Israel readies for a ‘long war’
Israeli troops have entered the territory of Gaza in what PM Benjamin Netanyahu says is “the second stage of the war”, which he refrained from calling an invasion. He also warned his country that it will be a “long and difficult” campaign, which he says is being launched to destroy Hamas.
What’s happening in Gaza?
As Israel’s ground offensive began, the internet and phone networks went down in Gaza, and the most intense aerial attacks since 7 October were launched on the northern end of the Palestinian territory. The Israeli military claims 150 underground targets have been hit in Gaza – that’s a reference to the strategic tunnels that Hamas has built under the homes, hospitals and schools in the territory. Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallan said, “the earth in Gaza shook. We attacked above the ground and under it”. Yesterday, connectivity began to return to Gaza, and the Hamas-run health ministry said that the death toll in the enclave has passed 8,000. That’s a number that hasn’t been verified by independent sources.
Is there anything else to know?
There are a couple of things to note… There were marches across the world supporting both sides – they were particularly focused on the plight of Palestinian civilians in Gaza and the 200+ Israeli hostages being held captive there. Reports say that hundreds of thousands rallied across Europe – while here in Oz, thousands showed up on Sunday. And on the world stage, Australia abstained from voting on a United Nations resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian truce in Gaza. Note: the US voted against the resolution… Coalition leader Peter Dutton said the government had “squibbed” the vote and should have followed America’s lead, while key Labor frontbencher Don Farrell said Dutton was “seeking to get political advantage out of this terrible, terrible conflict”.
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