Total siege in Gaza, Israel ready for invasion: 300 thousand reservists recalled

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By John

Israel tightens Gaza in a total siege and is preparing to enter the Strip with the help of the 300 thousand reservists recalled in the last 48 hours. While tension with Hezbollah is also rising on the northern border, with the risk of a new, very dangerous war front opening up.

On the third day of the conflict, the raids on the Palestinian enclave intensified, while there is no sign of decreasing the rocket fire from Gaza towards the Israeli communities close to the Strip but also towards the center of the country, including the greater Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas. The prime minister himself gave the perspective Benjamin Netanyahu in a conversation with the US president Joe Biden: «We have to enter Gaza – he warned him -, we have to go inside». “We cannot negotiate now,” added the prime minister, referring to the approximately 130 hostages taken away by Palestinian factions in the assault on border kibbutzim and military facilities. Indeed, Netanyahu insisted, thanks to the aid promised by the USA and the US naval deployment off the coast of Lebanon and Syria, Israel’s response to Hamas “will change the Middle East”.

Hopes about possible talks between the parties or hypothetical prisoner exchanges therefore seem to have been swept off the table. This is confirmed not only by Israel but also by Hamas itself: “No negotiations are possible with them,” said a source from the faction in Doha. While Israel’s position was clarified by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who ordered «a complete siege of the Strip: there will be no electricity, no food, no petrol. Everything will be closed. We are fighting human animals and – he warned – we will behave accordingly”.

One of the obstacles to the entry of Israeli troops into enemy territory was that of some border villages still in the hands of Palestinian militiamen. The army removed it: the military spokesman explained that Israel has regained control of all the towns on the border and that there is no longer any fighting going on, although he did not rule out the possibility that “there are still terrorists in the area” .

Furthermore, the breaches in the defensive barrier, opened with the most varied means by the Palestinian factions, will be secured with tanks. On the other hand, the mobilization in Israel has reached figures not seen for decades: 300,000 reservists have been reached in the last 48 hours. None of them – faced with the danger to the very existence of the Jewish State – refused. Even those – like the pilots – most opposed to the Netanyahu government’s judicial reform which has divided the country for months. In this sense, many indications suggest that contacts between the majority and the opposition could quickly lead to an emergency national unity government. On the field the situation is getting worse.

The rockets from the Strip do not stop and the air force attacks multiply. In Israel the victims have reached over 900, with over 2,000 injured, while in Gaza there are at least 687 dead and at least 3,726 injured. The raids on the Strip, in the north and south, have intensified with hundreds of attacks on targets not only of Hamas but also of Islamic Jihad: last night alone there were 500. Some were concentrated in the area of ​​Rimal, a suburb north of Gaza city, which according to the army is a hub from which many of the attacks on the Jewish state originate. But the bloodiest attack occurred around 12pm in Jabalya where, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, there were 50 deaths in the fruit and vegetable market. Jabalya is already full of thousands of Palestinians who have left their homes in Beit Hanoun, in the north of the Strip, for fear that Israeli soldiers will enter from there.

Hamas has instead made it known that “it will begin to publicly execute an Israeli civilian hostage for every Israeli bombing of civilian homes in Gaza without warning.” In Israel, in the waves of rockets arriving from the Palestinian enclave, there were injuries in Abu Ghosh (a suburb of Jerusalem) and Beitar Illit, including a 10-year-old boy. The missiles arrived in Sderot, Hadera, Wadi Ara and also other kibbutzim. In the meantime, the arrival of inhabitants from the south and north of Israel in safer areas is growing: in Tel Aviv – whose streets are deserted – many hotels have run out of rooms. The feeling is that the situation could worsen in the next few hours.