Israel Palestine Conflict: In the heavily populated besieged Palestinian enclave, the Israeli military has asserted that its ground forces have fully surrounded Gaza City, which is under Hamas control, escalating its offensive on the organisation.
Israeli Forces Complete Encirclement
“Israeli soldiers have completed the encirclement of the city of Gaza, the centre of the Hamas terror organisation,” Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari said. “The concept of a ceasefire is not currently on the table at all.” The US President Joe Biden has called for humanitarian pauses in the conflict in order to achieve a “temporary, localised” cessation of hostilities. This latest development occurs against this backdrop.
Diplomatic Efforts in the Middle East
Currently on a second diplomatic trip to the Middle East is US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “We will be talking about concrete steps that can and should be taken to minimise harm to men, women and children in Gaza,” Blinken said. Hundreds of injured foreigners and dual nationals fled the war-torn territory for Egypt via the Rafah Border Crossing as fighting continued in northern Gaza. On the second day of operation yesterday, the Egyptian health ministry said that “344 foreign nationals, including 72 children” and 21 wounded Palestinians crossed the border.
West Bank Operation
Two Palestinians were slain in an Israeli ground operation in the West Bank. These demises accompany the three other casualties that Israeli fire claimed on Thursday. Around 240 hostages—both military and civilian—were taken prisoner by Hamas during the October 7 strikes, and the Israeli army is working to release them. Drones have been flown over Gaza by the US in an attempt to locate the hostages.
Hezbollah’s Cross-Border Strikes
Hezbollah, an organisation supported by Iran in Lebanon, declared on Thursday that it had struck nineteen Israeli positions along the border before to a speech given by its leader, Hassan Nasrallah. “Warplanes and helicopters attacked in recent hours targets of the Hezbollah terror organisation in response to fire from Lebanese territory earlier today, together with attacks with artillery and tank fire,” the Israeli military said. 3,760 children were among the 9,061 persons who have died since the October 7 strikes, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which is operated by Hamas.
Jabalia Refugee Camp Under Attack
Israel has killed hundreds of people by attacking the largest refugee camp in Gaza, Jabalia, twice in two days. Two senior Hamas military figures were reportedly killed by Israel’s attacks on Tuesday and Wednesday. The lethal strikes “may amount to war crimes,” according to the UN. “Given the high number of civilian casualties & the scale of destruction following Israeli air strikes on Jabalia refugee camp, we have serious concerns that these are disproportionate attacks that could amount to war crimes,” the UN Human Rights Office said.