Twenty-one soldiers were killed last night in ongoing fighting in Khan Yunis, south of Gaza. This was announced by military spokesman Daniel Hagari. This is the most serious episode for the Israeli army since the beginning of the war.
The death of the 21 Israeli soldiers was caused by an anti-tank rocket launched by the “terrorists” which caused two buildings in which the soldiers were located to explode and collapse.
The attack took place in the Maghazi refugee camp, in the center of the Strip – not far from the border – and not as it initially seemed to Khan Yunis. “As far as we know – he said -, around 4pm (yesterday and not overnight) the terrorists launched a rocket at a tank protecting the soldiers and an explosion occurred in 2 2-storey buildings These collapsed while the soldiers were in and near them.”
Netanyahu, ‘Hard day but we won’t stop the war’
“We have experienced one of the heaviest days since the beginning of the conflict”, but this does not mean that “Israel will stop fighting until total victory”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this, referring to the explosion that caused the death of 21 soldiers in Almaazi, in the center of the Gaza Strip. «I am aware that the lives of the families of the heroic fallen soldiers – he added – will change forever. I feel pain for these losses and I embrace the relatives of our soldiers.” The prime minister confirmed that an investigation has been opened into the matter by the army.
Israel has handed Hamas through mediators Egypt and Qatar a proposal that includes up to a two-month pause in fighting under a multi-stage deal that would include the release of the remaining hostages in Gaza. Axios reports it citing some sources.
Israel, according to Axios reports, is awaiting a response from Hamas on the proposal and is cautiously optimistic about the possibility of making progress in the coming days. The proposal includes the release of all living hostages and the bodies of those who died. The first phase would see the release of women, men over 60 and hostages in difficult medical conditions. The subsequent phases would instead be for the release of female soldiers, men under 60 who are not military personnel, soldiers and the bodies of deceased hostages. The multi-phase proposal could lead to a pause in fighting for up to two months. The proposal also includes Israel and Hamas agreeing in advance how many Palestinian prisoners to release for each Israeli hostage and then separately negotiating the names of the prisoners.
A group of family members of Israeli hostages in Gaza broke into the Knesset finance committee this morning demanding urgent action for the release of those kidnapped from the Strip. The group is part of the protest that has been taking place since yesterday evening near Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem, which they criticize for his lack of action to bring the hostages home “before it is too late”. The group of protesters was removed from the commission which however suspended its work.
In Khan Yunis the army surrounds Nasser hospital
High voltage today at Khan Yunis (in the southern Gaza Strip) as Israeli forces gradually advance westward, towards the sea, and southward, towards Rafah. According to military radio, the Israeli army has surrounded the Nasser hospital and is completing the isolation of the city center. The troops have also reached al-Aqsa University and are now one kilometer from the humanitarian area of Moassi, near the sea, where hundreds of thousands of displaced people are located.
The Israeli army laid siege the central building of the Red Crescent in Khan Yunis (south of Gaza) and effectively paralyzed all its activities, including those of the ambulance unit. This was announced by the Red Crescent, according to which tanks surround the building and sharpshooters are stationed on the roofs of nearby buildings. Local sources add that in the immediate vicinity of the building (eight floors high) there are thousands of displaced people, who can no longer move in any direction. The sources add that there are bodies of people in the nearby streets, but this information has not yet been confirmed.
According to Israel, Nasser was used for military purposes by Hamas
The Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis (in the southern sector of the Gaza Strip) – which was surrounded by Israeli armored vehicles today – was used by Hamas for military purposes, Kan public television said. The broadcaster cited intelligence information according to which dozens of hostages had been held there in the past. Recently, Kan added,
fire was opened from the hospital building towards Israeli soldiers.