Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, provided an update stating that Israeli troops have trapped Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in a bunker.
Israeli troops are now “in the heart” of Gaza City for the first time, according to a Tuesday battlefield update from Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant. He continued, saying, “We are going to destroy Hamas,” and that “Gaza is the largest terrorist base ever built.”
Additionally, it seemed that the defence commander would not bow to US pressure to initiate a humanitarian “pause”. “Humanitarian truce without the return of the hostages,” underlined Gallant. He added that Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas, is currently encircled by the IDF in a bunker. He mentioned that domestic settings are the scene of fights.
Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated this in a recent speech and once more warned Hezbollah in Lebanon:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the IDF has been reaching deeper into Gaza than Hamas ever imagined, warning Lebanon’s Hezbollah that it would be making the “greatest mistake of its life” if it opens a new full-on war front.
Speaking from the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu says he is addressing the nation in order to update them on the war.
“In the south, the war is moving forward with force that Hamas has never seen,” he says. “Gaza City is surrounded. We are operating within it, we are deepening the pressure on Hamas every hour, every day.”
“There will be no entry of fuel into Gaza or a ceasefire without the return of the kidnapped people,” he also said.
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What will be the most “complex urban fighting environment that any soldier will have to deal with” is what a southern Israel-based Sky News correspondent said. The correspondent pointed out that any airstrikes may “potentially be more accurate” due to soldiers on the ground within Gaza City.
Meanwhile, Hamas has persisted in asserting that it has destroyed numerous Israeli tanks and military vehicles:
Massive explosions during the night have been seen in South Lebanon as Israel responds to continuing fire by attacking Hezbollah sites.
The Biden White House recently proposed a plan, predicated on the complete destruction of Hamas and requiring the group to use an enormous network of tunnels stretching for miles, that would see international peacekeeping forces oversee the security situation in the Gaza Strip after the war ends.
Some prominent Congressmen have also made suggestions on the “day after” after Hamas. Initially, there were rumours that the Israeli government would be in favour of this, but a recent broadcast interview featuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that aired on Monday night indicates that opinions in Tel Aviv are diverging. After the fight is done, Netanyahu claimed, Israel will have “security responsibility” over the Gaza Strip for a “indefinite” period of time.
“I think Israel will for an indefinite period have security responsibility,” Netanyahu told ABC News. “We’ve seen what happens when we don’t have that… security responsibility, what we have is the eruption of Hamas terror on a scale that we couldn’t imagine.”
The remarks follow the Israel Defence Forces’ (IDF) confirmation that, since the commencement of the ground battle, 30 Israeli soldiers have lost their lives in combat in Gaza. Over 10,000 Gazans, the majority of whom were civilians, have died to date, principally as a result of the relentless airstrike. However, Blinken stated the following just last week in Israel:
“The idea of Hamas remaining responsible for governance such as it was and posing an ongoing and enduring threat to Israel and its citizens is unacceptable,” said Blinken. “We also know that Israel cannot reassume control and responsibility for Gaza, and it’s important to note that Israel has made it clear that it has no intention or desire to do that. So within those parameters, we are and will continue to have discussions with partners throughout the region and well beyond about what should follow.”
It became evident that Washington is against a ceasefire after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently returned to the region to engage with both Israeli and Arab leaders, but Biden’s top diplomat did advocate for humanitarian pauses.
In the ABC interview, Netanyahu stated that he is amenable to “tactical little pauses” in order to facilitate the release of hostages and the delivery of humanitarian aid, but he also stressed that the IDF is prepared to start moving the fight inside the tunnels, where Hamas fighters and commanders can launch intermittent ambushes against tank units while waiting out airstrikes.
The statement signed by the UN’s 18 principals reported that 88 UN officials were killed in Gaza by Israel.
Netanyahu was questioned during the interview about the security lapses on October 7, which led to the murder of over 1,400 Israelis in the country’s south: “Do you believe that you should take any responsibility?”
He answered, “Obviously. It’s not a question,” he declared, adding that there will be time to “allocate” that accountability and evaluate the events following the battle. He released a statement a week ago that seemed to place the blame for October 7 on the military and its leadership, but he soon withdrew it.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu was never warned of war intentions on the part of Hamas,” said the statement that was later removed and caused the outcry. It had been briefly uploaded to X. It went on to say, “On the contrary, the assessment of the entire security echelon, including the head of military intelligence and the head of Shin Bet, was that Hamas was deterred and was seeking an arrangement.”
However, he didn’t go into great length about accepting accountability for serious mistakes that opened the door for the greatest terror attack in Israeli history in his most recent remarks to the ABC. Netanyahu’s political rivals have charged that he is taking advantage of the crisis to consolidate his authority under the pretence of a wartime emergency government.