Waiting for what the American Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, says tomorrow in Tel Aviv on his third visit in less than a month and the leader of the Hezbollah group, Hasan Nasrallah in Beirut in his first speech since the start of the war between Israel and the jihadist group Hamas, fighting and attacks intensify in the northern Gaza Strip. While its capital is already completely surrounded by soldiersthe Israeli-Lebanese border is heating up under the watchful eye of Iran and the US.
“We are in maximum alert on all fronts. The Air Force acts in the Gaza Strip with great force but make no mistake. We apply less than half of our capacity. (…) There are people ready at any moment to get on planes and attack on other fronts if necessary“Warned the head of the Army, Herzi Halevi, in a message to Nasrallah practically at the same time that from Lebanon Hamas and Hezbollah launched the largest attack of projectiles, anti-tank missiles and explosive drones against Israeli towns since last October 7. As response, Israel bombed Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon.
The Israeli ground offensive, the location of the main stronghold of the armed wing of Hamas and the provision of the humanitarian situation have divided the Gaza Strip into two zones. In the south, the vast majority of the displaced people in search of shelter in the face of incessant bombs and aid arrives from the Egyptian border crossing, which on the other hand reopened this Thursday to receive almost 400 foreigners and seriously injured. The north, meanwhile, is the scene of the fighting and ambushes that accompanied the advance of soldiers, tanks and bulldozers to Gaza City where Hamas waits especially from the tunnels.
“The soldiers have been operating in Gaza and surround it from various directions. And they maintain face-to-face combat against a cruel enemy,” said Halevi, who paid tribute to the 19 soldiers killed in the ground operation that began last Friday: “This war has a painful price. We have lost the best of our children but we are fighting for our right and the right of future generations to live here in security and prosperity.” Lieutenant Colonel Salman Habaka (33) is the highest-ranking officer killed in Gaza. This Druze officer, who became famous in Israel for his intervention in the defense of Kibbutz Beeri 7-0, died in an intense combat.
According to the Army, “more than 130 terrorists have died in the last few hours.” Hamas, which does not give figures for the casualties of its armed wing, reported the death of at least 15 people in the Bureij refugee camp in an Israeli attack. Shortly after, at least 20 people died in a school-shelter in Jabalia, according to the UN. “I have received reports that three of our schools that house some 20,000 people were reached“, declared the general commissioner of the Agency for Palestinian Refugees, Philippe Lazzarino, to CNN. In the Shati refugee camp they noted that the Air Force dropped leaflets asking the inhabitants for an “immediate evacuation because the Army will attack terrorists of Hamas in the next few hours”.