Tel Aviv: The war between Israel and Hamas has entered its fourth week, with no signs of a ceasefire or a diplomatic solution. The Israeli army has announced that it has surrounded Gaza City, the main stronghold of Hamas, from all sides and has intensified its ground and air attacks. The Palestinian death toll has risen to 9,061, while 1,400 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. More than 10,000 people have been injured and hundreds of thousands have been displaced on both sides.
The Israeli security cabinet said in a statement that it was targeting Hamas’s weapons, military posts, and infrastructure in Gaza and that it would return the Palestinian workers who were in Israel when the war started. However, it did not provide any information on the number or identity of the workers, who have been missing since the war began.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said that 16 out of 35 hospitals in Gaza were out of service due to the Israeli bombardment and that many medical facilities and ambulances were destroyed. It also said that 135 medical workers were killed and 2,600 people were reported missing. The UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, said that two of its schools in Gaza were hit by Israeli missiles, killing 32 people, including five children.
The Israeli Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, said in a television program that Israel had not allowed any fuel to enter Gaza, despite the warnings that the hospitals would run out of fuel soon. He also said that Israel had not reached its military goals yet and that the operation would continue until Hamas was defeated.
Meanwhile, the fighting on the Israel-Lebanon border has escalated, as Hezbollah claimed that it had used two drones packed with explosives to attack an Israeli army command post in the disputed Shebaa Farms area. Israel said it had shot down one of the drones and denied any casualties or damage.
The war between Israel and Hamas started on October 7, after Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem in response to Israeli raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Since then, both sides have exchanged thousands of rockets and missiles, causing widespread destruction and suffering. Several attempts by regional and international mediators to broker a truce have failed so far.