The Israeli army: «From today the intensity of the attacks increases». Giorgia Meloni meets Netanyahu and warns: «We are all targets of Hamas»


By John

L’Israeli army is continuing its preparations for the «next phase of the war, including the ground operation». The military spokesman said this, adding that in recent days “plans to expand operational activities have been approved”. “Troops, both active duty and reservists, are deployed in the field and are training in accordance with approved operational plans.”

Meloni, all targets of Hamas, let’s not fall into the trap

«The impression I have, from the way in which the attack took place», is that Hamas’ objective «was to force Israel into a reaction against Gaza that would create an unbridgeable gap between Arab countries, Israel and the West, compromising peace for all citizens involved, including those they say they want to defend.” Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said this at the peace summit in Cairo. “The target,” she added, “is all of us, and falling into this trap would be very, very stupid.”

Meanwhile, the meeting between Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv has ended. The conversation lasted over an hour. «We must defeat this barbarism: it is a battle between the forces of civilization and barbaric monsters who have killed, mutilated, raped, beheaded and burned innocent people. This is a test, a test of civility. And we will win it.” Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said this to Giorgia Meloni, thanking her for “coming in these dark times”. “We expect all the countries that fought ISIS to fight Hamas,” he concluded.

First aid from Rafah. Israel “ready to enter Gaza”

It was open for a few hours and then closed immediately: humanitarian aid trucks entered from the Rafah crossing into Gaza for the first time. But not the people who remain trapped in the Strip with no possibility of exit. They are about 40 kilometers away from the north of the Palestinian enclave where the Israeli army’s land entry is increasingly closer. The military spokesman said troops, both those already serving and reservists, were continuing preparations for the “next phase of the war, including the ground operation.” In recent days – he explained – the plans for operational activities have been “approved” and the soldiers “are deployed in the field”.

And Army Chief of Staff Heri Halevi was even clearer: «We will enter Gaza. We will begin an operational and professional mission to destroy Hamas agents, Hamas infrastructure.” “We will go in and also keep in mind the images, the scenes and the fallen from Shabbat two weeks ago,” he added, referring to the massacres carried out in the attack on Saturday 7 October. There therefore no longer appears to be any resistance to the start of the operation despite some international pressure to contain the Israeli reaction.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni – who arrived in Tel Aviv this evening from Egypt where she participated in the Peace Conference promoted by President al Sisi and sided with Israel – warned that “in the face of actions”, such as those of Hamas, “one State is fully entitled to claim its right to defense, existence and security of its citizens and borders.”. “But – he underlined – the reaction of a state cannot and must never be motivated by feelings of revenge”. From the Rafah crossing, whose opening was achieved with difficulty after 15 days of war, 20 trucks passed, while There were 30 Palestinians who, having loaded the goods on the other side of the border, headed towards the distribution points set up by UNRWA (the UN agency for refugees) and the Red Crescent. Israel made it known «that it will not hit the safe areas in Gaza where humanitarian aid is distributed unless rockets are launched from those same areas towards the territory of the Jewish state. “They are – he specified – safe areas. We have a system whereby if an area is in a safe zone, we declare that same zone ‘safe. And we will not attack it.’

The fact is that this first “drop in the ocean” of the needs of the exhausted population of the Strip does not appear to be at all sufficient. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres denounced that “the people of Gaza need a commitment to much more: a continuous supply of aid to the extent necessary. We are working tirelessly with all interested parties to make it happen.” Then from the Cairo Peace Conference he called for “a humanitarian truce” given “the humanitarian catastrophe”. “Across the border,” he insisted, “there are two million people, including children, who need help.”

The feeling in the conflict field is that we are at a turning point: Israel is increasing attacks on the Strip to prepare the ground by making it as safe as possible for troops to enter by land. Not only are the structures of Hamas and Jihad increasingly targeted, but also the leaders of the Palestinian factions. Talal al Hindi, one of the commanders of the military wing of Hamas, the al Qassam Brigades, was killed in a raid, along with his wife and family members. But – on a political and military level – the puzzle of the Israeli hostages in the hands of Hamas still remains open. The organization’s representative in Beirut, Osama Hamdan, told ANSA that “there are ongoing contacts” with the Arab mediators “Egypt and Qatar” for the release of other civilian hostages after the two US citizens released yesterday.

“We work – added a Hamas spokesperson – with all the mediators to close the civilians’ dossier as soon as the security conditions are appropriate”. But not for the liberation of the soldiers: “As long as the enemy aggression of this let’s not negotiate”, remarked Hamdan. But Israel allowed the statements to slip into icy silence. The army has meanwhile updated the number of hostages: there are 210 both military and civilians, including women, minors and the elderly.

“That – said the military spokesman – is Israel’s priority.” While tensions worsen in northern Israel, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant underlined that Hezbollah will pay “a high price” for having “decided to participate in the fighting”. From that front the launches continue towards the territory of the Jewish state, while towards the south and center of the country (including Tel Aviv) the launch of rockets from Gaza also continues. The army counted around 7,000 and of these 550 fell within the Palestinian enclave: that is, one in 5. The death toll continues to rise: in Gaza there are 4,385, of which 1,756 minors and 976 women while the wounded there are 13,561. In Israel the figures report around 1,500 deaths, of which 307 soldiers.