Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made clear on Monday that Israel would not agree to a ceasefire as the country’s ground operations in Gaza intensify. He said while the Bible says there is a time for peace, he said “this is a time for war.”
Meanwhile, a Hamas spokesperson said Israel was not successful in entering Gaza “except in some limited areas” and described the humanitarian situation in the enclave as “disastrous.”
The Israel Defense Forces has not released details about how far it has advanced, but it is clear that Israeli troops have established positions well within the strip, with CNN crews reporting armored personnel carriers moving inside the border fence on Monday.
Here’s what else to know:
- Ground operation: The Israeli military said Monday its troops have killed four prominent Hamas operatives as part of its expanded ground operations in the Gaza Strip. Over the weekend, Israel announced it had entered the “second stage” of its war against Hamas, warning Sunday that its ground operation in Gaza would ramp up. In Sderot, about a kilometer from the Gaza perimeter, CNN crews heard machine gun fire on numerous occasions during the day, suggesting intense fighting on the ground in the northern parts of the Gaza Strip.
- Israeli soldier rescued: A female Israeli soldier who was kidnapped by Hamas on October 7 was rescued during ground operations in Gaza, the IDF said. Despite the intense pressure Israeli forces are applying to the Gaza Strip, Hamas continues to fire rockets toward Israel. Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog said that Hamas recorded their brutal attacks on October 7 as a recruitment tool.
- Video of hostages: Hamas Monday released a short video showing three women who are believed to be captives held by the Palestinian militant group since its October 7 attack. The video shows them seated in plastic chairs facing the camera, while the woman in the middle addresses Netanyahu directly with increasing fury, demanding Israeli leaders to “free us all.” CNN is unable to verify anything about their circumstances or well-being. Ongoing talks that include the US, Israel, Qatar, Egypt and Hamas are underway to get a large group of hostages out of Gaza, a task that sources say is now further complicated by Israel’s expansion of its ground operations.
- Humanitarian crisis: The humanitarian situation in the enclave is continuing to deteriorate. The United Nations reported that thousands of desperate Palestinians are taking basic items like flour and hygiene supplies from warehouses — while facing sustained Israeli airstrikes. A total of 26 trucks went through the Rafah crossing into Gaza on Monday, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said. The head of surgery at the largest hospital in Gaza described dire conditions and said staff at the facility “cannot cope” with the huge number of patients they are treating.
- Strikes in the West Bank: Israel reported new operations against armed Palestinian groups in the occupied West Bank overnight. The Palestinian Ministry of Health said four men were killed in an Israeli air and ground operation in Jenin, which sits toward the north of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and has officially been under the administration of the Palestinian Authority since 1993. According to Palestinian eyewitnesses there, the Israeli army launched two airstrikes on the refugee camp, causing severe damage to buildings.
- Continued fears of a wider conflict: Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister said an escalation of the war in Gaza could plunge the whole region into chaos. An uptick in clashes with Hezbollah has raised fears that the powerful Lebanese paramilitary group could actively participate in the conflict. Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said Sunday that Israel has “crossed the red lines” and it “may force everyone to take action.” The White House said the US is working to send a “strong” message of deterrence to Iran.
- Tell us your story: As a member of the Jewish, Arab or Muslim communities in America, have you felt the need to adjust your daily life amid heightened fears of hate-motivated incidents? If you’re willing to share your story, we want to hear from you. Tell us about your experience here.
DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policies of kapitalradio971.com.