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Israeli strikes in central Gaza kill a minimum of 35 as Netanyahu says struggle will proceed for months

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DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — Israeli strikes in central Gaza killed a minimum of 35 folks Sunday, hospital officers stated, because the army focused areas in a number of components of the territory a day after the nation’s prime minister stated the struggle will proceed for “many extra months,” resisting worldwide requires a cease-fire.

The army stated Israeli forces have been working in Gaza’s second-largest metropolis, Khan Younis, and residents reported strikes within the central a part of the tiny enclave, after Israel this week made that area the brand new focus of its struggle.

The struggle has raised fears of a broader regional conflagration. The U.S. army on Sunday stated it shot down two anti-ship ballistic missiles fired towards a container ship by Yemen’s Houthi rebels within the Pink Sea. Hours later, 4 boats tried to assault the identical ship, however U.S. forces opened hearth, killing a number of of the armed crews, the U.S. Central Command stated.

Israel says it needs to destroy Hamas’ governing and army capabilities in Gaza, from the place it launched its Oct. 7 assault on southern Israel that killed 1,200 folks and took 240 folks hostage, in response to Israeli authorities.

Israel’s unprecedented air and floor offensive has killed greater than 21,600 Palestinians and wounded greater than 55,000 others, in response to the Well being Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza. The struggle has sparked a humanitarian disaster, with 1 / 4 of Gaza residents dealing with hunger, in response to the United Nations. Israel’s bombardments have levelled huge swaths of the territory, making components uninhabitable and displacing some 85% of Gaza’s inhabitants.

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Israel expanded its offensive to central Gaza this week, concentrating on a belt of dense city neighborhoods that home refugees from the struggle surrounding Israel’s creation in 1948 and their descendants. The preventing has left Palestinians in Gaza with the sensation that nowhere is secure.

Within the space of Zweida in central Gaza, an Israeli airstrike killed a minimum of 13 folks and wounded dozens of others, in response to witnesses. The our bodies have been draped in white plastic and specified by entrance of a hospital, the place prayers have been held earlier than burial.

“They have been harmless folks,” stated Hussein Siam, whose family have been among the many {dead}. “Israeli warplanes bombarded the entire household.”

Officers from Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Deir al-Balah stated the 13 have been amongst 35 our bodies obtained on Sunday.

The Israeli army stated it was battling militants in Khan Younis, the place Israel believes Hamas leaders are hiding. It additionally stated its forces working in Shati, in northern Gaza, discovered a bomb in a kindergarten and defused it. Hamas continued to launch rockets towards southern Israel.

Israel has confronted stiff resistance from Hamas because it started its floor offensive in late October, and the army says 172 troopers have been killed throughout that point.

The magnitude of the destruction in Gaza coupled with the struggle’s size has raised questions concerning the achievability of Israel’s purpose to quash Hamas in addition to about its plans for post-war Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated Israel should keep open-ended safety management over the Gaza Strip, with out saying what would come subsequent. At a information convention Saturday, the place he stated the struggle would proceed for “many extra months,” he reiterated his intention to protect an Israeli army foothold in a slim strip of land in southern Gaza close to the border with Egypt.

“(It) have to be in our arms, it have to be sealed. It’s clear that some other settlement is not going to assure the demilitarization that we’d like and require,” Netanyahu stated. Israel says Hamas has smuggled weapons in by means of the Egyptian border, however Egypt is more likely to oppose any Israeli army presence there.

In his public remarks about Israel’s plans for the Gaza Strip, Netanyahu has additionally stated he will not enable the internationally-backed Palestinian Authority, which administers some components of the West Financial institution, to take part in any future rule over Gaza.

That place has put Netanyahu at odds with the Biden administration over who ought to run Gaza after the struggle. The U.S. backs the concept that a unified Palestinian authorities ought to run each Gaza and components of the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution as a precursor to eventual statehood.

Israeli media have reported that Netanyahu has repeatedly dodged holding conferences together with his Warfare Cupboard concerning the post-war prospects.

Israelis, who nonetheless largely stand behind the struggle’s objectives, are exhibiting indicators they’re shedding persistence.

On Saturday night time, 1000’s protested towards Netanyahu, one of many largest demonstrations towards the long-serving Israeli chief because the struggle started. The nation, which is sharply divided over Netanyahu and a authorized overhaul plan he has set in movement, has remained largely united over the struggle.

“It’s true that the state of Israel has many enemies and threats, however sadly at this time Prime Minister Netanyahu and his continued rule is essentially the most important existential risk to our nation and our society,” stated protester Gal Tzur.

A separate protest Saturday known as for the discharge of the 129 remaining hostages held by Hamas. Households of hostages and their supporters have demanded that the federal government prioritize hostage releases over different struggle aims, and have staged giant protests each weekend.

Egypt, one of many mediators between Israel and Hamas, has proposed a multistage plan that may kick off with a swap of hostages for prisoners, accompanied by a brief cease-fire — alongside the traces of an change throughout a weeklong truce in November.

However the sides nonetheless seem removed from placing a brand new deal. The chief of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group holding Israeli hostages stated Sunday there will probably be no change with Israel earlier than the struggle ends and Israel withdraws its troops from the Gaza Strip, echoing Hamas’ place.


Mroue reported from Beirut and Goldenberg from Tel Aviv, Israel. Related Press author Melanie Lidman in Jerusalem contributed to this report.


Discover extra of AP’s protection at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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