© Reuters. Israeli flags fly subsequent to the rubble of destroyed buildings in Gaza, amid the continuing battle between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, as seen from southern Israel, December 23, 2023. REUTERS/Violeta Santos Moura
By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Dan Williams
CAIRO/JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Sunday to combat deeper into Gaza after his troops endured one of many worst days of losses of their floor warfare, whereas militant group Islamic Jihad joined talks in Cairo, an indication diplomacy was nonetheless alive.
The arrival of a delegation in Cairo headed by Islamic Jihad’s exiled chief Ziad al-Nakhlala adopted talks attended by Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in latest days. Islamic Jihad, whereas smaller than Hamas, can also be holding hostages in Gaza.
The militant teams have to this point stated they won’t focus on any launch of hostages except Israel ends its warfare in Gaza, whereas the Israelis say they’re prepared to debate solely a brief pause in preventing.
However neither facet has publicly walked away from talks that Washington final week described as “very severe”, whilst preventing has intensified all through the Gaza Strip since a truce collapsed at the beginning of December.
The Cairo talks would centre on “methods to finish the Israeli aggression on our individuals”, stated an Islamic Jihad official. The delegation will reaffirm the group’s place that any alternate of hostages must safe the discharge of all Palestinians jailed in Israel, “after a ceasefire is achieved”, the official stated.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad, each sworn to Israel’s destruction, are nonetheless believed to be holding greater than 100 hostages from amongst 240 they captured throughout their Oct. 7 rampage by Israeli cities, after they killed 1,200 individuals.
Since then, Israel has besieged the Gaza Strip and laid a lot of it to waste, with greater than 20,400 individuals confirmed killed, in keeping with Gaza authorities, and hundreds extra believed lifeless underneath the rubble. The overwhelming majority of the two.3 million Gazans have been pushed from their properties and the United Nations says situations are catastrophic.
After a week-long truce collapsed at the beginning of the month, preventing has solely intensified on the bottom, with warfare spreading from the north of the Gaza Strip to the total size of the enclave.
The Israeli navy stated 10 of its troopers had been killed previously day, following 5 killed the day gone by, its worst two-day losses since early November.
“It is a troublesome morning, after a really troublesome day of preventing in Gaza,” Netanyahu stated at a cupboard assembly on Sunday. “The warfare is exacting a really heavy price from us; nonetheless we now have no selection (however) to proceed to combat.”
In a later video message he stated troops would combat on deeper into Gaza till “whole victory” over Hamas, including: “We’re doing every part to safeguard the lives of our warriors.”
Israel has been underneath intensifying stress in latest weeks from its closest ally america to scale down its navy marketing campaign and scale back civilian deaths.
On Friday, Washington withheld its veto for the primary time from a U.N. Safety Council decision on the warfare, permitting the decision to cross after language calling for an instantaneous halt to hostilities was watered down.
On Saturday, Israel’s navy chief of employees stated his forces had largely achieved operational management within the north of Gaza and would broaden operations additional within the south.
However residents say preventing has solely intensified in northern districts recently, notably Jabalia which Israeli forces have been pounding with air strikes in a single day and into Sunday. Tanks had moved additional into the city on Saturday.
Within the central a part of the Gaza Strip, medics stated six Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli air strike on a home on the Bureij refugee camp, the place the Israeli military ordered individuals to evacuate and head west in the direction of Deir Al-Balah metropolis.
Joudat Imad, 55, a father-of-six, needed to go away an space within the Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza after a map printed by the military marked it as a spot individuals needed to evacuate.
“I used to be fortunate to get a tent in Rafah,” he advised Reuters by cellphone. “From an proprietor of two buildings to a refugee in a tent awaiting assist – that’s what this brutal warfare has turned us to. The world is sick and inhumane that it might’t see Israel’s brutality and it’s helpless to cease this warfare of destruction and hunger.”
In Rafah, on Gaza’s southern border with Egypt, an Israeli air strike on a home killed two individuals, Palestinian medics stated.
The Palestinian Crimson Crescent reported an assault on certainly one of its important bases in Khan Younis within the southern Gaza Strip. It stated a 13-year-old little one had been shot lifeless by an Israeli drone whereas contained in the Al-Amal Hospital.
The Israeli navy has expressed remorse for civilian deaths however blames Hamas for working in densely populated areas or utilizing civilians as human shields, an allegation the group denies.
The battle has unfold, as Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi forces disrupt international commerce with missile and drone assaults on vessels within the Crimson Sea in retaliation for Israel’s assault on Gaza.
America shot down 4 drones launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen in the direction of a U.S. destroyer within the southern Crimson Sea on Saturday, bringing to fifteen the variety of such assaults on business delivery, U.S. Central Command stated.
A drone launched from Iran struck a chemical tanker within the Indian Ocean on Saturday, the U.S. Protection Division stated.