The Israelis, the Israelis and the Hamas. Israel’s role in the Gaza crisis and the israeli response to the Gaza rocket fire
TEL AVIV, Israel — Nearly 1.9 million Palestinians have fled their homes in the Gaza Strip in two months of war between Israel and Hamas, according to the United Nations. That’s 85% of the population in the besieged enclave.
According to Lloyd Austin, the Secretary of Defense, if Israel does not protect Palestinians in Gaza, it will be doomed to fail.
The center of gravity is the civilians, and if you drive them into the enemy’s hands, you replace a tactical victory with a strategic defeat.
The rocket fire from those locations was a further evidence of Hamas abusing the people of Gaza, according to the military.
“These things require the use of a wide range of fire, both to damage the enemy and, of course, to protect our forces. Halevi said that this is why they operate powerfully and that they are also going to have great efforts to minimize harms to civilians.
The Israeli Defense Forces in the Gaza Strip: Intense Fighting in Khan Younis, the Largest City Since the Gaza Campaign began
Speaking to NPR, Brian Carter, an analyst with the Washington, D.C.-based Critical Threats Project, which has been tracking the urban fighting in Gaza, tells NPR that Israeli forces have not been making fast progress on the ground.
A week-long cease-fire between Israel and Hamas last month allowed for the release of more than 100 hostages, all of them women and children, in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli detention.
One of the former hostages berated officials over reports that Israel was considering flooding Hamas tunnels, where many of the captives have been held.
In the Israeli occupied West Bank, Scott Neuman and Eleanor Beardsley wrote about Brian Mann from Tel Aviv. NPR producer Anas Baba contributed from Rafah, in the Gaza Strip.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the IDF said on Wednesday that Israel’s air force had hit 250 targets in the Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours, and that ground troops “continue to locate and destroy weapons, underground shafts, explosive charges and other terrorist infrastructures.”
Israel acknowledged for the first time that it had ground forces engaged in Khan Younis. Israel released video that it said showed soldiers in northern Gaza.
He said the Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday were taking part “in the most intense day since the beginning of the ground operation, in terms of terrorists killed, the number of firefights, and the use of firepower from the land and air.”
The army and Hamas are fighting in the largest city in southern Gaza, which was thought to be where Mr. Deif and Mr. Sinwar were at one point.
Heavy fighting was occurring in Khan Youns on Wednesday, the biggest fighting since Israel launched its assault on Gaza two months ago.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Israeli military said that the northern brigade had been damaged. The Israeli military also claimed it had inflicted serious damage to battalions from the Gaza City Brigade.
Among those in the photo the army said it had eliminated were the head of Hamas’s aerial division, two battalion commanders, a brigade commander and a deputy brigade commander.
The Israeli military attack on Sinwar’s home: the leadership of the Hamas militant group in Gaza is still hiding behind a gate
Mr. Netanyahu said in the video that the forces were encircling Sinwar’s house. He can escape, but it is only a matter of time until we reach him.”
Even if Israel succeeds in killing Hamas leaders, it is not certain that they will be able to remove the group from power.
Israeli forces have in recent day advanced into southern Gaza in an attempt to find and kill top Hamas leaders believed to be hiding there. The leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, and the head of the armed wing, Mohammed Deif, are part of that group.
The military wing of Hamas, Al-Qassam, confirmed last month that at least three of the men in the picture had been killed, including Ahmed al-Ghandour, the northern Gaza military leader known as Abu Anas, and his deputy, Wael Rajab. Another was Rafet Salman, a Hamas battalion commander. In November, a spokesman for the Israeli military said its forces had attacked an underground site where Mr. al-Ghandour had been hiding.
The rare photo of the Hamas leaders, the Israeli military said, was taken while the group hid in a tunnel underneath a residential neighborhood near the Indonesian hospital in the northern Gaza city of Beit Lahia.
He said Israel had killed about half of Hamas’s battalion commanders. He didn’t give any names or details of those who were killed.
The picture was analysed by an Israeli intelligence unit and no one was revealed as to who took the picture. Some of the photograph’s details, including its exact date and location, could not be immediately independently verified.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres apologizes for the attacks on Gaza and condemns sexual violence against civilians
One of the reasons the pause fell apart was they don’t want women to talk about what happened when they were in jail.
And in a Wednesday letter to the U.N. Security Council about the dangers faced by civilians in Gaza, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres acknowledged the Oct. 7 allegations. “Accounts of sexual violence during the attacks are appalling,” he wrote.
“Atrocious forms of sexual violence need to be thoroughly investigated. Trk said that justice is what we owe the victims.
Israel has accused the UN and other international groups of being slow in condemning sexual violence, a claim that Hamas denied.
“These were not merely sick, spur-of-the-moment decisions to defile and mutilate Israeli women and girls,” said Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations. “This was premeditated. It was planned. This was instructed.”
“Many young women arrived in bloody, shredded rags, or just in underwear, and their underwear was often very bloody,” Mendes recalled. Several female soldiers were shot in the crotch, intimate parts, VAgina, or shot in the breast, and the leader of her unit saw it.
At the base where the bodies of victims were taken for identification, staff were shocked by “the extent of the cruelty, the atrocities we witnessed,” said Shari Mendes, a member of an Israeli reserve unit charged with preparing bodies of female soldiers for burial.
