Israeli tanks and military vehicles pushed two miles into Gaza as part of their expanded operations….reports Asian Lite News
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shocked the world, stating Israel would not agree to a ceasefire, saying “This is a time for war” drawing parallel with the US military action after 9/11 and Pearl Harbour attack.
Israeli tanks and military vehicles pushed two miles into Gaza city as part of their expanded operations, even as relief aid groups claimed that civil order is breaking down in the territory while hospitals said it is next to impossible to comply with the evacuation orders on patients.
Israel’s military killed dozens of Hamas fighters Monday overnight striking targets in northern Gaza as its expanded ground operations in the enclave moved rapidly. Israeli media showed the country’s troops atop a hotel about two miles into the Gaza Strip, media reports said.
“I want to make clear Israel’s position regarding the ceasefire. Just as the US would not agree to a ceasefire after the bombing of Pearl Harbour, or after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostilities with Hamas after the horrific attacks of October 7,” Netanyahu said.
“Calls for a ceasefire or calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorists, surrender to barbarism, that will not happen,” he said, adding, while the Bible says there is a time for peace, “This is a time for war.”
When asked if he has considered stepping down, Netanyahu said the only thing he would resign is Hamas. “We’re going to resign them to the dustbin of history. That’s my goal. That’s my responsibility,” he added.
The UN warned “civil order” was breaking down in Gaza after weeks of siege and bombardment, with people breaking into warehouses to grab all essentials for their survival.
US President Joe Biden pushed Netanyahu on Sunday to “immediately and significantly” scale up the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza, the White House said.
The US is pushing Israel to “ensure that communication networks in Gaza remain operational,” as well as to restore essential services of water and fuel, a State Department spokesperson said.
“We made clear to the government of Israel over the weekend that communications networks need to be restored, and we are pleased that they took steps to do that,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said at a press briefing.
Miller also said the US is “making progress” on ensuring fuel deliveries to Gaza.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu pushed back against reports that Israel was inflicting collective punishment on the Palestinian people in its pursuit of Hamas, saying the group was preventing civilians from moving to the safe zone in southern Gaza.
“Hamas is preventing them from leaving, keeping them in areas of conflict. So I think you should direct your questions to Hamas,” Netanyahu told a reporter at a news conference on Monday.
Netanyahu added Israel has been trying to prevent civilian casualties by calling for civilians in Gaza to move to a safe zone in the south and providing humanitarian support.
Around 150 aid trucks have crossed into Gaza since the gate opened last week, US says.
A total number of 150 aid trucks have made it through the Rafah crossing into Gaza since the gate opened last week, according to the US State Department. A total of 45 aid trucks went through on Sunday — the most since the gate opened, it added.
“We aim to surpass that number today, tomorrow and beyond,” said State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller.
Miller added the US would “continue our relentless diplomatic efforts in partnership with Israel, Egypt, the United Nations and international humanitarian partners” to increase “daily deliveries of food, water and medical supplies into Gaza”.
Prior to October 7, there were 450 trucks going into Gaza daily, said Lynn Hastings, the UN Humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, in a press briefing last week.
She added the trucks were facing delays due to screening, technical, security and political issues.
New Israeli leaflets dropped on Gaza urge civilians to evacuate a “battlefield”. Israeli aircraft have dropped new leaflets in Arabic over Gaza, warning people in northern and central parts of the strip that “the governorate of Gaza has become a battlefield”.
“Shelters in the north of the Gaza Strip and the governorate of Gaza have become unsafe,” according to the leaflet, an image of which CNN said it saw.