Israel expands its Gaza offensive and bombards the south of the strip
Israel expands its Gaza offensive and bombards the south of the strip

Israeli flares gentle the sky above Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, on Dec. 3, 2023.

Said Khatib | Afp | Getty Images

The Gaza Strip confronted heavy bombardment for a 3rd night time since the seven-day pause in preventing ended on Friday, as the Israeli offensive shifts to the refugee-packed south of the enclave.

“We fought strongly and totally in the northern Gaza Strip, and we’re additionally doing it now in the southern Gaza Strip,” Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi instructed reservists on Sunday. That’s the clearest sign to date {that a} much-feared Israeli offensive is about to envelop the south of the Gaza territories, the place lots of of 1000’s of displaced Palestinian folks have been pressured to evacuate at Israel’s directions.

“Wherever there’s a stronghold, the IDF operates. The Israeli forces are preventing terrorists face-to-face and killing them,” IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari instructed reporters in a late Sunday press briefing.

The Israeli navy, whose said purpose is to dismantle Palestinian militant group Hamas and get well all hostages in its custody, stated in an in a single day Telegram replace that it has struck roughly 200 Hamas targets, individually reporting it killed a senior Hamas commander, Haitham Khuwajari, head of the Shati Battalion. CNBC couldn’t independently confirm the reviews.

The IDF estimates that 137 hostages stay held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip in situations unknown, following hostage swaps for the launch of detained Palestinian civilians that have been carried out throughout the cease-fire. Israel has individually begun to declare some of the lacking as useless in captivity in an try to grant closure to grieving family members, Reuters reported, saying {that a} three-person medical committee has been learning and cross-referencing video footage from the Oct. 7 terror assaults and the testimonies of launched hostages.

Those measures may also help decide the standing of a captive, even when no physician has formally pronounced a demise, stated Hagar Mizrahi, the head of the panel and a well being ministry official.

Israeli assaults in southern Gaza

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli assaults have coalesced round the southern metropolis of Khan Younis, the place Israel suspects that Hamas management is entrenched in a spiderweb of underground tunnels. The IDF has been urging Palestinian civilians to evacuate sure components of the metropolis, in line with a Google-translated update from spokesperson for Arab media Avichay Adraee.

The south of the Gaza enclave was beforehand thought-about protected territory for refugees and dwelling to the strip’s few remaining totally practical hospitals, following relentless bombardment in the north.

Torrential fusillades now engulf Khan Younis, with the IDF claiming on Telegram that the Israeli air power struck over 50 targets regionally on Dec. 2

“An evening of totally relentless bombardments. I can’t cease serious about the 1.8 million folks in the south. I do not assume there was greater than a 5 or 10 minute-period all through the course of the night time, and I actually did not sleep, the place one thing wasn’t flying overhead or the sky being lit up,” UNICEF spokesperson James Elder, who’s on web site, said in a voice note.

“Despite what has been assured, assaults in the south of #Gaza are each bit as vicious as what the north endured,” he added on social media.

The focusing on of Khan Younis comes mere weeks after the IDF urged Palestinian folks to take refuge south of the Wadi Gaza wetlands in the strip amid decimation in the north of the enclave — and raises questions of the place subsequent civilians can search shelter. The U.S. has beforehand stated that the battle can’t lead to forceful Palestinian displacements.

In the Red Sea

Washington itself has been drawn into the hearth. The U.S. Command Center on Sunday reported that three business ships — the Unity Explorer, the Number 9 and the Sophie II — got here below hearth in the common Red Sea transit route from missiles deployed from Yemeni areas managed by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. The offensives prompted the patrolling U.S. navy destroyer, the Carney, to shoot down a number of Houthi drones, with solely minor injury and no casualties reported, according to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).

Houthi spokesperson Yahya Saree claimed responsibility for the attacks in opposition to the Unity Explorer and the Number 9 on behalf of the group, saying the former vessel was focused by an anti-ship missile, with the second ship pursued by a sea drone. The Houthis claimed that each vessels had rejected warnings from Yemeni naval forces, reiterating that “all Israeli vessels or these linked to Israelis” will turn into a “legit goal” — a risk first levied when the militants seized the Galaxy Leader cargo ship, which is unaffiliated with Israel, in November.

“These assaults characterize a direct risk to worldwide commerce and maritime safety,” CENTCOM stated. “We even have each cause to imagine that these assaults, whereas launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are totally enabled by Iran. The United States will contemplate all acceptable responses in full coordination with its worldwide allies and companions.”

Repeated anti-Israel offensives from Houthi operatives, Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime and Lebanese Hezbollah militants — all of whom are sponsored by Iran and thought to be Tehran’s proxies by some in the worldwide neighborhood — have fueled considerations that the Israel-Hamas battle may spill into the broader Middle East. Tehran has repeatedly stated that these forces of “resistance” act independently.

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