English Headline : Israel Presses Assault on Hamas's Last Major Gaza Bastion
israeli forces have been pressing an assault on Hamas’s last major stronghold in the Gaza Strip, specifically in Khan Younis1. This close combat with Hamas fighters could be a decisive battle in the ongoing conflict1.
The Israeli military has been thrusting deeper into the Gaza Strip, encircling Gaza City, which is the Palestinian enclave’s biggest city2. The campaign has been shrouded in mystery, with growing numbers of Hamas fighters and Israeli soldiers reported dead2. The mounting Palestinian civilian death toll is more than apparent2.
The stated goals of Israel are clear: defeat Hamas and rescue the hostages confirmed being held inside Gaza2. However, how Israel achieves these goals is less certain, given the amorphous nature of Hamas as an organization, the huge risk involved in attempting to retrieve the hostages, and growing international pressure to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties and supply humanitarian aid to the besieged enclave2.
Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers were fighting “face-to-face” battles with Hamas militants around the densely populated city, while destroying its infrastructure and seeking to control its network of tunnels2. Meanwhile, Israel’s relentless bombardment was continuing, with Israeli troops calling in airstrikes.
The Israeli forces have intensified their operations in the Gaza Strip, specifically in the densely populated city of Khan Younis1. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are fighting “face-to-face” battles with Hamas militants, while simultaneously destroying the city’s infrastructure and seeking to control its network of tunnels1. The military has also dropped leaflets ordering the evacuation of areas that make up about one-quarter of the Gaza Strip2.
The overall death toll in Gaza since the start of the war on October 7 has surpassed 15,200, a sharp increase from the previous count of more than 13,300 on November 202. The Health Ministry in Gaza does not differentiate between civilian and combatant deaths, but it stated that 70% of the dead were women and children2. More than 40,000 people have been wounded since the war began2.
The United States, Israel’s closest ally, has appealed to Israel to protect civilians. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris expressed concern over the scale of civilian suffering and the devastating images and videos coming from Gaza2.
The situation remains fluid and tense, with the prospect of further cease-fires appearing bleak. Israel has recalled its negotiators, and Hamas’ deputy leader stated that any further swap of Gaza-held hostages for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel would only happen as part of ending the war2.
Please note that this is a sensitive topic and the situation may have changed since my last update. For the most recent news, I recommend checking reliable news sources regularly.