Israel said its forces had reached the “heart of Gaza City” as the campaign to crush Hamas following its October terror attacks continues for more than a month in the besieged Palestinian territory.
Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas after a surprise attack by its operatives on border towns that killed at least 1,400 people. Since then, a counterattack has been underway, with Israeli forces battling the group inside Gaza, alongside heavy air attacks that have killed more than 10,000 people in the Palestinian territory.
Israeli ground forces are locating and destroying the vast network of tunnels built by Hamas beneath the besieged enclave. A senior military spokesman said its combat engineering corps was using explosives to destroy a network of tunnels that stretches hundreds of kilometers.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah that it would be a mistake if it chose to join the war. In a televised speech marking a month of war, he said no fuel would be delivered to Gaza unless Hamas freed those held hostage across the border, and also ruled out any ceasefire. fire until then.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Tuesday stressed Israel’s determination “to destroy Hamas” and said its forces were in the “heart of Gaza City.” “Gaza is the largest terrorist base ever built,” he said.
A Red Cross convoy carrying vital medical supplies was attacked in Gaza City yesterday. Five of its trucks and two other vehicles were part of the convoy. Two trucks were damaged and a driver was injured in the attack, it was said without specifying who had fired on the convoy. The convoy then changed its route and reached Al-Shifa hospital to deliver the supplies, the Red Cross said.
Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said one of its employees and several members of his family were killed after his house in a Gaza refugee camp collapsed due to bombing. “It is clear that no place in Gaza is safe from brutal and indiscriminate bombardment,” the group said.
Israel has pledged to ensure “comprehensive security” in Gaza after the war ends and to allow “tactical pauses” before then to free hostages and deliver aid. But the United States has opposed any long-term Israeli occupation of Gaza and said Palestinians must be at the forefront of decision-making in the Gaza Strip. “We do not support the reoccupation of Gaza and neither does Israel,” the United States said.