Netanyahu Urges Gaza Palestinians to Leave Amid Escalating Israel-Hamas Conflict

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged Palestinians in Gaza to evacuate as the Israel-Hamas conflict continues to escalate, with the death toll nearing 1,000. This follows a surprise attack by Hamas, which included rocket barrages and a substantial ground assault.

The conflict, one of the most severe escalations in decades, has claimed over 600 lives on the Israeli side, including a key commander, as reported by the government press office. In contrast, Gaza officials have confirmed at least 370 deaths, with significant casualties on both sides.

Thousands of Israeli forces have been deployed to confront remaining Hamas fighters in the south, while the Israeli airforce maintains its airstrikes on targets within the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu has issued a warning of a prolonged and challenging war ahead.

Netanyahu declared, “We are embarking on a long and difficult war that was forced on us by a murderous Hamas attack,” and he strongly urged Gaza residents to evacuate.

Amid ongoing hostilities, Hezbollah, a powerful Lebanese movement, expressed solidarity with Hamas by firing artillery shells and guided missiles at Israeli positions near contested border areas. Additionally, in Alexandria, two Israeli tourists and an Egyptian guide were shot dead.

In response, Israel conducted overnight airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, while Hamas fighters in southern Israel continue to engage Israeli security forces 24 hours after their surprise attack.

Israeli airstrikes have targeted housing blocks, tunnels, a mosque, and homes of Hamas officials in Gaza. Hamas has named its attack “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” and called on resistance fighters in the West Bank and Arab and Islamic nations to join the battle.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has voiced support for the right to self-defense of Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, accusing Israel of being a regional threat.

The United States has pledged support for Israel in the conflict, sending military ships and aircraft closer to the region. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed the provision of munitions and the deployment of fighter jets.

US President Joe Biden assured Netanyahu of additional assistance for the Israeli Defense Forces, with more aid expected soon. The US is also investigating reports of American casualties in Israel, labeling the attack as a “terrorist attack by a terrorist organization.”

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has called for humanitarian corridors to ensure food delivery to Gaza, where Israeli airstrikes have disrupted essential supplies. WFP stands ready to provide food stocks for displaced individuals and those in shelters as concerns about food shortages mount.

Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi expressed concern over the escalating conflict, emphasizing the need to adhere to UN resolutions for peace in the Middle East. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani called for international intervention to end the violence and establish a viable Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders and UN resolutions.

The conflict has resulted in hostages on both sides, further complicating the situation. Hamas continues to launch rocket attacks into Israel, leading to evacuations and Israeli military operations to locate gunmen.

Netanyahu’s office has approved measures to weaken the capabilities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, including cutting off electricity, fuel supplies, and goods entry into Gaza. Israeli airstrikes have inflicted destruction, with a growing toll on civilians.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah also engaged in hostilities with Israel in the contested Shebaa Farms area, leading to artillery fire, drone strikes, and missile defense systems being deployed.

Throughout the Middle East, demonstrations in support of Hamas have occurred, and both Iran and Hezbollah have praised the attack.

Ali Haider

Covering Defence and Politics. Writing On Pakistan, WOT, France, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.

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