Gaza Crisis: Israeli Forces Announce ‘Significant Combat Operations’ with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Warning

Israeli Forces Prepare for Multi-Pronged Offensive in Gaza

Israeli forces have surrounded the Gaza Strip and declared their readiness for ‘significant combat operations’ after launching preliminary raids into Gaza overnight on Saturday.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced their intention to ‘expand the offensive’ with various operational plans, including a ‘joint and coordinated attack from the air, sea, and land.’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with troops and urged them for the next stage.

Humanitarian Crisis Looms Amid Expected Ground Invasion

Ahead of the anticipated ground invasion of Gaza, approximately 400,000 civilians have been displaced.

The IDF had given 1.1 million civilians just 24 hours to escape to the south of the enclave, despite warnings from the United Nations, aid groups, and allied countries about the devastating humanitarian consequences

. Many Palestinians are still struggling to escape from areas targeted by the Israeli military.

Egypt’s Role and Hamas’ Resistance

Egypt has shown reluctance to allow a large movement of migrants through the Rafah crossing, ‘indefinitely’ closing the border after Israeli strikes targeted it.

Hamas has urged civilians to ignore the evacuation order, and some are refusing to leave, expressing their determination to stay in their land.

Air strikes continue, with hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza displaced by the conflict.

Dire Humanitarian Situation and Water Crisis

The UN agency overseeing relief efforts warned that ‘more than 2 million people are at risk as water runs out’ in Gaza, and water has stopped coming out of taps across the territory.

The Israeli military’s evacuation would force the entire population of Gaza into the southern half of the Gaza Strip, with Israel continuing strikes across the territory.

International Reactions and Diplomacy

World leaders and officials have expressed their concerns and called for restraint. US President Joe Biden urged Israel not to lose sight of the fact that the majority of Palestinians had nothing to do with Hamas.

Russia compared Israel’s siege of Gaza to the Nazi siege of Leningrad.

Rishi Sunak stressed the need to protect civilians.

Legal Implications and Evacuation Efforts

Tory MP Crispin Blunt warned the UK could be complicit in war crimes and could face legal action if it does not do more to ‘restrain’ Israel.

The RAF made efforts to evacuate Britons from Israel, and US citizens are being allowed to leave Gaza via the Rafah border crossing into Egypt. Efforts to retrieve hostages continue.

Escalation and Clashes

Clashes and panic have erupted across the region ahead of a possible full-scale offensive. In the West Bank, 11 people were killed in uprisings on a ‘day of rage.’ In northern Israel, Iran-backed Hezbollah sent missiles into Israeli territory, triggering further conflict.

International Appeals and Humanitarian Concerns

The UN and World Health Organization have called on Israel to revoke the evacuation order, as it will result in a humanitarian disaster.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby appealed for a humanitarian corridor and convoy in Gaza to avert a catastrophe.

The situation in Gaza remains dire, with power shortages and healthcare challenges, while international leaders intensify their diplomatic efforts.

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