It took 34 hours to cut Gaza off from the world

The legacy of a friend that died fighting against the Israeli occupation of Gaza: Extensity and the Sound-and-Light Show

I left his funeral crushed, knowing we had lost a righteous soul. It is clear to me. My friend fought against Hamas when he died to protect his friends and family, and he also fought against Hamas for many years while he was active against the occupation.

That’s the lie they told us, and the lie that’s being repeated today: that we can decisively eliminate the threat of Hamas through a military operation. In the years since, Hamas has only grown stronger, despite our sacrifices and despite the death and destruction we had wrought on Gaza.

I joined the movement opposing the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories when I moved to the Gaza Strip and became an activist with the organization breaking the silence and now with Extend.

At one point, I scribbled some thoughts on a piece of paper. I wrote that some members of my team had been tallying the number of soldiers killed and discussing whether this operation was worth the losses. I think it could be worth it, as long as we eliminate the threat.

We heard the roar of Air Force fighter jets overhead as we left Al-Burrah. The eight members of the Wahdan family were killed in the strikes, most of them women and children, whose home soldiers from my unit had been there for days.

When my special forces unit went into the Gaza Strip, it was the last time Israeli troops entered it in a large-scale way.

When my Israeli infantry unit arrived at the first village in Gaza, in July 2014, we cleared houses by sending grenades through windows, blowing doors open and firing bullets into rooms to avoid ambush and booby traps. We were told Palestinian civilians had fled.

Even today, I remember how the ground shook from the constant explosions as we moved into Gaza at dusk at the start of the ground invasion on July 17. As we marched into the village of Umm al-Nasr, our Merkava tanks plowed through the fields next to us, and the aerial and artillery bombardments created relentless thunder and lightning — what we jokingly called the sound-and-light show.

I realized this wasn’t true as I stood over the corpse of an elderly Palestinian woman whose face had been mutilated by shrapnel. She was lying in a pool of blood on the floor of the shack.

Gaza’s worst nightmare: The attacks on Hamas operatives in the Oct. 7 border wall attack, according to the Israel Defense Force

Israeli troops stayed on the ground in the Gaza Strip Saturday, a sign of an expansion of ground operations by Israel that began earlier this month.

In a statement, Hamas called the operation a “failure” and said Israel took heavy losses. An Israeli military spokesperson said Israel had no casualties in Friday night’s fighting. Both claims could not be confirmed independently.

IDF fighter jets struck 150 underground targets across the northern Gaza Strip, officials said, killing a number of Hamas operatives. Among those killed was Asem Abu Rakaba, the IDF said, describing him as an official who had helped to plan the Oct. 7 attack in which hundreds of Hamas fighters flooded across Gaza’s border and killed more than 1,400 Israeli soldiers and civilians. Abu Rakaba was responsible for the drones and paragliders used by Hamas that day, an IDF statement said.

Hagari said that assassination and death leads to a better advancement in the war’s stages.

Multiple aid groups, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization, reported difficulty contacting local staff in Gaza.

“We are still out of touch with our staff and health facilities. The director-general of the WHO wrote on Saturday on the social media site X that he was worried about their safety.

NPR couldn’t reach local staff in Gaza. The UN’s top humanitarian official said they were only able to reach staff in Gaza via satellite phone.

Gazans say they have been living inside of a nightmare since Hamas attacked the border fence and killed around 1,400 people. In response to the attacks, the Israeli military declared a siege of the densely populated territory, cutting off electricity, water and medical supplies as it rained down a relentless barrage of aerial and artillery bombardments.

Some doctors’ medical staffs are questioning what the benefit is of the assistance they are receiving. We are not able to help patients anymore. We cannot do anything for them,” said Dr. Mohamad Matar, who spoke to NPR Friday before the blackout.

The Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum (Hamiltonian Voice) cried out “Goodnight, I know you’re safe, but you can’t go there”

An Israeli official said that his country is looking for a significant increase in aid to Gaza in the coming days and that Palestinian civilians should head to the south of the territory.

“Whoever will be in this area, which is a protected area, will receive food, water and medicine,” Hagari said. Israel has bombed southern Gaza several times, including the densely populated areas of Khan Younis and Rafah.

There are more than 200 hostages in Gaza that are still being held by Hamas. The families of hostages and other missing people demanded a meeting with Israel’s war cabinet in order to be reassured that the operation wouldn’t endanger their loved ones.

