Middle East, 100 days of war. Netanyahu: “No one will stop us”

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By John

One hundred days of war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza. Having begun with the massacre in the kibbutzim on October 7, the conflict currently has no possible truce in sight.

Benyamin Netanyahu is clear: “No one will stop us, not even The Hague or the axis of evil” and Israel will not make “compromises” (such as a ceasefire) except with “total victory” in the battle against Hamas.

The prime minister warned that the war will continue until “all objectives” are achieved and in fact the raids continue heavy on the strip with Hamas reporting 60 deaths last night alone.

Nodespite the negotiationssponsored by Qatar, Egypt and the USA, after the humanitarian pause at the end of November and 4 diplomatic shuttles by Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the region, the negotiations appear to be at a standstill and also concern the fate of the Strip at the end of the war, with the ‘America at odds with Israel.

The military field therefore remains prevalent where Israel continues to hammer with air raids especially in the center and south of Gaza after having placed the northern part of the Palestinian enclave in relative safety. The Hamas-led health ministry has updated the toll of those killed in the Strip to over 23 thousand deaths. Israel does not stop and, according to what was found by Wall Street Journal but denied by Egyptian sources, he would have warned Cairo that he is planning military action to put the southern part of Gaza under control on the border with Egypt and the Rafah crossing. But above all, the so-called ‘Philadelphia Corridor’, a buffer strip of land between Gaza and Egypt under which there are numerous tunnels built by Hamas and from which Israel fears the leaders of the Islamic faction, starting with Yahya Sinwar, may emerge. Egypt, however, makes it clear that it has not endorsed any such operation.

In 100 days the conflict has spread, fortunately without exploding, in northern Israel, a true second front of the war, where rockets continue to arrive from Hezbollah’s Lebanon followed by the Israeli response. And the fire reached the Red Sea with attacks on Israeli ships, and not only by the Houthis of Yemen, allies of Iran like Hezbollah, with missiles launched towards the city of Eilat, the southern tip of Israel. Too much for the US and UK which on Friday night and again today bombed the Houthi missile bases in the country on the Arabian Peninsula.

Without forgetting the West Bank: between Hamas, which has increasingly more power to the detriment of President Abu Mazen, the actions of extremist settlers, Palestinian attacks and army raids, tension and deaths continue to rise. The 100 days of war in Gaza, the UN admitted also in reference to the dramatic humanitarian situation in the Strip, are “a stain on our common humanity”.

But those 100 days are also the amount of time spent in Gaza by those beyond 130 Israeli hostages still in Hamas hands. There was a brief truce to free the hostages but in their name the conflict remains unresolved. Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi gives the most precise picture: “To obtain concrete results” for the hostages “the operation in Gaza must continue”. A ceasefire, he explained, “probably will not lead to tangible results.” Qatar’s latest proposal was the release of the kidnapped in stages, the simultaneous withdrawal of Israel from the Strip and exile for the leaders of Hamas. The mediation was rejected by the Islamic faction and dropped by Israel. Egypt is still trying to deal with the hostages: an Israeli delegation was in Cairo in an attempt to break the deadlock. The CIA has also entered the field and is providing Israel with information on the location of the hostages in Gaza and the leaders of Hamas.