Israel is targeting refugee camps in the central Gaza Strip

Israel has responded to criticism from its allies over its “indiscriminate” bombings of Gaza’s civilian population, which have killed more than 21,000 people in the first 11 weeks of the war, by refocusing its offensive on the refugee camps that cover the center of the enclave, where thousands of people live overcrowded. In the last 24 hours alone, more than fifty Palestinians have been killed and dozens injured. The spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra, counted this Thursday up to “50 martyrs and dozens wounded” in the Israeli attacks “against town houses in Beit Lahia, Khan Yunis and Al Maghazi”. According to military analysts, the Israeli army’s new strategy aims to penetrate Hamas’ extensive network of tunnels that cross the Gaza Strip. The bombings of the last few days are part of preparations for the start of ground fighting in the refugee camps. Control of these areas would allow Israeli forces to connect their positions in the Gaza Strip by establishing a north-south corridor.

Since October 7 last year, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has suffered more than 500 casualties at the hands of the Palestinian Islamist group, 167 of which occurred as part of the ground operation in Gaza. But the high number of victims does not change the ultimate goal. The Chief of Army Staff, Dear Halevi, guaranteed that the offensive in the Palestinian enclave “would continue for many more months.” The nearly 130 hostages still held by Hamas do not determine the variables of the operation. The Israeli government’s stance on his release remains contradictory. The first minister Benjamin Netanyahu He allowed David Barnea, the director of the Mossad, to negotiate conditions for the release of more hostages with Qatari diplomats, but ruled out a ceasefire. For its part, Hamas maintained its position of not allowing the exchange of new prisoners unless Israel stopped its offensive.

Meanwhile, Abdel Fattah Al Sisi’s regime is working hand-in-hand with Doha mediators to convince the parties that the best option is to cease hostilities. So far without success. Egyptian government spokesman Diaa Rashwan, says it has received no response to the three-point plan presented by Cairo to both Israel and Hamas to end the war in Gaza. The Egyptian proposal calls for an initial pause in fighting that would allow the release of 40 to 50 Israeli hostages in exchange for about 120 to 150 Palestinians serving their sentences in Israeli prisons.

Egypt’s diplomatic efforts do not end there. Another of his proposals, put forward to both Hamas and its ally Islamic Jihad, refers to a “Palestinian national dialogue” to end the division between the various factions, which would include the formation of a technical interim government in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, Hamas and its Palestinian opponent Al Fatah culminate, whose job is to oversee the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and pave the way for the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections. A plan that today seems like a chimera. Among other things, because Netanyahu emphasized last week that “Gaza will be neither Hamastan nor Fatahstan.”

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The goal of the war cabinet he leads remains the destruction of the Palestinian Islamist organization, which has ruled the Gaza Strip alone since 2007. “We are determined to achieve a victory,” the finance minister reminded. Bezalel Smotrich, a member of the most radical wing of the Israeli government. “All parties in the Cabinet understand that the State of Israel cannot accept a situation in which it coexists with a threat, and we are determined to destroy Hamas.” However, as the weeks go by, it seems to be becoming more and more difficult to see Eliminate leaders of the Islamic Resistance Movement. There is no news about the whereabouts of Hamas leaders in Gaza. No sign of Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif either Anwar IssaMastermind of the October 7th attack.

Meanwhile, the Israeli war cabinet is threatening to open new fronts. The minister without portfolio Benny Gantz warned on Wednesday that “time is running out for a diplomatic solution”: “If the world and the Lebanese government do not act to prevent the shooting against the residents of northern Israel and keep Hezbollah away from the border, the IDF. The former defense minister, who served as chief of the army staff before entering politics, assured that “the campaign will continue and expand to other priorities or fronts as necessary.” The Israeli military reported “a large number of attacks” on Israel from southern Lebanon and responded with aircraft, tanks and artillery, including an airstrike on a pro-Iran militia military compound. “Our first task is to restore the safety and security of residents in the north, and that will take time,” Halevi admitted.

impunity

The Israel Defense Forces said Thursday it will not take action against the soldiers who shot three hostages in Gaza on Dec. 15, despite acknowledging they violated army regulations by shooting people , which posed no danger. Immediately. The military commanders justified the decision due to the “enormous complexity” of the circumstances of the incident in which life ended Yotam Chaim, Samer Talalka And Alon Shamriz. The three, who were on the list of those abducted by Hamas on October 7, were killed by Israeli soldiers in the Shejaia district of Gaza City. It was not enough for them to carry a white flag or shout “Help” in Hebrew. They fled naked from the waist up. His men opened fire.

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