Published On: Mon, Oct 30th, 2023
World | By MDN

Israelis Advance on Gaza City, as Netanyahu Rules Out Cease-Fire

Israelis Advance on Gaza City, as Netanyahu Rules Out Cease-Fire
Israelis Advance on Gaza City, as Netanyahu Rules Out Cease-Fire

Israel continued to warn hospitals in northern Gaza to evacuate, the World Health Organization said overnight. But the W.H.O. said it was impossible to move without risking patients’ lives, and health officials say there is nowhere for them to go, with some hospitals shut down and the remaining ones already overcrowded and dangerously short of essential supplies.

The chief spokesman for Israel’s military, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, declined to say how many Israeli troops were inside Gaza, or where, but confirmed that a combined force of infantry and armored units, operating with air support, was engaging in “expanded ground operations,” but was moving gradually. He said Hamas gunmen typically gather at “staging sites” before trying to attack Israeli soldiers, “after which we strike them from the air.”

Overnight, he added, “dozens of terrorists were eliminated” after they barricaded themselves inside buildings and attempted to attack the soldiers who were moving in their direction. It was not possible to verify Israel’s account of the fighting.

Hamas’s armed wing released a video showing three women who were kidnapped on Oct. 7; one of them sharply criticizes Mr. Netanyahu, saying the hostages are being held in “unbearable conditions” and demanding that he exchange them for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

“When I saw Daniel on television, my heart almost stopped,” said Ramos Aloni, the father of Daniel Aloni, one of the hostages in the Hamas video. “My wife and I were shocked, but we also felt relief — she was alive and we were seeing her.”

Mr. Netanyahu has been under pressure from the families of some hostages held in Gaza, who have accused his government of prioritizing the military campaign over the effort to bring back their loved ones. Some have even expressed willingness to consider a deal that would exchange Israel’s Palestinian prisoners for the hostages.

Mr. Netanyahu’s office called the Hamas video “cruel psychological propaganda,” and in his news conference, the prime minister said the invasion of Gaza “actually creates the possibility of getting our hostages out.”

The Israeli military also said it had rescued a woman, a 19-year-old soldier taken hostage in the Hamas incursion and held in Gaza — the first known rescue operation since the mass abduction on Oct. 7 — as its forces continued their ground invasion there.

Conditions are dire for civilians in Gaza, under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade. Forty-seven trucks carrying food, water, medical supplies and other humanitarian aid entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt on Sunday, according to a Palestinian official at the crossing. That was the largest one-day total in the nine days since the shipments began, but less than half of what the United Nations says is needed.

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