While the Israeli Army accompanies its intense bombings with a declared increase in its ground operations -and for the first time with a raid from the sea– and accuses the armed wing of Hamas of having its headquarters under Shifa Hospital in Gaza, the Islamist group hopes that negotiations to free some of the 229 kidnapped in its power to delay the large-scale ground offensive. In the middle, the civilian population.
On the one hand, 130,000 Israelis have abandoned their homes in the face of projectiles and infiltrations on the southern and northern borders in a country in which there is practically no one who does not have an acquaintance or family member murdered, disappeared, survived or kidnapped in the jihadist attack on October 7. On the other hand, 1.4 million Palestinians desperately displaced in the enclave with more and more deaths and injuries and fewer buildings, infrastructure and services under the attacks, which this Friday were the most intense and caused the cessation of communications and the Internet before that at night, according to Palestinian sources, soldiers entered the northern area of Beit Janun and armed clashes with militiamen took place.
For the first time since the start of the war unleashed with the Hamas attack that killed 1,400 people in Israel, the Naval Force unit Shayetet 13 made a raid in southern Gaza. “The forces attacked a Hamas terrorist infrastructure and a complex of its naval command forces,” the Army said after confirming the second limited land raid and before announcing its expansion at night. The declared objective, “to kill terrorists and prepare the ground for the ground operation,” indicates that these raids will be a growing constant pending what happens in the negotiations led by Qatar and Egypt to release hostages (especially dozens of children and elderly ) in the hands of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Information about “progress” in this regard appeared in several Arab media.
The outcome of the dilemma in the Israeli Government will guide the course of the war: ground offensive to end the armed wing and the Hamas regime or give time to the issue of the kidnapped people. Hamas hopes that this will be its Iron Dome to prevent the entry of thousands of soldiers, tanks and armored cars or at least receive fuel for its tunnels. Their pressure is directed at public opinion in Israel which, after the shock and calls for revenge at the beginning, now emphasizes the importance of the return of the kidnapped people. According to the newspaper survey Maariv29% of Israelis believe that the Army should immediately enter Gaza while 49% think we have to wait.
“We demand conditions to release the hostages, including a ceasefire,” said the Islamist leader. Musa Abu Marzuk in an interview in Al Arabiya in which he took the opportunity to send a message to his allies: “We will try to get all those who want to fight with us to enter the campaign, including Iran y Hezbollah“. On Friday, the Air Force neutralized “hostile objects” coming from the Red Sea.