Chairman and Chief Editor
Bedour Ibrahim

Israel is “slowly closing in” on Hamas in the Gaza Strip

Israeli Army: Troops Encircle Gaza City and kill Hamas leaders

Monday 06/November/2023 - 03:37 PM
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Israeli troops are closing in on Hamas positions after encircling Gaza City and effectively cutting off the northern part of the territory from the south، according to the military. Fighter jets also killed Hamas commanders، including one responsible for “special security،” the Israel Defense Forces said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met his Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan as part of a regional trip that also included visits to Iraq and the West Bank. 

The United Nations said no foreigners، dual-nationals or injured Palestinians were able to leave the Gaza Strip over the weekend.

Israel is “slowly closing in” on Hamas in the Gaza Strip، military spokesman Richard Hecht said during a mid-day briefing on Monday. 

The air force has attacked some 450 Hamas targets in the past day، and fighter jets have killed Hamas commanders including one responsible for “special security،” the Israel Defense Forces said in an earlier post on social platform X. Troops have entirely encircled Gaza City and effectively cut off the northern part of the Gaza Strip from the south، the military said in an update on Sunday.

Calling for an immediate ceasefire

The heads of 18 UN agencies and major NGOs issued a rare joint statement to call for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.

 “It’s been 30 days. Enough is enough. This must stop now،” the declaration says، calling Israel’s blockade and siege of the strip “unacceptable.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters in Ankara that he and Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan had “a very good، lengthy، productive conversation” on issues from the Israel-Hamas war to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Asked about an apparent lack of progress on US priorities such as the humanitarian situation in Gaza، Blinken said “all of this is a work in progress.”

Blinken’s visit in Turkey is part of a regional trip that also included visits to Iraq and the West Bank، where he met Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss a possible role for the organization in a post-Hamas future for Gaza. The US and Europe designate Hamas a terrorist group.

A sustained blockade of Gaza

Israel shouldn’t maintain a long-term security presence in Gaza and the strip will form an essential part of a single future Palestinian state، European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told a conference in Brussels on Monday.

Von der Leyen spoke against a sustained blockage of Gaza and described the forced displacement of Palestinians as a “recipe for more regional instability.” She said that Hamas cannot control or govern Gaza and that there should be only one Palestinian authority.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation will hold an emergency meeting in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to discuss Israel’s war with Hamas militants and mounting civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip، according to Turkish officials who are familiar with the matter. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to attend the meeting، they said.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh broke down in tears during a weekly cabinet meeting while talking about the civilian deaths in Gaza.

“The scenes in Gaza are beyond what a person can bear. Children being killed by bombs، hunger and fear، wounded left without treatment and ambulances being bombed on during live broadcast،” Shtayyeh said.

The UN said no foreigners، dual-nationals or injured Palestinians were able to leave the Gaza Strip over the weekend and it’s unclear whether they’ll be able to do so anytime soon.

The safe evacuation of patients

“This is reportedly due to the failure of Hamas، Israel and Egypt to reach an agreement regarding the safe evacuation of patients from northern Gaza،” the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Monday in a daily bulletin. 

Hundreds of citizens of the US and other countries began leaving Gaza on Nov. 1 through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

Internet and communication services are gradually resuming in various areas of the Gaza Strip after being disrupted by Israel for a third time since the war began، according to Paltel، the main telecom provider in the Palestinian territory.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman، Nasser Kanaani، said the war is “strongly likely” to spread in the Middle East if “Israeli crimes” continue، citing civilian deaths in Gaza.

He also urged the United Nations to “take notice” of comments by an Israeli minister on the possibility of using an atomic bomb in Gaza as a threat to international security. The minister was subsequently suspended from cabinet meetings.

Some staff at the British embassy in Lebanon and all family members of staff have been temporarily withdrawn، according to the UK government. It added the embassy is continuing with essential work.

Advise against the whole of Lebanon

The Foreign Office continues to advise against all travel to the whole of Lebanon and encouraged British nationals in the country to leave “while commercial options remain available.”

Jordan’s King Abdullah II said his nation air-dropped “urgent medical aid” to a Jordanian field hospital in Gaza City.

“This is our duty to aid our brothers and sisters injured in the war on Gaza،” the king wrote on X، formerly Twitter. “We will always be there for our Palestinian brethren.”

Jordan has been highly critical of Israel’s military operations in Gaza and last week recalled its ambassador to Israel in protest.