Israel: “During the night dozens of terrorists were killed”, army at the gates of Gaza City. Hamas hostages rise to 242


By John

The toll of Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza since Tuesday during the army’s vast ground operation has risen to 17.

New clashes were recorded yesterday evening on the border between Lebanon and Israel. Hezbollah claimed overnight to have destroyed an Israeli drone in southern Lebanon with a surface-to-air missile, the Guardian reports.
The Israeli army instead stated on its Telegram channel that “a surface-to-air missile was launched from Lebanon towards an IDF UAV. In response, the IDF struck the terrorist cell that launched the missile and the launch site launch. There was no damage to the UAV.”
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) add that “numerous launches were identified from Lebanon towards the area of ​​Har Dov and Mount Hermon, in northern Israel. They fell in open areas. In response, the IDF artillery hit the source of the launches.”

Biden calls for a “pause” to release prisoners

Joe Biden, during a political meeting on the conflict between Israel and Hamas, said he was in favor of a “pause” to allow the “prisoners” to leave the enclave. The US president, running for a second term, was speaking at a fundraising event when an audience member shouted: “As your rabbi, I ask you to immediately call for a ceasefire.” «I think we need a break. A pause means giving time to let the prisoners out,” the octogenarian Democrat said. The White House, when questioned about these statements, then clarified that by “prisoners” the president was referring to the hostages of the Islamist movement Hamas. «It was I who convinced Bibi (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, ed.) to call for a ceasefire to let the prisoners out. It was I who spoke to Sissi (the Egyptian president) to convince him to “open the door”, precisely at the Rafah crossing in the south of the Gaza Strip, he defended himself again. The American leader then specified that it was about the recent release of two American hostages from the Palestinian Islamic group. The White House has so far refused to discuss a ceasefire, believing this would only play into the hands of Hamas, but has already called for “humanitarian pauses” to allow aid to be delivered or evacuations carried out.

Hundreds of foreigners outside Gaza, including 4 Italians

The gates of the Rafah crossing opened, letting out hundreds of foreigners, people with double passports and even injured people. Among them also the first 4 Italians, volunteers from international NGOs, welcomed by Italian diplomats and accompanied to Cairo. There is still no certainty regarding the number of those who crossed the double border between Gaza and Egypt. Egyptian sources speak of 335 foreigners and people with dual nationality as well as 76 injured. This first evacuation could perhaps be repeated today and continue in the next few days to allow others, including Italians, to leave the city.

New attack on Jabalya, the UN “War crimes”

The exit from Gaza is a small glimmer of hope in the conflict which is becoming more ferocious every day: a new bombing has hit the refugee camp of Jabalya, in the north of the Palestinian enclave, already the scene of a heavy raid yesterday which left it under rubble dozens of deaths, with the UN once again raising its tone by talking about “disproportionate attacks that could amount to war crimes”. Even European chancelleries, from Paris to Berlin to the EU institutions, said they were “very concerned” by the news coming from Jabalya, underlining the need to “protect the civilian population”. “The safety and protection of civilians is not only a moral obligation, but also a legal one”, summarized the EU’s high representative for foreign policy, Josep Borrell.

The Israeli army insists that in Jabalya, in the tunnels under the refugee camp, the central command of Hamas in the north of the Strip was hiding with its leader Ibrahim Biari and dozens of operatives of the Islamic faction barricaded. And the tunnels are a priority target for the armed forces, together with the leaders of Hamas: the last to be hit and killed today was Muhammad Asar, commander of the anti-tank missile unit. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said the Israeli army was working to uncover “Hamas’ underground network and get the terrorists out.”

Israel at the gates of Gaza City

The combined Israeli forces, including troops and tanks, after violent fighting with Hamas are meanwhile at the “gates of Gaza City”, surrounded on three sides – north, center and south – with a pincer maneuver that aims to take root deep in the Strip. General Itzik Cohen, commander of the 162nd Army Division, added that the soldiers “are now deep in the Strip.” Testifying to the severity of the clashes with Hamas is the number of 16 dead soldiers reported by the army since they first entered the north of the Strip. The overall scenario of the region seems to become further complicated. Israel – after i missiles arrived from the Red Sea on the town of Eilat by the Yemeni Houthis allied with Iran – decided to deploy missile launchers off the coast, wedged between Jordan and Egypt. “We also know how to attack in the place and time that we establish, on the basis – warned military spokesman Daniel Hagari – of our security interests”.

No agreement on hostages

There is currently no agreement on the fate of the 240 hostages in the hands of Hamas – which yesterday announced the death of 3 of them in the Israeli attacks on Jabaliya – despite Qatar’s intense efforts. The head of the Islamic faction Ismail Haniyeh said that “a ceasefire” was needed for their release. His request has been rejected several times by Israel which instead relies on military pressure on the Strip to encourage their liberation. A solution that the US commandos who arrived in Israel are also working on.

Blinken on Friday in Jerusalem

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, will arrive in Jerusalem on Friday, but also in other countries in the region: respect for civilians and the increase in humanitarian aid are in the dossier. Jordan, after Jabalya, has meanwhile recalled its ambassador to Tel Aviv home, asking Israel not to send him to Amman. The rain of rockets continues on the Jewish State in the south and center (including Tel Aviv), while the dead in Gaza are 8,796 (Hamas does not distinguish between civilians and militiamen) of which 3,648 are minors and over 22 thousand injured.