Sat. May 18th, 2024

Israeli forces are preparing for a ground assault in Gaza in response to an attack on its territory. Israeli military spokesman Richard Hecht has urged civilians in northern Gaza, where Hamas’s leadership is based, to evacuate immediately. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that “more is coming” in Israel’s response to Hamas’s attack. Nearly half of Gaza’s population, around 1.1 million people, live in the north and aid groups have expressed concerns about their safety. The situation in Gaza is already dire, with limited access to food, water, fuel, and medical supplies due to an Israeli blockade. There are also fears for the safety of the 150 hostages, including foreigners, that Israel says Hamas has captured. Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by several Western governments. Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has praised Hamas’s actions, calling it a “historic victory.” US President Joe Biden and other world leaders have warned against further escalation of the conflict and have called for the protection of civilians. Israel is also facing a potential confrontation on its northern border with Lebanon, as exchanges of artillery fire have been reported with the Iran-backed Hezbollah group. The recent violence began when Hamas operatives breached the heavily fortified border between Gaza and Israel and killed over 1,300 people. Israel retaliated with extensive bombardment, causing significant damage to Gaza’s infrastructure.

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