Israel breaks through Hamas defenses, begins siege of Gaza City

New raids on Jabalia, another Hamas commander killed

Israel breaks through, breaks Hamas defenses and begins the siege of Gaza City. The latest news of the war in the Gaza Strip outlines the picture of the increasingly extensive land offensive. “The ground operation is proceeding as planned. Thanks to advance planning, precise intelligence, and joint attacks (from land, sea and air), our forces have broken the Hamas front lines defending the northern Gaza Strip “said Daniel Hagari, spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), quoted by the Times of Israel. At the end of the day, the IDF claimed responsibility for the killing of Muhammad A’sar, commander of the Hamas unit for launching anti-tank guided missiles, hit today with an air raid in the Gaza Strip.

According to the IDF, which published a video of the air raid and a photo of the killed man on X, A’sar was “responsible for all Hamas anti-tank missile units”. Under his command there were “numerous” rocket attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers, the IDF added.

Israel advances with attacks that cost the lives of at least 15 soldiers. Meanwhile, units of the armed forces arrive “at the gates of Gaza City”, as said by Brigadier General Itzik Cohen, commander of the 162nd division of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

“It is Hamas that chose this war, not us”, underlined the soldier, explaining that his division “has received an important assignment, to go and finish it with Hamas”. In the last five days, he remarked, “we have destroyed much of Hamas’ capabilities, attacked its strategic facilities, its explosives range and its underground tunnels.” “It will be a long task,” but this “is a war for Israel’s existence” and “we will win it,” he concluded.

For the second day in a row, raids targeted the Jabalia refugee camp, where Israel believes Hamas is deliberately hiding behind civilian infrastructure. “They want these images of destruction,” Hagari said. According to the Palestinians, the latest killed dozens of civilians, while Israel says the operation aimed to eliminate one of the Hamas commanders responsible for the October 7 attack.

Hagari repeated his appeal to the civilian population of Gaza to evacuate towards the south, along safe corridors created by the army for this purpose. In the southern areas designated for the civilian population, only targeted attacks are carried out against Hamas leaders. It is not “a safe zone,” Hagari said, but “the safest place of any place in Gaza.”

The first foreigners and wounded leave Gaza

There are at least 335 foreigners, including 4 Italians, or Palestinians with double passports who have left Gaza and entered Egypt through the Rafah crossing. Furthermore, 76 wounded Palestinians emerged.

The first injured were taken to al Arish hospital, in northern Sinai. A field hospital with four tents, each with 20 beds, was also set up in the Sinai in Sheikh Zuwedi, 15 kilometers from Rafah. Hospitals in Sheikh Zuweid and nearby Al-Arish have prepared to admit new patients. The most serious cases are destined for Ismailia.

USA, Blinken arriving in Israel

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to arrive in Israel tomorrow. Meanwhile, Washington reiterated that “Hamas cannot be the future government in Gaza”, as stated by John Kirby, spokesperson for the US National Security Council, specifying that the United States is working with regional partners to see what could be the future of Gaza. But this “cannot be Hamas”, he reiterated, highlighting that a broad ceasefire in Gaza “is not the right answer”. Washington supports “temporary pauses in fighting” to allow humanitarian aid to be sent to the Gaza Strip.