In a significant development, Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has confirmed that Israeli troops are now “in the heart of Gaza City,” coinciding with the one-month mark since Hamas’s October 7 attack. Gallant highlighted the full coordination between land, air, and sea forces in this operation.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added to the statement, revealing that Israeli troops are both operating inside and encircling Gaza City. He called upon the people of Gaza to relocate to the south, emphasising the ongoing intensity of the conflict.
Addressing the future of Gaza following the current conflict, a member of Israel’s war cabinet, Ron Dermer, clarified Netanyahu’s comments regarding “overall security responsibility.” Dermer emphasised Israel’s commitment to ensuring that Gaza remains a demilitarised area and pledged that the Israel Defence Force (IDF) would conduct security operations to counter any potential terror threats. Importantly, he emphasised that Israel has no intention to reoccupy or govern the area.
On the humanitarian front, the United States voiced its strong opposition to a potential “reoccupation” of Gaza by Israel and asserted that the territory must remain Palestinian land. US President Joe Biden indicated that he had discussed the possibility of a ceasefire with Prime Minister Netanyahu without specifying the duration of the proposed pause.
Amid the ongoing conflict, Western powers, including the United States, have lent their support to Israel’s position, asserting that a ceasefire could inadvertently bolster Hamas militarily.
The situation remains complex, with troops on the ground in Gaza City, international calls for humanitarian measures, and a focus on the future status of Gaza once the conflict subsides.