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21 Israeli troopers are killed within the deadliest single assault on the military because the battle started

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JERUSALEM — Twenty-one troopers had been killed within the Gaza Strip within the deadliest assault on Israel’s forces because the Oct. 7 Hamas raid that triggered the battle, the army mentioned Tuesday, a significant setback that would add to mounting requires a cease-fire.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to press forward till Israel crushes the ruling Hamas militant group and wins the liberty of over 100 hostages held captive in Gaza. However Israelis are more and more divided on the query of whether or not it’s attainable to do both, and enormous numbers of Israeli casualties have pressured Israel’s authorities to halt previous army operations.

A senior Egyptian official mentioned Israel has proposed a two-month cease-fire wherein the hostages can be freed in trade for the discharge of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel and high Hamas leaders in Gaza can be allowed to relocate to different nations.

The official, who was not approved to temporary media and spoke on situation of anonymity, mentioned Hamas rejected the proposal and is insisting that no extra hostages can be launched till Israel ends its offensive and withdraws from Gaza. Israel’s authorities declined to touch upon the talks.

The official mentioned Egypt and Qatar, which have brokered previous agreements between Israel and Hamas, had been creating a multistage proposal to try to bridge the gaps.

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On Monday, Israeli reservists had been getting ready explosives to demolish two buildings in central Gaza on when a militant fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a tank close by. The blast triggered the explosives, inflicting each two-story buildings to break down on the troopers inside.

Protection Minister Yoav Gallant mentioned it was a “tough and painful morning,” however that Israel was dedicated to urgent forward. “This battle will decide the way forward for Israel for many years to return, and the autumn of troopers is a requirement to realize the objectives of the battle,” he wrote on X, previously referred to as Twitter.

Households of the hostages and plenty of of their supporters have referred to as for Israel to succeed in a cease-fire deal, saying that point is working out to deliver the hostages residence alive. On Monday, dozens of hostages’ family stormed a parliamentary committee assembly, demanding a deal to win their family members’ launch.

Israel launched its offensive after Hamas crossed the border Oct. 7, killed over 1,200 individuals and kidnapped some 250 others. Greater than 100 had been launched in November in trade for a weeklong cease-fire and the discharge of 240 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

The offensive has brought about widespread destruction, displaced an estimated 85% of Gaza’s inhabitants and left over 25,000 Palestinians {dead}, based on well being officers within the Hamas-run territory. The United Nations and worldwide assist businesses say the combating has brought about a humanitarian catastrophe, with 1 / 4 of Gaza’s 2.3 million individuals dealing with hunger.

The battle has heightened regional tensions, with Iran-backed teams in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen attacking United States and Israeli targets in help of Palestinians. The U.S. and Britain launched one other wave of strikes Monday in opposition to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who’ve focused worldwide transport within the Crimson Sea in what they painting as a blockade of Israel.

Hamas is believed to have suffered heavy losses however has continued to place up stiff resistance within the face of one of many deadliest air and floor offensives in latest historical past. Militants are nonetheless battling Israeli forces throughout the territory and launching rockets into Israel.

The assault that killed the troopers occurred some 600 meters (yards) from the border in Maghazi, one in every of three built-up refugee camps in central Gaza relationship again to the 1948 battle surrounding Israel’s creation.

Floor operations have been targeted on the camps, in addition to the southern metropolis of Khan Younis, after Israel claimed to have largely defeated Hamas in northern Gaza in operations that brought about widespread destruction to that a part of the territory, together with Gaza Metropolis.

Dozens of Palestinians had been killed Monday in heavy combating in Khan Younis, the place individuals dug graves within the courtyard of the town’s Nasser Hospital as workers struggled to take care of the big variety of wounded individuals, together with youngsters.

Gaza’s web and cellphone networks collapsed once more Monday for the tenth time throughout the battle, posing one other problem for first responders and making it not possible for individuals to succeed in family members in several elements of the territory.

Israel believes Hamas commanders could also be hiding in huge tunnel complexes beneath Khan Younis, the hometown of the group’s high chief in Gaza, Yehya Sinwar, whose location is unknown. Hamas leaders are additionally believed to be utilizing hostages as human shields, additional complicating any rescue efforts.

The rising dying toll and dire humanitarian state of affairs have led to rising worldwide strain on Israel to reduce the offensive and conform to a pathway for the creation of a Palestinian state after the battle. America, which has supplied essential army assist for the offensive, has joined these calls.

However Netanyahu, whose reputation has plummeted since Oct. 7 and whose governing coalition is beholden to far-right events, has rebuffed each calls for.

As an alternative, he has mentioned Israel might want to broaden operations and finally take over the Gaza facet of the border with Egypt, the place lots of of hundreds of Palestinians who’ve fled from different areas are packed into overflowing U.N.-run shelters and sprawling tent camps.

That drew an indignant protest from Egypt’s authorities, which rejected Israeli allegations that Hamas smuggles in weapons throughout the closely guarded frontier.

Diaa Rashwan, head of Egypt’s State Data Service, mentioned Monday that any Israeli transfer to occupy the border space would “result in a severe risk” to relations between the 2 nations, which signed a landmark peace treaty over 4 a long time in the past. Egypt can be deeply involved about any potential inflow of Palestinian refugees into its Sinai Peninsula.

Rashwan mentioned Egypt was in full management of the border after taking various measures in recent times, together with the creation of a 5-kilometer (3-mile) buffer zone and the development of boundaries above and under floor.

Egypt “is able to defending its pursuits and sovereignty over its land and borders, and won’t mortgage it within the fingers of a gaggle of extremist Israeli leaders who search to tug the area right into a state of battle and instability,” Rashwan mentioned.


Jobain reported from Rafah, Gaza Strip. Related Press writers Samy Magdy in Cairo and Melanie Lidman in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

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