While the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip becomes more and more unbearable, the Israeli army is hunting Hamas in the bombed-out cities. Their power is supposedly crumbling. The news at a glance.
Gaza – The Gaza war between Israel and the Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip continues into its ninth week with unabated brutality. The Israeli army continued its attacks on Sunday night in the southern city of Khan Yunis, which is considered a Hamas stronghold, and in Jabalia in northern Gaza, the Times of Israel reported, citing Palestinian reports. Israel’s national security adviser Zachi Hanegbi told Channel 12 the evening before that around 7,000 Hamas terrorists had now been killed. Israel is hunting Hamas leader Jihia al-Sinwar, who wants Hamas to fight to the bitter end.
Israel: Prisoners report Hamas’ loss of touch with reality
Shortly after the start of the war, Sinwar is said to have left in an aid convoy to the south of the sealed-off coastal strip, Israeli newspapers reported, citing information from the Kan broadcaster. Israel’s army is in the process of giving the public the impression that Hamas is reeling. Army spokesman Daniel Hagari said terrorists and Hamas commanders who surrendered said their fighters were in a “difficult situation” and that the Hamas leadership under Sinwar was “denying reality.” None of this information can be independently verified.
On Sunday night, a video from the northern Gaza Strip circulated on the Internet in which, according to the Times of Israel, a suspected Hamas fighter could be seen. The man emerges from a line of men who, like him, are only wearing their underpants, with his weapon raised, walks past a tank and lays it down in front of an Israeli soldier. The scene shows the men surrendering to Israeli troops, the report said. However, her identity could not initially be independently verified.
In the days before, Israeli media had published pictures of dozens of Palestinians in their underpants arrested in the Gaza Strip. Their identities were also initially unclear. It is unclear whether more and more Hamas fighters will actually surrender and how many people Hamas will continue to command in the fight against the Israeli army from the extensive tunnel system under Gaza. In recent days, Hamas has continued to fire rockets at Israel.
Israel’s army: move towards command centers
Israeli units have moved very close to Hamas command centers in Jabalia and Shejaiya, Hanegbi said. A total defeat of Hamas would also clear the way for the liberation of 138 hostages from Islamist violence.
The US State Department is now pushing ahead with the sale of almost 14,000 rounds of tank ammunition to Israel, bypassing a review process in the US Congress that is normally required for arms sales to other countries. The ministry is relying on an urgency clause in the Arms Export Control Act, according to a statement published on Saturday. The USA had previously vetoed a draft resolution for a humanitarian ceasefire in the UN Security Council.
The humanitarian situation in Gaza is becoming increasingly unbearable
Meanwhile, the situation of Palestinian civilians is becoming increasingly unbearable. According to the UN, half of the population in the Gaza Strip is now starving. Children reportedly drink seawater due to a lack of clean drinking water. There are cases of diarrhea and other illnesses in the emergency shelters, it said. According to its director, the Nasser Hospital in the embattled city of Chan Yunis is no longer able to control the situation due to the many victims. “We have lost control,” Nahe Abu Taima told the BBC. Hundreds of injured and dead people arrived in the emergency room.
Egypt election overshadowed by war
The Gaza war is also overshadowing Egypt’s presidential election, which begins on Sunday. Incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to win the election again. There is concern in Egypt that the Sinai Peninsula, which is part of its country and borders Gaza, could become the starting point for new attacks on Israel if residents of the coastal strip flee there because of the war. At the same time, the government in Cairo fears that a mass exodus could turn into permanent displacement.
The Gaza war was triggered by the worst massacre in Israel’s history, carried out by terrorists from Hamas and other groups on October 7th in Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip. More than 1,200 people were killed in the unprecedented attacks. Israel then began massive air strikes and, since the end of October, a ground offensive in the coastal area, which is roughly the same size as the city of Munich.
The number of Palestinians killed has now risen to 17,700, according to the Hamas-controlled health authority. The figures cannot currently be verified, but the UN and other observers point out that the authority’s figures have proven to be overall credible in the past.
Houthi rebels continue to threaten
Meanwhile, the Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen have threatened to prevent ships of any nationality from passing through the Red Sea on their way to Israel. A statement on Saturday evening said only freighters delivering aid to the Gaza Strip would be granted passage. All others would become “legitimate targets of our armed forces.” Since the outbreak of the Gaza war, the Iran-backed Houthi rebels have repeatedly attacked Israel with drones and rockets, among other things.
What will be important on Sunday
The Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) is meeting in Geneva to discuss the situation in the territories occupied by Israel. The presidential election begins in Egypt. dpa
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