Sunday, February 25, 2024

3 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza as the Israel-Hamas War Resumes

HomeTop News3 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza as the Israel-Hamas War Resumes

The fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas collapsed yet again on Friday, reigniting fierce fighting that has already claimed thousands of lives. Israel responded by expanding its ground offensive across all of Gaza, aiming to decisively defeat the militant Palestinian group.

The escalating conflict has global implications, with regional powers like Iran and Turkey supporting opposing sides. World leaders are urgently calling for calm, but a political solution remains elusive as both sides vow to achieve their military objectives.

Ground Troops Expand Offensive

On Sunday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced a major expansion of its ground operations across the Gaza Strip. This comes after the latest ceasefire disintegrated amid mutual accusations of violating the truce.

IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari stated at a press conference, “The IDF is resuming and expanding the ground operation against Hamas’ strongholds across the whole Gaza Strip. Our policy is clear – we will forcefully strike any threat posed against our territory.”

The offensive aims to deal a decisive blow to Hamas by destroying its tunnel network, weapons caches, and leadership. However, the civilian death toll continues mounting rapidly. Gaza’s Health Ministry reports over 15,000 Palestinians killed since October 7.

Meanwhile, Israel confirmed 69 IDF soldiers have died fighting inside Gaza itself. Casualties among Israeli civilians from Hamas rocket attacks have passed 150.

Both sides seem determined to achieve their military goals regardless of global appeals for calm or the severe humanitarian impact.

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Key Developments

Here are some key developments in the latest flare-up of violence:

  • IDF expands ground offensive across all of Gaza after ceasefire collapses again. Stated goal is the total defeat of Hamas.
  • Gaza Health Ministry reports over 15,000 Palestinians killed in the conflict so far. IDF deaths stand at 69.
  • Top Israeli security chief pledges the total elimination of Hamas globally, saying “This is our Munich.”
  • IDF says it has destroyed about 500 Hamas tunnels and located over 800 tunnel shafts in Gaza.
  • Hamas battalion commander killed in Israeli airstrike on Sunday. He allegedly led border raids against Israel.
  • Lebanon mortar fire lightly injures 3 Israeli soldiers, drawing return artillery fire. Heightens regional tensions.
  • World leaders urgently call for Gaza ceasefire and peace talks, but no signs of progress yet.

Both Sides Vow Total Victory

In a defiant speech on Sunday, Shin Bet domestic security chief Ronen Bar channeled Israeli resolve to destroy Hamas totally.

Referencing Israel’s targeted assassination campaign after the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, Bar declared, “This is our Munich. Everywhere: in Gaza, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Qatar, everywhere. It will take a few years, but we will be there to do it.”

Hamas also remains publicly committed to resisting Israel. Its leader Ismail Haniyeh insisted on Friday, “The resistance will continue until the occupier leaves. We will turn the earth, sky, and sea into hell for the occupier.”

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With both sides pledging total victory, ceasefire efforts have floundered. Israel insists Hamas must be disarmed and stripped of its rocket arsenal first. But Hamas refuses, demanding an end to Israel’s Gaza blockade among other concessions. This impasse suggests the bloody conflict could drag on indefinitely.

Global Powers Seek Ceasefire

Hoping to mediate an end to the escalating violence, global leaders like US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani have urgently called for an immediate Gaza ceasefire.

However, with Israel and Hamas deadlocked, no tangible progress has occurred. Instead, the fighting rages on.

Seeking to reassure nervous allies like Jordan and Egypt, Blinken just completed a Middle East tour this week reaffirming US support for Israel while pressing for civilian protection. But this delicate balancing act dissatisfied both sides.

Israel’s hawkish government, elected in part thanks to Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli cities, remains determined to achieve definitive military results first. And Hamas refuses to consider disarmament or compromise while under massive Israeli bombardment.

With the US signaling it won’t pressure Israel too strongly and other potential mediators like Turkey aligned with Hamas, the path to peace looks very challenging.

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Humanitarian Crisis Deepens

The expanding violence has created a severe humanitarian emergency in Gaza. The UN estimates up to 80% of Gaza’s 2 million residents have fled their homes. Critical infrastructure like water, power, and medical services are failing.

Despite global outcry over the mounting civilian deaths, the Israeli security cabinet reportedly set the Shin Bet an explicit “goal” to “eliminate Hamas” militarily. This suggests the crisis may worsen still in the days and weeks ahead.

Both sides are also using social media to galvanize their publics and rally international support. However, inflammatory nationalist rhetoric and graphic images risk inflaming tensions further.

As Israel and Hamas resume all-out warfare neither seems able to win decisively, regional instability spirals while the humanitarian suffering deepens.

With global powers unable to impose calm and both sides refusing compromise, the Israel-Hamas conflict threatens to become a long, draining war of attrition. This serves the interests of extremists wanting endless struggle, but brings only more pointless death and misery for ordinary people.

World leaders must urgently broker an immediate ceasefire and finally address the complex root causes driving this essentially political conflict before thousands more perish needlessly.

Military action alone cannot resolve Gaza’s turmoil. Diplomacy and statesmanship are badly needed to break the violent stalemate before this unnecessary tragedy consumes countless more innocent lives on all sides.

Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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