Israel’s top military leader, Lt Gen Herzi Halevi, has announced that Israeli forces have encircled Gaza City from three sides and are currently engaged in operations within the city. In a press statement, Halevi described the ongoing intense combat, stating that Israeli forces are positioned at the heart of northern Gaza while also encircling Gaza City.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed this sentiment, asserting that they have made substantial advancements beyond the city’s outskirts, emphasizing that they are in the midst of a significant battle.
Lt Gen Herzi Halevi highlighted the challenging nature of the close-quarter combat Israeli troops are facing against a formidable adversary. Furthermore, he issued a veiled warning to Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia militant group, regarding Israel’s air force readiness.
As tensions persist in the Gaza conflict, the United States, through President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, has advocated for a humanitarian “pause.” Despite these appeals, Israel, under Prime Minister Netanyahu, has previously rejected the idea of a ceasefire.
Regional unease has been growing among Arab countries, including those with established ties to the United States and Israel. Jordan has taken the step of recalling its ambassador to Israel.
In the midst of these developments, Egypt has prepared to receive a significant number of individuals representing over 60 nationalities through the newly reopened Rafah crossing, which borders Gaza. This move follows the evacuation of 361 foreigners and dual nationals from Gaza, and it represents a growing international response to the humanitarian crisis.
The conflict in Gaza, which began on October 7th, has had a devastating impact, leading to numerous casualties and a dire humanitarian situation. As the situation continues to evolve, international efforts are being made to address the crisis and work towards a sustainable solution.