Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that his troops had reached the “height of the war” in their assault on Gaza City’s Hamas strongholds. Senior Israel Defence Forces (IDF) leaders said they had the terrorists surrounded as they closed in with tanks, bombers, helicopters, cruisers, and ground forces. Hamas fighters emerged from the underground network of tunnels, known as the “Gaza metro,” and were giving them a run for their money.
Netanyahu made these remarks as Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas and a client of the Iranian regime in Lebanon, launched its worst rocket bombardment since the conflict began, striking the Israeli border town of Kiryat Shmona and wounding two people. Lt. Col. Salman Habaka, Israel’s highest-ranking commander so far in the battle, was the 18th soldier to die since the beginning of the ground operation in Gaza, demonstrating the severity of the fighting there.
Israel’s Druze Arab minority tank commander, Col. Habaka, 33, was instrumental in the struggle against Hamas’s horrific attack on October 7, which claimed the lives of 1,400 people. He engaged the terrorists at Kibbutz Be’eri, one of the worst atrocity locations, and eliminated a large number of them. Yesterday’s fighting also resulted in the severe injury or death of four additional servicemen.
Israeli military chief of engineers, Brigadier General Iddo Mizrahi, reported that forces were in the initial stages of creating access routes in Gaza but were running into mines and booby traps. He claimed that Hamas had done its homework and was ready for anything. Residents and videos from both sides showed Jihadists going in and out of tunnels to fire at tanks.
Israeli air and artillery raids on the blockaded territory have killed at least 9,000 Palestinians, health officials in Gaza reported on Thursday. Experts from the United Nations have said that the Palestinian people of Gaza are in grave danger of being wiped out and have called for an urgent ceasefire.
Health officials from the Hamas government have said that more than 9,000 Palestinians have been killed since the conflict began. In the past 25 days of warfare, over 3,600 Palestinian children have been reported murdered, and more than half of the territory’s 2.3 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to bombardment.
To ensure that help reaches those who need it most, the group of experts, comprised of seven U.N. special rapporteurs, has called for a humanitarian ceasefire.