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In the latest developments of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israeli forces have launched a limited offensive in Gaza. This comes after two consecutive nights of Israeli night raids. However, this offensive is on a much larger scale and began with the Israelis cutting off all communication within the Gaza Strip. A massive air raid followed, bombarding the entire strip, as evidenced by videos and images.
The bombardments have continued for approximately four hours, accompanied by Israeli attacks from three different directions: north of Gaza towards Gaza City, east towards the N rat camp, and south towards Han Yunis. Heavy clashes have been reported between Hamas soldiers and Israeli forces. Both factions are engaged in intense fighting. The Israeli forces’ objective appears to be to prepare for a main ground offensive, as stated by the Israeli defence spokesperson.
The Israeli forces are striving to advance towards the city areas, pushing Hamas fighters away from the outskirts and consolidating their presence in the city. This is evident in the storming of Gaza positions by Israeli forces, forcing Hamas to retreat further north. They are also focusing their efforts on preventing Palestinian forces from assisting the Gaza City area.
The Israeli offensive involves multiple operations, including bombardments across the Gaza Strip and assaults from different directions. The aim is to isolate Palestinian forces in the north. However, reports indicate that the Palestinian tunnels, which extend 70 meters underground and cover approximately 500 kilometres, allow movement between the north and south of the Gaza Strip. These tunnels pose a challenge to the Israeli offensive.
While this offensive is significant, it is not the main ground offensive. The Israeli forces are leveraging their numerical superiority to attack Hamas fighters in three different directions, aiming to spread them thin and put pressure on all sides. The Israeli forces have carefully delayed this ground offensive, catching Hamas fighters off guard.
It is crucial to note that the United Nations held an emergency meeting and passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in this conflict. However, Israel has stated that it will not uphold the resolution and will continue its offensive until all of Hamas is destroyed.
This ongoing offensive has led to protests and demonstrations in many Muslim countries, including Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. The anger and calls for assistance to Gaza are particularly intense in Turkey, where protests have taken a more aggressive form, including launching fireworks at the Israeli Embassy.
In response to the offensive, Palestinians have engaged in heavy clashes with Israeli forces, particularly in the northern, eastern, and central parts of the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians have constructed fortified defences and established numerous tunnels, allowing them to withstand Israeli airstrikes and fight back.
The cutting off of communication poses a significant risk to the civilian population in Gaza, as humanitarian organizations are losing contact with each other, and civilians cannot call emergency services for help. As a result, civilian casualties are expected to increase.
The United States has escalated its involvement by sending additional aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean and Arabian Persian Gulf regions. They now have approximately four aircraft carriers in the Middle East, half of their fleet. The United States has also made it clear that it will support Israel directly with military aid and the use of its aircraft carriers if any other countries get involved.
The current situation is highly dangerous, with the risk of a major regional conflict developing. The Israeli refusal to abide by the United Nations ceasefire resolution suggests that the conflict will continue, as Israel remains committed to its goal of destroying Hamas.
It is essential to approach this information cautiously and verify facts from reliable sources. The situation remains fluid, and an escalation of the conflict is possible.