In the early hours of Tuesday, the Israeli military launched a series of attacks on 200 targets in Gaza. This operation, one of the most significant in recent times, came just ahead of a scheduled visit by U.S. President Biden to Israel1. The strikes were a response to what Israel described as the deadliest attack it had suffered in half a century.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson, Jonathan Conricus, described the surprise attack by Hamas on Israel as "by far the worst day in Israeli history"2. The IDF retaliated with a series of airstrikes, targeting Hamas' operational headquarters and other strategic locations.
The situation in Gaza is dire, with aid workers warning of a looming humanitarian crisis1. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been forced to flee from the north to the south of the territory, following evacuation orders issued by Israel's military5. The IDF has stated that it plans to "operate significantly in Gaza City in the coming days" and has urged residents to move south for their protection.
The IDF's strikes have been wide-ranging, targeting dozens of Hamas terror targets and "Nukhba" operatives, a special forces unit within Hamas that was reportedly instrumental in the previous week's attack5. The IDF also claimed to have killed Merad Abu Merad, the head of the Hamas Aerial System in Gaza City.
The escalation of violence has had far-reaching implications, not just for Israel and Gaza, but also for the broader Middle East and global diplomacy. The surprise attack by Hamas has complicated Washington's efforts to broker a major pact to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia7. The situation has also injected new urgency into President Biden's upcoming visit to Israel, with the aim of reinforcing American commitment to Israel's security and addressing the spiraling humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
Despite the escalating violence and the humanitarian crisis, the spirit of resilience is evident. As one IDF officer stated, "We will never erase Gaza from the map. We will never kill 2.8 million people because that’s not us. We won’t do that"5. This sentiment underscores the complexity of the situation and the urgent need for a peaceful resolution.Sources:
- Israel Attacks 200 Targets in Gaza Ahead of Biden Visit - WSJ
- Iran's UN mission denies involvement in Hamas attacks; Gaza under 'complete siege' - CNBC
- Israel prepares ground attack as Gaza battles humanitarian crisis - NBC News
- Biden's Trip to Israel Carries Risks for U.S. Policy—and His Own Legacy - WSJ
- Israel-Gaza live updates: Israeli forces preparing for 'wide range of offensive plans'
- Israel - WSJ Spotlight Coverage, Recent News
- Israel-Palestine escalation updates: Gaza under bombardment - Al Jazeera
- Live updates: Intense bombardments strike in southern Gaza as the war rages on | AP News