This is a first success for the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip. Late Monday afternoon, she published the photo of soldier Ori Megidish surrounded by her family. This young woman was taken hostage on October 7, during the Hamas terrorist attack, during which 1,300 Israelis were killed and around 230 kidnapped. “She is fine,” announces the army, which affirms that it “will continue to do everything necessary to free the hostages”.
On Monday, the third day of its ground operation in the Gaza Strip, 24 days after the start of the war against Hamas, the Israeli army continued to advance slowly and methodically. In the morning, a press release reported 600 “terrorist” targets struck “in recent days”. On videos, we can see armored vehicles and infantry units moving around a town, probably Beit Hanoun or Beit Lahia, two localities in the north of the Gaza Strip. We see bulldozers leveling the land. During the fighting, the Israeli army claims to have killed “dozens of terrorists barricaded in buildings and tunnels”. “There will be no ceasefire,” Benyamin Netanyahu warned Monday evening.
Earlier, for the first time since the ground attack began, residents of the Gaza Strip saw Israeli tanks taking up positions on the Salah ad-Din road. A video posted on social networks shows a car targeted by tank fire. The scene reportedly took place near el-Zahra, south of Gaza City and about three kilometers inside the Gaza Strip. With the al-Rashid road, which runs along the coast, Salah ad-Din is an essential artery, connecting the north to the south of the territory. From where they were, the tanks were only about three kilometers or so from the sea.
Also read: In Tel Aviv, hostage families believe less and less in a negotiated exchange
This intrusion caused fear among Gazans that the territory would be cut in two. Visibly anxious to appease the population, Hamas issued a press release affirming that this place “devoid of residential buildings”, “in an agricultural zone”, “is considered of no interest from a military point of view”. A few hours later, the tanks turned back.
The human toll continues to rise in the Gaza Strip. According to the Hamas Ministry of Health, 8,005 people have died since the start of the war, including 3,324 children. 1650 people are reported missing. The bombings do not spare medical and humanitarian structures. In Gaza City, Palestinian Red Crescent buildings were targeted. They are located very close to al-Quds hospital. Other strikes were carried out near the Turkish hospital. The Israeli army dropped leaflets inviting, once again, the civilian population to evacuate the north of the Gaza Strip “which has become a battlefield”. But, according to testimonies from Palestinians who complied with the evacuation order, the southern part was also bombarded.
Despite repeated appeals from international organizations, the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate. Since October 21, 117 humanitarian aid trucks have been able to enter through the Rafah crossing. They transport food, medicine, but no gasoline. For fear that it would be hijacked by Hamas, Israel refuses the entry of fuel, which is necessary to run the electricity generators of hospitals or desalination plants.
Unrwa, the United Nations agency in charge of Palestinian refugees, says that 672,000 people have found refuge in 149 of its centers and that they are “in a desperate situation”. The agency’s centers were not spared from the bombings. Unrwa has reported several “incidents or collateral damage” in its premises since the start of the Israeli ground operation: a strike near a school in Khan Younes, in the south of the Gaza Strip, where 4,800 people have taken refuge. people ; another near a school located “in the central zone”, where “nearly 14,000 people” have taken refuge. The agency has lost 63 employees since the fighting began. She explains that “with very little assistance and overcrowded shelters, tensions are growing between displaced communities.” Food was stolen from several warehouses.
Also read “To negotiate, it is the link established with Hamas that matters”: the release of hostages in Gaza, a complex diplomatic process
Despite the intensity of the fighting, Hamas is proving that it has not lost its ability to strike Israel. Rockets were fired Monday at localities surrounding the Gaza Strip, but also in the center. At the beginning of the afternoon, alarm sirens sounded in Jerusalem, where the explosions of the interceptors of the “Iron Dome”, the Israeli anti-missile system, were heard. Late in the morning, a stabbing attack took place near a tram station located in the eastern part of Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967. The assailant was killed and an Israeli police officer was injured. At the end of the day, clashes broke out near the old town.
In the occupied West Bank, tensions are high. The Israeli army on Monday carried out an incursion into the city of Jenin and its refugee camp, home of “resistance to the occupation”. Four people were killed and nine injured, bringing to 122 the number of Palestinians killed since the war began on October 7. On the Lebanese border, skirmishes follow one another between soldiers of the Israeli army and Hezbollah.