The war in Israel enters its 30th day on Sunday, with the dead from the armed conflict exceeding 10,000 without any prospect of a cease-fire or finding a diplomatic solution on the horizon.
The diplomatic initiative that Washington undertook again with Blinken’s second visit to the Middle East, has the sole aim of cutting off Hamas’ relations with the Arab world as Anthony Blinken categorically rejected the proposal made to him in the meeting with the Egyptian Foreign Minister and Jordan for a cease-fire, saying that such an event would allow Hamas to regroup its forces and carry out attacks similar to the one on October 7.
With this data, the Israelis continue and expand their military presence inside Gaza as they announced that the battles are now “hand-to-hand inside residential areas” in order to eliminate the terrorist organization and its operational leadership.
Israel’s defense minister even said that Hamas is surrounded and expressed his assessment that sooner or later the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Shinwar, will be identified and killed.
Gallad’s remarks came as the Israeli army chief – in a highly symbolic move – crossed Israel’s border with Gaza for the first time since the start of the war to inspect Israeli troops operating inside the Palestinian enclave.
These operations combined with the aerial bombardments that continue unabated have the effect of dramatically increasing the blood flow in the Middle East that opened on October 7th.
According to the tally published by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, since the beginning of the war, 9,227 Palestinians, 828 Israeli civilians, 338 Israeli soldiers and 241 hostages have been taken by the terrorist organization.
More than 60 hostages are missing…
Late Saturday night, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas announced that more than 60 hostages were missing as a result of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.
Abu Ubaydah, a spokesman for the Izeldin al-Qassam Brigades, also told Hamas’ Telegram account that 23 bodies of Israeli hostages were trapped under the rubble.
“It seems that we will never be able to reach them because of the continued violent attack of the occupying forces against Gaza,” he said. Reuters could not immediately verify the statement.
IDF warplanes hit Hamas terrorist infrastructure located on the roof of a building and in an adjacent tunnel shaft following information received from Hamas terrorist interrogation in the Shin Bet, as well as through ground operations.
120 targets were hit
The IDF struck about 120 targets in the Gaza Strip today, including Hamas compounds and anti-tank launch sites.
In addition, following information the IDF struck a command and control center with ground forces engaged in an exchange of fire with the gunmen, killing several of them, the IDF said, adding that during the operations weapons and intelligence material were seized and tunnels were identified.
The chief of the Israeli general staff is in Gaza for an inspection
Israel’s chief of staff, General Herji Halevi, traveled to the Gaza Strip today for a visit to troops, the first since the start of the war against Hamas, which exercises power in the tiny Palestinian territory.
“Yes, he was in the Gaza Strip today,” an army spokesman told AFP, after footage was broadcast on Israeli public television.
Israel will ‘find’ Hamas leader in Gaza and ‘exterminate’ him, says Gallad
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallad said today that Israel will “find” and “exterminate” the Palestinian leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Shinwar.
“We will find Sinwar and we will exterminate him,” Gallad said during a press conference in Tel-Aviv.
“This Shabbat (Saturday) we fought hard battles inside the Gaza Strip. We have completed the encirclement (of Gaza City) and our forces are operating from the south and the north,” he stressed.
“And to do this we entered residential areas”, he announced. The Israeli army began its ground operation in Palestinian territory on Friday, October 27. At least 29 Israeli soldiers have been killed since then, according to the military.
Turkey recalls its ambassador to Tel Aviv for consultations in Ankara
Turkey is recalling its ambassador to Tel Aviv, Sakir Ozkan Torunlar, for consultations in Ankara, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced.
“Due to the unfolding humanitarian tragedy in Gaza caused by Israel’s continued attacks on civilians and Israel’s refusal to call for a ceasefire and the continued and unhindered flow of humanitarian aid, it has been decided to recall our ambassador to Tel Aviv, Shakir Ozkan Torunlar , in ‘Ankara for consultations’, according to a statement by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Erdogan: Netanyahu is no longer our interlocutor. We deleted him
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had a dialogue with the journalists accompanying him on the flight from Kazakhstan to Turkey, according to his regular routine when he returns to Turkey from his visits abroad.
The Turkish president mainly answered questions about the developments in Gaza. “In Cyprus, Greece can be a guarantor country, the United Kingdom can be a guarantor country, just as Turkey is a guarantor country, why shouldn’t there be a similar structure in Gaza?” he stated, among other things. “What could be more natural than Turkey being the guarantor country in Gaza? In other words, we can take on the role of guarantor country there as well. Events will tell what form this will take, time will tell. There will be a security dimension, there will be a political dimension, and there is already a historical and cultural dimension along with all of that. There is a structure that is shaped by this historical background and we, as Turkey, should take a leading role,” he argued.
Asked if he would talk to Israel, as he talks to both warring sides of Russia’s war with Ukraine, Mr Erdogan replied: “I have no contact at the moment. The head of the National Intelligence Service, Ibrahim Kalin, is in contact with the Israeli side. Of course, he is also talking to Palestine and Hamas.”
At this point, he clarified that the Israeli prime minister is no longer Turkey’s interlocutor: “Netanyahu is no longer our interlocutor in any way. We deleted him. I will announce the decision on this matter in the contacts we will have at the Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation”.
The Turkish president reiterated his intention “to work for the condemnation of Israel for war crimes”, recalling his related statement at the recent pro-Palestinian rally organized by his party in Istanbul. “I stated that we will support initiatives to refer Israel’s human rights violations and war crimes to the International Criminal Court. Our competent authorities, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will proceed with the procedures,” he said, stressing that “we will do everything we can to enforce International Law and punish war crimes.”
Asked about the possibility of an EU-initiated peace conference that would exclude Hamas, Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the EU of “playing a very strange and inconsistent role during this period”. He argued that “the European Union did not and could not propose a fair approach” and added: “It is not possible to expect such a thing from the European Union. What else can one expect from such an organization that has kept a country like Turkey waiting at the door for more than 50 years’?
Also referring to the EU and the United States, he repeated the position he expressed in the previous days that “they all owe Israel. But Turkey has no debt to Israel.” He added that “now Germany cannot pay the debt. It’s very clear, so are the others.”
UN-Turkey: Deplored ‘sharp increase in hatred’ in world after Hamas attacks
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk today deplored the “sharp increase in hatred” in the world following the attacks by Hamas on October 7. In a statement, Turk deplored the increase of incidents of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other hate speech.” The impact of this crisis (…) has ramifications everywhere, simultaneously dehumanizing both Palestinians and Jews.
We are seeing a significant increase in hate speech, violence and discrimination, a deepening social rift and polarization, and the denial of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. I’ve heard Jews and Muslims say they don’t feel safe, and that saddens me,” the UN official added. Turk said that around the world, “Islamophobic and anti-Semitic harassment, attacks and hate speech have increased, among other things. in the context of conflict-related protests’.
The High Commissioner also denounced the “inflammatory, toxic and hate speech” used by political leaders. “The flood of hate speech being used, including on social media, is abhorrent,” he commented. “International law is clear on this matter. Any incitement to national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination is prohibited