After very heavy air strikes last night and last night, Israel sharply stepped up the military ground operation in Gaza this morning. According to Hamas, Israeli tanks have entered the area in two places. “We have entered a new phase of the war,” said Israeli Defense Minister Gallant.
Israeli incursions into Gaza have increased in recent days. But now the ground operation “will continue until a new order is issued,” Gallant said. It remains unclear whether this is the start of the announced ground offensive. It has been established that it is a sustained Israeli ground attack against the militant and terrorist Palestinian movement Hamas.
The artillery shelling and air strikes also have a major impact on Palestinian civilians. There is hardly any contact left, because telephone and internet traffic has largely stopped. Hundreds of people are feared dead, but aid organizations can hardly reach their employees. A humanitarian crisis is raging in the densely populated area and hardly any emergency aid is received.
An overview of what happened today:
- Israel said it deployed about 100 fighter jets last night. Hundreds of Hamas targets are said to have been destroyed in those air strikes. The army also shared video footage of what is believed to be Israeli tanks moving during the day in the Gaza Strip.
- The attack focuses, among other things, on Hamas’ extensive tunnel system. The militant movement has a labyrinth of underground positions. It is unclear how much damage there is or how many fighters Hamas has lost.
- Experts are left guessing what the strategy behind the Israeli attack is. “There is still a lot that is unclear. We see that in large-scale attacks anyway fog of war “, said Han Bouwmeester, professor of military operational sciences at the Dutch Defense Academy.
- Today, rockets were also launched again from Gaza towards Israeli cities.
- According to the Hamas-controlled authorities in Gaza, at least 7,650 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the war. There are also 19,450 injured, according to the latest reports.
- 111 people have now been killed in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian authorities report. According to the information, most of the fatalities in Gaza and the West Bank are women, children and the elderly.
- The death toll in Israel stands at around 1,400. Most of the victims were civilians killed by Hamas on October 7. At least 310 soldiers were killed in the war or killed in the attack by Hamas.
- According to Israeli authorities, 229 people are being held hostage by Hamas. Four abductees have been released by Hamas. According to the terrorist movement, around fifty hostages have been killed by Israeli attacks, it was announced yesterday. That information cannot be verified.
- The Israeli army says it will allow the flow of water, food and medicine into Gaza. Shortly after the October 7 attack by Hamas, Israel cut off the Palestinian enclave from electricity, running water and access to fuel. Israel says Hamas steals the fuel and uses it for its operations.
- American billionaire Elon Musk will support aid organizations present in the Gaza Strip with Starlink, his company that makes satellite internet available.
- Israel has once again called on residents of northern Gaza to leave the area. The Israeli army emphasizes that no one will be safe in fighting with Hamas. It is unclear how the call to flee south can reach Palestinian civilians. Internet and telephony are virtually offline in Gaza.
The BBC was still able to report from Gaza today:
BBC reporter in South Gaza: ‘They have never seen this here before’
- Dutch people with family in the Gaza Strip are in fear of death now that all contact with their family has been lost. “It was the only form of reassurance that you could ask if your family was still alive. And now even that is gone,” says Awni Farhat from The Hague, whose entire family lives in Gaza.
- The Netherlands abstained from voting on the UN resolution on a humanitarian ceasefire because Israel must retain the right to defend itself against terrorism. That is what outgoing Prime Minister Rutte said against NOS.
- The Netherlands was one of 45 countries that abstained. Jordan’s motion for a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid was passed with 120 votes in favor and 14 against.
Rutte explained the Dutch vote to the NOS:
Rutte on UN resolution ‘ceasefire’: ‘Israel must remove threat’
The post first appeared on nos.nl