One day after President Biden condemned Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip as “completely unacceptable,”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the war was expected to intensify. On Friday, Netanyahu announced that he had instructed his troops to develop a strategy for evacuating civilians.
Prior to the anticipated Israeli attack on the southern city of Gaza.
Netanyahu responded to global backlash, including from President Biden and his advisors, over Israel’s proposed invasion.
A densely populated metropolis situated near the border of Egypt..
According to Israel, Rafah is the only place where Hamas still holds power and they believe it is necessary to deploy troops in order to carry out their plan to defeat the Islamic militant group. The leader also stated that there are still “four battalions” of Hamas in the area. However, due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, an estimated 1.5 million Palestinians have sought shelter in Rafah and the nearby region, as advised by the Israel Defense Forces.
Egypt expressed concern over a potential ground operation or large-scale displacement along the Rafah area, stating that it would jeopardize their established peace agreement with Israel that has been in place for four decades. The Gaza-Egypt border, which is largely closed off, serves as the primary access point for humanitarian aid as well.
Early Friday morning, a residential structure was hit close to Rafah’s Kuwaiti Hospital, resulting in the deaths of five individuals from the al-Sayed family, including a woman and three young children. Another strike in Rafah claimed the lives of three additional people.
According to the AP, a recent attack occurred overnight in the town of Deir al-Balah, resulting in nine deaths. Another strike in central Gaza damaged a building that was being used as a shelter for a kindergarten, killing five people and injuring others. Witnesses reported that the residents of the shelter were asleep when the strike occurred.
The Associated Press reported that a woman arrived at Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Hospital carrying a young girl and exclaimed, “What can we do? This is the cowardly act of the Zionist enemy, targeting innocent civilians. Is this little girl really firing rockets at Jewish people? May God protect us.”
Several injured children received treatment while lying on the ground.
Over half of the people living in Gaza have left for Rafah in response to Israeli evacuation instructions before the military’s ongoing ground attack. The evacuation orders now include two-thirds of the surrounded area, but approximately 300,000 Palestinian individuals are still in the northern part of Gaza, despite being urged to leave at the start of the conflict.
In spite of designated safe zones like Rafah, Israel frequently conducts airstrike attacks on alleged Hamas targets. The country blames the militant group for any harm to civilians, arguing that it operates from within civilian-populated areas.
The air and ground attack launched by Israel, which has been ongoing for four months, has caused immense destruction and has resulted in the death of 27,947 Palestinians and injuries to over 67,000, as reported by local health authorities on Friday. This conflict has forced many individuals to flee their homes and has left a quarter of the population facing the threat of starvation.
Mr. Biden has said he continues to work “tirelessly” to press Israel and Hamas to agree on an extended pause in fighting. A truce would be linked to the release of dozens of hostages, out of some 250 seized Oct. 7, and still believed to be in Hamas captivity.
Mr. Netanyahu has refused to agree to Hamas’ conditions for a prisoner exchange, which involves halting the ongoing war and freeing numerous long-term Palestinian detainees in Israeli custody for participating in lethal attacks as part of the longstanding dispute. Despite Mr. Blinken’s belief that ongoing discussions with the assistance of mediators from Egypt and Qatar are feasible, Mr. Netanyahu has dismissed Hamas’ demands as unrealistic.
Israel’s war goals
As the Hamas group regains prominence in certain areas of northern Gaza, which was initially the main focus of the attack and has suffered extensive devastation, Israel has only been able to save one captive. Hamas, on the other hand, claims that multiple individuals have died in aerial attacks or unsuccessful rescue attempts.