Israelis on Tuesday mourned the deaths of more than 1,400 people, the vast majority of them civilians, in an unprecedented and bloody attack a month ago by Hamas, which also took at least 240 hostages to Gaza. The attack triggered a devastating war against the Islamic movement in the Gaza Strip. Israel vowed to “annihilate” Hamas, continued to bomb Gaza, and ground troops have entered the heart of Gaza. At this juncture, there is no prospect of a ceasefire.
On Monday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that after the end of the Israel-Kazakhstan war, Israel will be fully responsible for Gaza’s security. He said this was an attempt to prevent Hamas from returning to Gaza. Does this mean that Israel is preparing to reoccupy Gaza after giving up its occupation in 2005? In this regard, the United States clarified its position on Tuesday and expressed its opposition to Israel’s “reoccupation of Gaza.” A U.S. State Department spokesman said, “In general, the United States opposes the reoccupation of Gaza, and Israel will not support this approach.”
“Our view is that Gaza is Palestinian territory and will always be Palestinian territory, and the Palestinians decide what to do,” the spokesman said. However, the spokesman added that “Israel and the region must be safe and Gaza must not and cannot continue to be a base for terrorist attacks against the Israeli people or anyone else.”
As the handover begins on Monday and Tuesday, the Israeli air force continues to bomb Palestinian territory controlled by Hamas. The Ministry of Health of the Hamas government announced that so far, more than 10,300 people have been killed, most of them civilians, 4,237 of whom were children.
Under the cover of the Israeli air force, Israeli ground troops surrounded Gaza City and “cut the Gaza Corridor in half” before continuing to advance deeper into the Gaza Corridor. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told an American TV station ABC on Monday night that “there will be no ceasefire in Gaza without the release of the hostages.”
In 2005, Israeli forces withdrew from Gaza, ending the 38-year occupation. However, Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel would be “indefinitely fully responsible” for the security of the Palestinian territories after the war to prevent the resurgence of Hamas, which has been designated a “terrorist” organization by the United States and the European Union.
Israeli forces intensified their bombardment on Sunday night and leaders from non-governmental organizations, the United Nations, the Arab world and other countries continued to call for a ceasefire. On Tuesday, Médecins Sans Frontières called for a ceasefire, saying it was a “necessary condition” to organize humanitarian relief. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has once again urgently called for a “humanitarian ceasefire” in the Palestinian territory, which he calls a “children’s graveyard.” He also condemned the “heinous act of terrorism” carried out by Hamas on October 7 and condemned the group’s use of “civilians as human shields.”
Israel’s non-stop bombing has exacted a heavy price on the 2.4 million Palestinians trapped in 362 square kilometers of territory. Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza since October 9, leaving local residents without access to water, electricity and food supplies. Gaza has been blocked by Israel for more than 16 years. According to the United Nations, 1.5 million Gaza residents have been forcibly displaced.
Israel has repeatedly dropped leaflets on Palestinians in Gaza, telling them to leave the northern Gaza corridor and evacuate to the south. But AFP reports that Israel continues to bombard southern Gaza, which has been surrounded.
Thousands of Gaza City residents, including children, left their homes and fled south after morning attacks on parts of Gaza City on Tuesday, having to walk through kilometers of streets ringed by Israeli tanks.
AFP frontline reporters also saw that on the same day, hundreds of people holding foreign passports were waiting to be evacuated to Egypt at the Rafah terminal, the only crossing point in the Gaza Strip not controlled by Israel.
In addition to the devastating bombing and fighting, Palestinians fleeing the Gaza Strip also complained of a lack of food and water. United Nations Secretary-General Guterres said that since October 21, 569 trucks of aid have arrived in Gaza, but “This is nothing compared to the vast ocean of demand.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday once again ruled out any possibility of a ceasefire: “There can be no ceasefire as long as the Israeli hostages are not released. Fuel shipments to Gaza are also not allowed.”