Gaza truce

According to a report by The Guardian, the truce in Gaza is unlikely to be extended beyond Tuesday, with indications that Israel is preparing to resume its air and ground offensive. The four-day truce is set to expire on Tuesday, contingent upon the transfer of 50 hostages held by Hamas. The agreement can be extended by a day for every 10 hostages release by the militant group. However, experts believe that the truce will not last more than a week, as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) wants to dismantle Hamas’ military capability, which can only be achieve through a systematic and careful ground operation.

 

The IDF’s Chief of the General Staff, Herzi Halevi, has vowed to achieve all the objectives of the war, including the return of hostages. Israel’s military estimates that it has killed between 1,000 and 2,000 Hamas fighters out of a 30,000-strong military force. However, the number of Palestinian casualties is much higher, with at least 14,800 Palestinians killed, mostly civilians, in Gaza, and tens of thousands more wounded.

 

The Israeli military has dropped around 40,000 tons of bombs on Gaza and attacked crucial public facilities such as hospitals and schools. While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to eliminate Hamas, the group retains its capability for both combat and negotiation.

 

After a heavy bombing campaign, the IDF had surrounded the northern region of the Gaza Strip when the truce began on Friday. Still, pockets of resistance remained. Satellite analysis suggests that between 40% and 50% of buildings in northern Gaza have been destroye, turning areas such as Jabalia into urban wastelands. The IDF’s next target is the south, where Palestinian civilians were meant to flee, specifically Khan Younis, where Israel claims Hamas’ headquarters and leader, Yahya Sinwar, are locate.

 

Any decision to relaunch the war rests with Israel’s war cabinet, chaired by Netanyahu. The US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said the White House was having “a constructive conversation” with Israel on Sunday about ensuring that “any military action only takes place after civilians have been account for.” However, experts believe that it would be difficult to eliminate Hamas completely without visiting a horrific price on the population.

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