Israel claims recapture of Gaza border areas as conflict intensifies

In the midst of escalating violence in the region, Israel announced on Tuesday that it had recaptured Gaza's border areas from Hamas.

JERUSALEM – In the midst of escalating violence in the region, Israel announced on Tuesday that it had recaptured Gaza’s border areas from Hamas, marking the fourth day of intense fighting that has resulted in significant casualties on both sides.

The conflict began after Hamas initiated a surprise attack on Israel.

In response to the assault, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that the ongoing military campaign is merely the beginning of a prolonged war aimed at destroying Hamas and bringing about a transformation in the Middle East.

Anticipation of a regional escalation is mounting as Jerusalem prepares for an expected ground incursion into Gaza.

This crowded and impoverished enclave is the launch site of Hamas’s coordinated attack by land, air, and sea on the Jewish Sabbath.

The death toll has risen significantly in Israel, exceeding 1,000 people, marking the country’s deadliest attack in 75 years.

Gaza officials have reported approximately 900 people killed, and Israel’s army has claimed to have found around 1,500 militant bodies.

International NGOs have expressed grave concerns about the health and humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

United States President Joe Biden during an address to the state.
FILE PHOTO: United States President Joe Biden during an address to the state. [Picture: Spectrum News 13]

United States President Joe Biden denounced the Hamas attacks as “sheer evil,” while Netanyahu accused the militants of committing “savagery never seen since the Holocaust,” including the beheading of soldiers.

In contrast, pro-Palestinian sentiment has surged across the Arab world, with individuals distributing sweets, dancing, and offering prayers in support of the “resistance” against Israel’s longstanding occupation of Palestinian territories.

The Israeli army has called up 300,000 reservists, deployed tanks and heavy armor near Gaza, and stationed forces on the northern border with Lebanon, where exchanges of fire have continued.

While the military has regained control of significant portions of the southern border around Gaza, fighting has persisted.

In Ashkelon, southern Israel, troops clashed with militants backed by helicopters and drones, resulting in the death of three fighters.

Explosions continued to shake Gaza City on Tuesday night. In Rafah, Gaza’s border crossing with Egypt, an Israeli airstrike targeted the area for the third time in 24 hours.

Gaza City’s streets are littered with rubble and shards of glass, while its overwhelmed Al-Shifa hospital reported depleting medical supplies, including oxygen.

UN human rights chief Volker Turk stressed that such sieges are prohibited under international humanitarian law.

Over 187,500 people have been displaced inside Gaza, with most seeking shelter in UN schools, according to the United Nations.

Israel has imposed a total siege on Gaza, further restricting access to essential supplies.

Beyond Gaza, regional unrest has also surged in the West Bank, where 15 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the conflict.

This escalation comes in the wake of a prolonged political crisis in Jerusalem, further exacerbated by this conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni after their meeting at Palazzo Chigi, in Rome, Italy, March 10, 2023.
FILE PHOTO: Israe-li Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni after their meeting at Palazzo Chigi, in Rome, Italy, March 10, 2023. [REUTERS/ Guglielmo Mangiapane]

Netanyahu has called for an “emergency government of national unity” as Israel grapples with deep internal divisions, particularly over judicial reforms.

The conflict has, in some respects, brought the nation closer together.

Meanwhile, fears of a multi-front war continue to loom, with clashes between Israel and forces in Syria reported.

In Lebanon, three Hezbollah fighters were killed in Israeli strikes, and tensions persisted on the northern border with Lebanon.

Hamas claimed another rocket attack from south Lebanon towards Israel, with Israel responding with artillery fire.

Amid the rising unrest, Israel has also been plagued by sporadic cyberattacks, leading to concerns of further cybersecurity threats.

RosGwen24 News
RosGwen24 News
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