Israel-Hamas war: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Tuesday, asserted to take “overall security responsibility” in Gaza indefinitely after its war with Hamas. The latest remarks are seen as the clearest indication yet that Israel plans to maintain control over the coastal enclave one month into a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives and levelled whole swaths of the territory.
In an interview with ABC News that aired late on Monday, Netanyahu expressed openness to “little pauses” in the fighting to facilitate the delivery of aid to Gaza or the release of some of the more than 240 hostages seized by Hamas in its October 7 attack into Israel that triggered the war.
But he ruled out any general cease-fire without the release of all the hostages, and the White House said there was no agreement on US President Joe Biden’s call for a broader humanitarian pause after a phone call between the leaders.
It is worth mentioning this is a key question-- who will rule Gaza if IDF wipes out Hamas from the region?
70% of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have fled their homes
The war has already come at a staggering cost, and Israel unleashed another wave of strikes across the territory on Tuesday. Entire city blocks have been reduced to rubble, and around 70% of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have fled their homes, with many heeding Israeli orders to head to the southern part of the besieged territory, which is also being bombed.
Israeli troops have been battling Palestinian militants inside Gaza for over a week, and have succeeded in cutting the territory in half and encircling Gaza City. Food, medicine, fuel and water are running low, and United Nations-run schools-turned-shelters are overflowing.
Death toll in Gaza surpassed 10,000
The Palestinian death toll has surpassed 10,000, the Health Ministry of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip said Monday, including over 4,100 minors. More than 2,300 people are missing and believed to be buried under the rubble of destroyed buildings, the ministry said. The ministry does not distinguish between civilians and combatants, and Israel says it has killed thousands of fighters.
About 1,400 people in Israel have died, mostly civilians killed in the Oct. 7 incursion by Hamas. Israelis observed a moment of silence Tuesday in memory of the victims. The 30th day is a milestone in Jewish mourning, and memorial events are planned in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
In southern Gaza, where Palestinians have been told to seek refuge, an Israeli airstrike destroyed several homes early Tuesday in the town of Khan Younis. First responders pulled five bodies — including three dead children — from the rubble, according to an Associated Press journalist at the scene.
AP video taken at a nearby hospital showed a woman desperately searching for her son and then crying and kissing him when she found him, half-naked and bloodied, but apparently without serious injuries. A girl sobbed next to a baby lying on a stretcher wrapped in a blanket, apparently dead.
An airstrike destroyed a home in the southern city of Rafah, killing at least five people, including three children, according to the municipality and a local hospital.
(With inputs from agency)