“This night was the most terrible of all nights. It was a long and sleepless night, against the backdrop of the major IDF operation in the Strip, and absolute uncertainty regarding the fate of the hostages held there, who were also subject to the heavy bombings,” said Liat Bell Sommer, a spokesperson for the group, which is called the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum.

“I felt that I had become blind and deaf, unable to see or hear,” Fathi Sabbah, a journalist based in Gaza, wrote on his Facebook profile on Sunday, after phone and internet service partly returned.

On Friday at sunset, three weeks into Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza — and as Palestinians braced themselves for an impending Israeli ground invasion — the weak phone and internet service that had allowed some semblance of life to continue inside the blockaded enclave was suddenly severed. The United States believed Israel to be responsible for the loss of communications, speaking with anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.

They had no way to know whether their loved ones were alive or dead. Emergency phone lines didn’t ring. Paramedics were desperately trying to save people by driving towards the loud sound of explosions. There were people dying in the street.

Israel is preparing to attack Hamas in the Mideast of the Gaza Strip: Israel’s response to the Sept. 7 attack on the Zikkim Beach

Speaking this morning, IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari said “The fighting in the north of the Gaza Strip continues and expands… we will do what we must to achieve the goals of the war.”

As the barrage continues, the Palestinian Red Crescent said on Sunday it received warnings from Israeli authorities to immediately evacuate the al-Quds hospital in the Gaza Strip.

raids have been 50 meters away from the hospital since this morning. Israel refused to comment on the claims.

“In the coming week we were planning to increase dramatically the amount of assistance” headed for Gaza from Egypt, said Colonel Elad Goren of Cogat, the Israel Ministry of Defense agency that coordinates with the Palestinians.

Meanwhile, President Benjamin Netanyahu, following backlash from Israeli politicians, was forced to delete an online statement saying that he’d had no warning of the Oct. 7 attack It was seen as pinning blame on security chiefs.

The organization said it was a ” worrying sign” that the civil order was beginning to break down after three weeks of war.

The organization said thousands of Gaza residents broke into warehouses and distribution centers of the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency to grab flour and survival items.

Since the slaughter of 1,400 Israelis and foreigners by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7, the world’s sympathies have focused on the Jewish communities closest to Gaza, where many of the victims lived. The Bedouin Arabs are one of Israel’s more hidden minorities.

Dr. Yasmeen Abu Fraiha, who grew up in the Bedouin town of Tel Sheva, said she rushed to her hospital in Beer Sheva as the staff scrambled to treat hundreds of patients that day, including victims who had lost limbs and others who had been shot, including Bedouins. Children, seniors and foreigners were also treated.

Ayesha Ziadna, 29, a relative of the Ziadnas who were attacked on the beach, said that the four members of the family who disappeared are still missing, as are a number of other residents of the area, though the exact number was not immediately clear.

The Hamas militant group launched an attack on Zikkim Beach in the Gaza Strip, which was where a family of four had been camping.

Israel announced it will attack Gaza from the air, land and sea, expanding its war against Hamas days after its tanks began an intense ground operation. The military again urged civilians to move south as troops have entered Gaza from the north (see where troops crossed the border).

Benjamin Netanyahu called the troops’ arrival the “second stage” of the war and warned Israelis to expect a long, difficult fight. He didn’t claim that Israel had launched a full ground invasion. While the number of soldiers in Gaza remains unclear, a more limited initial ground war would align with recent suggestions from the U.S. defense secretary, The Times’s Eric Schmitt reports.

The first stage of the war has been a bombing campaign that Palestinians say has killed thousands of people, many of them children. Israel said it was going to hit military targets, like Hamas. But experts say the majority of the group’s fighters and many of its weapons are underground in a vast network of tunnels, making it difficult for Israel to strike them from the air.

The blackout also complicated evacuation efforts. For more than two weeks, Israel has been calling on Gazans to move south, closer to the border with Egypt, an order that has pushed hundreds of thousands to leave their homes.

The first casualties of the expanded ground incursion were reported by the Israeli military, who stated that two of its soldiers were injured in northern Gaza. Follow our updates.

The Search for a Black Hole After the Massacre in Lewiston (Maine) on July 18, 2015 (The Times New York Times)

State police were put on alert after the man who killed 18 people in Lewiston, Maine, made threats against his base.

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