia’s President Putin seems to be blending the conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine into a singular online narrative, utilizing the Israel-Hamas situation to sow
discord in Western alliances and divert attention from Ukraine.
Kremlin-linked social media accounts are actively disseminating misinformation about Hamas and NATO, aligning with the increase in violence and protests. Observers note Putin’s reluctance to condemn Hamas and his alliance with Iran, reflecting a strategy influenced by his KGB background aimed at countering U.S. influence and disrupting global stability.
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