A first responder at a kibbutz told Israeli officials that they encountered the body of a woman in the shower of a home with her hands tied, Reichert said. In a video played before the U.N. audience, a first responders describes showing gunshot wounds to women’s breasts and genitals of men and women alike. In one video, a woman who survived the rave said that she witnessed multiple men rape the same woman, and then kill her.
A survivor from the Nova rave, a music festival where hundreds of young people were killed, told responders that “everything was an apocalypse of corpses,” with dead women who were missing clothes, Reichert said.
Israel is a safe and secure place in the presence of the United Nations, and its role in the fight against the Hamas terrorists
Yael Reichert, a superintendent of an Israeli national police unit, recounted testimony from survivors of the attacks and first responders who witnessed the immediate aftermath.
“I’m standing in front of you to make sure that you hear the voices of those women that cannot stand next to us now and be here to scream out what happened to them,” Greiniman said.
She was not wearing clothes. He was emotional and hesitating between words when he said that she had nails and objects in her female organs. “She was abused in a way we just couldn’t comprehend and deal with.”
Simcha Greiniman, a volunteer rescue worker who helped collect bodies on Oct. 7, recounted discovering the body of a woman laying on the floor of her home.
At the U.N. on Monday, testimony from three Israelis — a police officer, a first responder and a member of a morgue team that processed bodies — described and listed details of Israel’s case.
After a session that included firsthand accounts of injuries that Israeli responders saw on victims of the war, the pressure on United Nations officials increased this week.
In the two months since Hamas attacked Israel, Israeli officials have been sharing information that proves Hamas fighters committed rape and other sexual assaults.
Israel’s former attorney general, Avihai Mandelblit, says he thinks Israel’s intention is to ensure civilians escape harm’s way, despite the humanitarian crisis associated with urging mass evacuations to Gaza’s south.
“I’m not saying it is nice being there, but the only thing that we try to do is to protect their lives. Lots of civilian lives will be lost if they stay in Khan Younis in such an intense way. The most important thing – that they will not die Mandelblit was referring to Gaza’s second-largest city where the bombardment is focused now.
As fighting resumed in Gaza last week after a temporary pause, the Israeli military issued a statement saying that it was “providing information to residents of the Gaza Strip on movement for their safety in the next stage of the war.”
The territory of the Gaza Strip is divided by this. according to recognizable areas to enable the residents of Gaza to orient themselves and understand the instructions, and to evacuate from specific places for their safety, if required,” the statement said.
The map came about as a result of the Biden administration’s insistence that Israel minimize civilian casualties. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, after a visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank, called on Israel to declare designated safe zones.
It became very difficult to navigate the map on computers and cellphones. The Israeli military requires residents to locate their neighborhood on a grid and memorize their zone number, then follow their instructions through various media outlets.
My house was in the wrong part of the country. The last zone on the evacuation list was 54,” 29-year-old Heba Usrof told NPR. Heavy fighting is taking place where she is from.
“They hit again the following day,” she says. An Israeli soldier told our neighbor to leave and told everyone else to do the same.
Israeli military Arabic spokesman Avichay Adraee has been posting information — along with videos aimed at persuading Palestinian viewers that Hamas was responsible for their suffering in the war — on X and Facebook since the war began, instructing civilians to flee.
In this post on X on Tuesday, he said the military was operating in the Khan Younis area, and warned that a main north-south road was a combat zone. military activities would be suspended in the neighborhood of Rafah until 2pm.
Adraee’s first announcement declaring a safe passage out of northern Gaza in early November was followed by another announcement the following day: He said that the safe passage was rendered unsafe by Hamas gunfire.
Mustafa, who only gave his first name because he was criticizing Hamas and feared retaliation, fled with his family and their belongings, from northern Gaza to Khan Younis 20 days ago, and then from Khan Younis to Rafah on Tuesday.
The Israelis ordered us to go further south. There was no place to go when we came here. We are all in the streets,” he told NPR. “Hamas should have secured the people before doing this.” They should have secured the people and secured a place for them.
In the coming hours, the Israel Defense Forces will begin a strong attack on your location of residence with the goal of destroying the Hamas terrorist organization.
Many cellphones in Rafah flashed messages on their screens calling for people to evacuate as a “dangerous battle” was expected.
There have been intermittent internet and cellphone service cuts in Gaza. Israel won’t say whether the communications cuts are deliberate or not.
The calls have been difficult for residents to understand. NPR spoke to several people who received calls from the Israeli military listing zones to evacuate that weren’t their neighborhood.
Israel was told by the U.S. to create safe zones to reduce civilian casualties in response to the deadly attack by Hamas. But Palestinians and international aid groups say those zones have been inadequate, and provide no guaranteed shelter to residents who escape.
Israel is urging Palestinians to leave Gaza in order to stop the air campaign that has killed more than 16,000 people there, according to health officials.
The video released by Israel shows what appears to be a rocket-launching position about 109 yards from the edge of a tent city where thousands of civilians have been seeking shelter on the outskirts of Rafah, near the Egyptian border. It is also about 270 yards from the largest logistics base in Gaza used by the United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees.
The video does not show rockets being fired, but displays the launch site before and after the reported launches. The New York Times could not confirm the claim that rockets had been fired.
The Israeli military posted maps, satellite photos, and a video that said 14 rockets had been fired toward Israel from several locations, such as Al-mawasi, a barren area where many people were stuck in flimsy tents.