• It is the 62nd day of the war: 16,000 Palestinians dead, including 5,600 children, according to Hamas. In Israel 1,200 died in the attack on October 7.
• Israel’s final assault on Khan Yunis, the Hamas stronghold in the south of the Strip, has begun.
• The army has surrounded Sinwar’s house, but there is no trace of him: instead he seems to have hidden somewhere in the network of tunnels under Gaza.
• The words and acronyms to understand the conflict: here is the glossary.
• The history of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, explained here.
09.33 am – Israel: ok to minimum increase in fuel supplies to Gaza
Following pressure from the United States, Israel has approved a “minimal” increase in fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip to prevent a humanitarian crisis, two months into the conflict. Since the outbreak of the war, Israel has blocked fuel supplies to prevent them from falling into the hands of Hamas and being used for military purposes.
08.59 am – Iran: «The next few days will be terrible for Israel»
“The Islamic resistance has so far responded strongly to the Israeli regime’s acts of aggression, and in line with this trend, the next few days will be truly terrible for the Israeli regime.” This was stated by the Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, during a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani. According to the Irna news agency, Al Thani underlined the importance of increasing the shipment of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.
08.33 am – Israel: 2 more soldiers dead, the toll rises to 86
The Israeli army has announced the death of two more soldiers, killed in combat in Gaza. According to media estimates – since the start of ground operations – the total has now reached 86 deaths. The military spokesperson then announced that there were another 4 soldiers seriously injured during yesterday’s fighting.
08.16 am – Dozens of foreigners ready to leave the Rafah crossing today
According to Egyptian authorities, the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza will be opened today to allow dozens of foreign and dual citizens to exit the Strip. A list published by the Egyptian Authority and reported by CNN includes 63 Americans along with citizens of Romania, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, as well as 13 United Nations personnel who intend to enter Gaza.
08:00 – Blinken: «Important steps from Israel to protect civilians»
Israel is taking “important steps” to better protect civilians during its offensive in southern Gaza: the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said this in an exclusive interview given yesterday to CNN’s King Charles program. The US diplomatic chief hinted that Israeli forces are heeding his call to operate differently in this phase of the war with Hamas than they did in northern Gaza. “I told them very clearly when I was there, just a week ago, that we cannot repeat in the South what happened in the North in terms of harm done to civilians,” Blinken said.
«We are seeing areas clearly designated by Israel as safe areas, where there will be no shooting or armed forces. We’ve seen efforts to ensure that people know they need to move – and not across the entire city, but just in certain neighborhoods. This is positive,” she added. However, Blinken said more needs to be done, calling the huge civilian death toll in war-torn Gaza “heartbreaking.”
07.43 am – The Israeli army advances in Khan Younis, Hamas sites hit
The Israel Defense Forces says the 98th Division is continuing to advance in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, while the air force is carrying out strikes on dozens of Hamas targets. The IDF also reported that two Hamas militants jumped out of a tunnel and opened fire on forces from the Duvdevan unit, who responded by killing the gunmen and destroying the tunnel shaft.
In northern Gaza, the 460th Brigade advanced into the Jabalia camp, capturing one of the main Hamas outposts in the area, killing several militants and discovering tunnels and weapons. The Navy continued to assist the ground forces, with strikes and bombings on Hamas sites along the coast.
– Israeli soldiers in Khan Younis (Afp)
07:09 am – Head of WHO: «Gaza’s health system is close to collapse»
Gaza’s health system is “on its knees and close to collapse.” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this, supporting the United Nations Secretary General’s appeal for a ceasefire.
06.26 am – Two more Israeli soldiers killed in combat in Gaza
Two more Israeli soldiers were killed during the fighting in Gaza. This was reported by an army spokesperson. Therefore, 86 soldiers died in combat during the ground offensive against Hamas.
03.31 am – Netanyahu: we have surrounded Sinwar’s house, sooner or later we will catch him
«Last night I said that our forces can reach anyone in the Gaza Strip: now they are surrounding Sinwar’s house. It is not his fortress and he can escape but it is only a matter of time before we catch him”: this is the announcement of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referring to the news that the house of Hamas leader Sinwar in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, has been surrounded by Israeli forces. However, there seems to be no trace of the leader of the Palestinian movement.
02.02 – White House: aid to Israel and Ukraine are bipartisan priorities
For the White House, aid to Israel and Ukraine and strengthening security on the border with Mexico “are bipartisan priorities that deserve bipartisan support” and “today’s vote does not change the fact that Congress must act to respond to these urgent needs, including providing urgently needed funding for Ukraine by the end of this year.” This was stated by national security advisor Jake Sullivan after Senate Republicans blocked the bill with support for Israel and Ukraine in a procedural vote. «There is a large bipartisan majority in Congress – he continues – that supports Ukraine. This was true the day Putin launched this brutal war, and it remains true today. With funds to arm Ukraine all but exhausted, we now face a crucial moment of truth: Will the United States continue to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom, or will we ignore the lessons of history and let Putin and autocracy prevail? “The stakes are too high and the consequences too serious to allow a minority in Congress to hold Ukraine funding hostage for any unrelated issue,” Sullivan added. The world watches us and history will judge us. If we leave and Putin takes Ukraine, he won’t stop there. It’s time for Congress to fund our critical national security priorities.”
01.16 am – Israeli army shoots at demonstrators, 4 Palestinians killed
Four Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces yesterday in the West Bank, according to local authorities. Among the victims were two teenagers who were demonstrating against Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank.
01.15 am – Putin’s blitz in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates for wars and oil
Having returned to the international scene, Vladimir Putin is now focusing his cards on the Middle East: a blitz visit to Saudi Arabia and the Emirates as well as a meeting in Moscow with the Iranian president. It is no coincidence that Vladimir Vladimirovich is among the «finalists» of the Time magazine for the title of man of the year. Even if he doesn’t get chosen, it’s clear that in this period he really doesn’t seem to have anything wrong with him. Together with Riyadh he practically took over the leadership of OPEC +, the traditional cartel of oil producers. In Ukraine the situation is stable and, indeed, the Russians are convinced that they have the advantage.
In the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, Putin has several aces in his hand. Jerusalem is unhappy with its relationship with Hamas, but it can do nothing because it needs Russia in Syria and to keep Iran at bay. However, the Russian president is now focusing much more on friendship with the Arab countries and with Hamas itself. In recent days he has obtained the unilateral release of hostages with Russian passports and the promise that others will soon follow. Through Qatar, the return of more children to Ukraine has just been concluded.
01.07 am – Biden: «We cannot leave the victory to Putin». But the US Senate holds back on aid to Kiev (but also to Israel and Taiwan)
NEW YORK – «We cannot leave the victory to Putin. If he takes Ukraine he won’t stop there. And if he attacks a NATO country we will have American soldiers fighting against Russian soldiers.” It is a strong and also surprising appeal televised by Joe Biden after an impromptu videoconference meeting of the G7, attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, convened to confirm the cohesion and commitment of the West in support of Ukraine a few hours after a dramatic vote in Congress: the senators – split over the law that allocates 110 billion dollars in military and economic aid to the country attacked by Russia, to Israel and to the civilians of Gaza – have for now rejected the intervention. The White House has announced a 175 million package, the last from the budget that the president can spend without going through Parliament.
00:17 – US Senate, Republicans block (for now) the aid plan for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan
Republicans in the US Senate blocked the bill with aid for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan. This concerns one hundred million dollars of the aid plan proposed by Joe Biden, currently blocked by a vote (49-51) which did not reach, `Politico.com’ reports, the threshold of 60 votes in favor necessary to continue the discussion.