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Israel Expands Ground Operations in Gaza

Israel Defense Forces operating in Gaza
Israel has announced its plan to escalate ground operations in Gaza tonight. Credit: Israel Defense Forces/flickr CC BY-NC 2.0.

Israel has declared its intention to expand ground operations in Gaza, intensifying its military campaign against Hamas. The move follows a series of intense bombings that have been witnessed along the Israel-Gaza border. The army spokesperson, Daniel Hagari, highlighted that airstrikes were focused on Hamas tunnels and other strategic targets.

According to reports of the Hamas-led Gaza health ministry, 345 people had been killed by Israeli airstrikes in the space of 24 hours.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s adviser, Mark Regev, warned that Hamas would face severe consequences for its actions. Israel begins its reckoning tonight, the Sky News reports.

The UK’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly confirmed that Israel is intensifying its military campaign against Hamas in Gaza, media say.

UN General Assembly Approves Resolution for ‘Humanitarian Truce’

The UN General Assembly approved a non-binding resolution for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza, with 120 votes in favor, 45 abstentions, and 14 votes against, including Israel and the United States.

Concerns were raised about potential war crimes on both sides, with the UN expressing worries about collective punishment in Gaza and the impact on civilians. Catherine Russell of UNICEF highlighted the peril faced by her colleagues and the one million children in Gaza, emphasizing the need for their protection.

The UN secretary general warned of Gaza’s humanitarian system on the brink of collapse. Antonio Guterres stressed the escalating needs of over 2 million civilians amid intensified bombings.

The UN’s human rights office underscored the challenges faced by civilians, citing the use of explosive weapons by Israel in densely populated areas, which had caused extensive damage. They stressed the importance of ceasing indiscriminate attacks by Palestinian armed groups and the release of civilian hostages, the Guardian reports.

There have been reports of challenges in communication and access to the region, with some officials expressing fears of a deepening humanitarian crisis and catastrophic consequences of a potential ground invasion in Gaza.

Israeli Military Says It Cannot Assure Safety of Journalists in Gaza

According to the Guardian, Israel’s military has notified Reuters and Agence France-Presse that it cannot ensure the safety of their journalists in Gaza. In correspondence to the news agencies, the IDF stated that it targets all Hamas military operations across Gaza and that Hamas intentionally locates military activities near journalists and civilians.

The IDF acknowledged that its high-intensity strikes on Hamas targets could result in damage to nearby structures and that misfired Hamas rockets could cause harm to individuals in Gaza.

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