Israel Palestine Conflict: A day from now, the Israel-Hamas conflict will have been going on for one month. Late on Sunday, the Israeli military declared that it had surrounded and split Gaza City in two. The third total communication failure to affect the beleaguered strip since the war’s beginning. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken paid an unexpected visit to Iraq after meeting with the President of Palestine.
Unveiling the Ongoing Operation Amidst Mounting Casualties
Over four weeks of fighting in Gaza have resulted in at least 9,770 deaths, according to the health ministry operated by Hamas. Following the bloodiest attack in Israel’s history, in which the extremists captured over 240 hostages and killed over 1,400 people, the operation got underway.
Israel launched a “unprecedented bombardment” of Gaza on Sunday, and according to Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the city is now split in half. “There is north Gaza and south Gaza today,” he declared, referring to it as a “significant stage” in Israel‘s conflict with Hamas. Strong explosions were recorded in northern Gaza after evening, and Israeli media stated that Israeli troops were likely to reach Gaza City within 48 hours.
Internet and Communication Services Suspended
In Gaza, all internet and communication services were suspended on Sunday for the third time since the start of the conflict. Internet access advocacy group NetBlocks.org first reported on the “collapse in connectivity,” which Palestinian telecom provider Paltel later verified. In Gaza, the first communication outage lasted for thirty-six hours, while the second one lasted for several hours. Israel declared that its soldiers had successfully ringed Gaza City, dismissing once more the growing international pleas for a truce. This happened concurrently with Blinken’s attempts to control the situation that could worsen in Lebanon, a neighbouring country.
Antony Blinken’s Diplomatic Mission
As part of his diplomatic efforts amidst the current conflict, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the occupied West Bank on Sunday. He attempted to reassure Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting that the Biden administration was stepping up its efforts to improve the situation for Gaza’s civilian population. Additionally, he reaffirmed his position that the Palestinians ought to be the primary decision-makers regarding what happens to their land after the conflict.
Growing Concerns of Attacks on U.S. Forces
Subsequently, despite growing concerns that Iranian-allied militias in Iraq and elsewhere were launching a wave of attacks against American forces in the region, Blinken took a plane to Baghdad for talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani. Blinken continued his journey from Baghdad to Turkey. Israeli aeroplanes attacked two refugee camps in central Gaza earlier on Sunday, resulting in at least 53 fatalities and several injuries. Israeli military officials had advised Palestinian civilians to seek shelter in this area. Notwithstanding US requests for even short pauses to deliver aid to needy civilians, Israel declared it will continue its offensive to destroy Hamas.
Condemnation of Attacks on Civilians
Hezbollah declared that it would never accept attacks on civilians and that its response will be “firm and strong” following the deaths of three children and their grandmother on Sunday due to an Israeli strike on a car in south Lebanon. According to Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah, “the enemy will pay the price for its crimes against civilians,” as reported by Reuters. Hezbollah claimed to have retaliated against the Israeli airstrike, which resulted in the deaths of three girls, ages ten to fourteen, in an attack it carried out.
Netanyahu’s Controversial Remarks
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has retracted a speech in which he said it was necessary to investigate whether the months-long anti-government protests had increased Hamas’ incentive to carry out the October 7 strike that started the conflict. During his Sunday appearance on X, he claimed that Hamas began a war “because it wants to kill us all and not because of any argument within us.”
Jordan’s Humanitarian Aid
Early on Monday, the Jordanian king and official media posted on social media from the Jordanian field hospital in Gaza. “A royal air force plane dropped urgent medical aid using parachutes to the Jordanian field hospital in Gaza whose supplies were about to run out due to the delay of delivering aid through Rafah crossing”, Jordan’s state news agency said. Even though major demonstrations greeted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s first visit to Turkey since the war, he is scheduled to undertake tough talks there on Monday. Just hours before Blinken’s arrival on Sunday, hundreds of protesters marched on an air facility in southeast Turkey that houses US military. Police deployed tear gas and water cannon to scatter the demonstrators. Blinken’s goal in holding this discussion is to allay the fury of one of Washington’s most important, if obstinate, partners regarding the carnage in Gaza.