Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, has stated that the country does not plan to control “life in the Gaza Strip” once it destroys the Hamas militant group. This is the first time an Israeli leader has discussed the long-term plans for Gaza. Gallant outlined three phases for Israel’s war with Hamas: attacking the group with airstrikes and ground maneuvers, defeating pockets of resistance, and finally ceasing responsibility for life in Gaza.
Israel launched a bombardment of the Gaza Strip, targeting areas where Palestinians had been told to seek safety. There are signs of a potential ground invasion of Gaza, which could lead to regional turmoil. Palestinians in Gaza reported heavy airstrikes in Khan Younis, with ambulances bringing in injured people to the local hospital. The Israeli military said it had struck over 100 targets linked to Hamas, including tunnels and arms depots.
Over a million people have been displaced in Gaza, with many heeding Israel’s orders to evacuate the northern part of the enclave. However, Israeli military spokesman Nir Dinar stated that there are no safe zones in south Gaza. UN officials have noted that some Palestinians who had fled the north appear to be returning due to the heavy bombing.
Gaza’s overwhelmed hospitals are rationing their medical supplies and fuel for generators. Aid delivery from Egypt is desperately needed, but Israel has stated that the supplies can only go to civilians and it will prevent any diversions by Hamas. Repair work has begun at the border road damaged in airstrikes to facilitate aid delivery.
Israel has evacuated its own communities near Gaza and Lebanon, accommodating residents in hotels elsewhere in the country. Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group has traded fire with Israel along the border and hinted at joining the war if Israel seeks to annihilate Hamas. The violence in Gaza has sparked protests across the region, including in Arab countries allied with the US.
An unclassified US intelligence assessment estimated casualties in an explosion at a Gaza City hospital to be between 100 and 300 deaths. The report stated that the blast was not caused by an Israeli airstrike, as initially reported by the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. Israel has presented evidence that the blast was caused by a rocket misfired by Palestinian militants.
The Greek Orthodox church housing displaced Palestinians near the hospital was hit by an Israeli airstrike, causing damage to a church wall. The Greek Orthodox Patriarchy of Jerusalem condemned the attack and pledged to provide assistance.
The Gaza Health Ministry reported that 3,785 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, with the majority being women, children, and older adults. In Israel, over 1,400 people have been killed, mostly civilians. Israel has called up reserves and massed troops along the Gaza border.
With supplies running low due to the Israeli siege, some Gaza residents are down to one meal a day and drinking dirty water. Negotiations are ongoing between Egypt and Israel for the entry of fuel for hospitals. The Gaza Health Ministry has appealed to gas stations for fuel, and a UN agency has donated some of its last fuel to keep hospitals running.
In conclusion, Israel’s Defense Minister has outlined the country’s plans for Gaza after destroying Hamas. The situation in Gaza remains dire, with heavy bombardment causing displacement and overwhelming hospitals. The conflict has also sparked protests in the region, and efforts are being made to provide much-needed aid to Gaza.