On Saturday, more than 250 targets were attacked on the ground, from the air and from the sea, the army said on Sunday morning. In the hours before, the troops had destroyed weapons depots, made targeted advances on military installations, destroyed underground tunnels and destroyed attack plans by terrorist cells.
During the night, warplanes and ground troops also hit a military communications facility belonging to the Islamist Hamas next to a mosque in the south of the Gaza Strip.
- Also read: Freed people on Hamas being held hostage: Every day is hell
In the southern city of Khan Younis, which is considered a Hamas stronghold and where the Israeli army has been fighting for days, tunnel shafts were attacked with precision weapons the day before, the Israeli military said. A “terror cell” that wanted to attack advancing Israeli troops in the area was identified with the help of a drone and then eliminated, it was said.
Israel’s Arabic-speaking spokesman posted a map on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday marking six blocks of Khan Younis that should be evacuated “urgently.”
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected international calls to end the Gaza war. This is incompatible with the war goal of destroying Hamas, he said at a cabinet meeting on Sunday. He told the leaders of France, Germany and other countries: “You cannot, on the one hand, support the elimination of Hamas and, on the other hand, pressure us to end the war, which would prevent the elimination of Hamas.”
Despite unfavorable prospects, Qatar wants to continue its efforts to broker a new ceasefire in the Gaza war. Although the chances are dwindling, Qatar wants to continue to put pressure on Israel and Hamas to achieve a ceasefire, says Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani. The hostages released so far by Hamas were released as a result of negotiations and not as a result of Israeli military operations, he emphasizes. A temporary week-long ceasefire and a simultaneous prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas was brokered by Qatar.
- Now read: Middle East – Tens of thousands in London for Gaza ceasefire
The Gaza war was triggered by the worst massacre in Israel’s history, carried out by terrorists from Hamas and other groups on October 7th in Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip. More than 1,200 people were killed in the unprecedented attacks. Israel then began massive air strikes and, since the end of October, a ground offensive in the coastal area. The number of Palestinians killed has now risen to 17,700, according to the Hamas-controlled health authority.
According to a newspaper report, six Palestinians have died in Israeli custody since the beginning of the Gaza war. There was initially no reaction from the Israeli prison authorities and the army on Sunday to the report in the Haaretz newspaper from the previous day. The paper had written that four Palestinians had died in Israeli prisons and two in military custody under unclear circumstances. At least two of the bodies are said to have shown signs of violence. Palestinian organizations supporting prisoners confirmed the newspaper report.
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