Israel-Hamas War: The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are continuing large-scale airstrikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, as world leaders consider bringing the two sides back to the negotiating table. Since Friday morning, when the real deal collapsed, at least 240 Palestinians have reportedly been killed in the Gaza Strip, with the total toll exceeding 15,000. Israel has shifted the focus of its bombing to southern Gaza and ruled out any discussion with Hamas on the ceasefire.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hints at escalation of war between Israel and Hamas: 10 updates
1. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested on Sunday that he was preparing for an escalation of his war against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip. “We will continue the war until we have achieved all our objectives, and it is impossible to achieve these objectives without a ground operation,” he said in a televised conference.
2. The IDF has shifted its attention to areas around southern Gaza, particularly Khan Younis, which may make humanitarian efforts more difficult as an estimated 1.8 million Gaza civilians have fled south to avoid the Israeli bombings.
3. The Israeli defense spokesperson said that Gaza terrorists continue their attacks on Israeli territory and that since the breakdown of the ceasefire, more than 250 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza.
4. World leaders continue to express concern over the rising death toll in Gaza, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling on Israel to do everything possible to protect civilian lives in Gaza. Similar warnings came from US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who said Israel faced a “strategic defeat” if it failed to stop the rising civilian death toll.
5. US Vice President Kamala Harris was more direct in her speech and said: “As Israel defends itself, it matters how it defends itself. The United States is categorical: international humanitarian law must be respected. Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed. Frankly, the scale of civilian suffering and the images and videos coming out of Gaza are devastating,” the vice president added.
6. The UK plans to carry out unarmed surveillance flights over the Middle East region to locate its citizens held hostage by Hamas. A BBC report cited the country’s Defense Ministry as saying that “the safety of British nationals is our top priority.”
7. French President Emmanuel Macron will likely travel to Qatar to bring Israel and Hamas back to the truce agreement. The leader said Israel’s goal of completely eliminating Hamas risks decades of war.
8. The United Nations and various humanitarian organizations have consistently raised the alarm about a looming humanitarian crisis in Gaza due to a shortage of essential resources such as food, clean water and medical assistance.
9. Israel denies reports that it is blocking humanitarian aid to Gaza. “We will facilitate the entry into the Gaza Strip of humanitarian support for Gazan civilians,” said Mark Regev, special adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
10. Mark Regev added that Israel has established a number of safe zones for civilians, but accused Hamas terrorists of using civilians as human shields.
(With contribution from agencies)
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