The Israeli Army has launched an intense bombardment from the ground and air tonight on the Gaza Strip in the heat of the war escalation that began five days ago, as international mediators try to stop what could be another devastating war if Israel implements its plans for a ground operation.
“The Army’s air and ground forces are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip,” the Army reported on the largest offensive launched since Monday, which as of Thursday left at least 103 dead in Gaza and 8 in Israel by rocket fire from Palestinian militias. The Israeli Army has clarified hours later that its troops have not entered the Gaza Strip during the intense military operation on the enclave this morning.RELATED
“I said that we would demand a very high price from (the Islamist movement) Hamas and the other terrorist organizations,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of the enclave’s armed militias that launched more than 1,700 rockets on Monday. the majority intercepted by the Iron Dome system, towards Israel.
The bombings this afternoon in response to rocket blasts from the militias killed at least 9 children, bringing the number of minors killed in the overcrowded and blocked coastal enclave to 27 as of Thursday.
The army has bombed hundreds of militia targets in the strip in these four days and carried out attacks that have killed more than 30 members of the Islamist movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad, according to Israel. “We are doing it and we will continue to do it with great intensity. This is not the last word and this operation will continue as long as necessary,” Netanyahu warned in a video broadcast on his social networks while the bombings were taking place.
On Thursday, the Israeli Army and the Palestinian militias in the Gaza Strip continued, for the fourth consecutive day, the military escalation, and tonight three rockets launched from Lebanon towards Israel, so far without claiming responsibility, introduced another unpredictable factor to the tense situation in which Israeli troops are already mobilized around the enclave.
After an early morning of incessant shooting from the enclave, the continuation of their attacks on Thursday forced the populations of Gaza and the neighboring Israeli communities to remain sheltered. The anti-aircraft alarms sounded again in the city of Tel Aviv, which in this escalation has become a recurring target of the Palestinian militias, and they were also activated in Eilat, in the extreme south of the country, whose airport was closed due to the launch of a missile. At least 160 projectiles were fired from Gaza into Israeli territory, 30 of which fell inside the enclave. These shots brought the total number since the start of the climb to more than 1,750. Of that number, according to the Israeli Army, 300 fell inside Gaza and hundreds were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.
Israel, for its part, bombed sites from which militias fired rockets on Thursday, as well as rocket manufacturing plants in the center of the enclave. These attacks caused new fatalities in Gaza, where according to the Health Ministry 103 people have died in the last four days, including 27 children.
In Israel, deaths rose to eight after the death of an 87-year-old woman who fell and fatally hit her head while running towards the shelter at the sound of anti-aircraft alarms. Throughout the day before and with the continuation of the attacks from Gaza, the possibility of an Israeli ground operation began to gain momentum.
In parallel with these threats, on the other hand, Egypt, a habitual mediator between Israel and the militias in Gaza, seeks to prevent a fourth war in the area. To that end, he sent a delegation to Tel Aviv on Thursday to try to manage a ceasefire, although Egyptian sources acknowledged that the Israeli authorities were “intransigent” and insisted on the need for “an offensive to respond to Hamas attacks.” . The arrival of this delegation follows the one that visited the Gaza Strip on Wednesday to discuss the conditions of a truce with representatives of the Islamist movement.
Meanwhile, the international community, led by the United States and the United Nations, continues to insist that the parties cease hostilities. The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, proposed to convene an urgent meeting of the Middle East Quartet (Russia, the US, the UN and the European Union), not only to try to mediate but also to resume the peace process. For its part, the UN Security Council will hold an open meeting on the situation in the Middle East this Sunday, according to diplomatic sources.
“The UN Security Council will meet to discuss the situation in Israel and Gaza on Sunday,” US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield announced late Thursday on the social network Twitter. He said the nation he represents “will continue to actively engage in diplomacy at the highest level to try to reduce tensions.”