IDF Attacks N Gaza From Both Sides, Lebanon Fear Escalation May Plunge Middle East ‘Into Chaos’

Israeli troops and tanks stormed Gaza’s key northern metropolis from both sides on Monday, three days after launching a major military incursion in the Palestinian territory that has prompted increased international pleas for civilian protection, news agency Reuters reported. Israel’s military claimed it had attacked over 600 militant targets in recent days as it increased ground operations in Gaza, where Palestinian people are in desperate need of gasoline, food, and clean water as the conflict approaches its fourth week.

Key Points:

  1. On Monday, Israeli troops and tanks advanced on two sides of Gaza’s biggest metropolis, as the United Nations and medical personnel reported that bombings had landed closer to hospitals where tens of thousands of Palestinians had taken refuge alongside thousands of injured, AP reported.
  2. US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a prominent Jewish Democrat and Israel supporter, cautioned that House Speaker Mike Johnson’s efforts to promote an assistance package for Israel while offsetting it with expenditure cutbacks jeopardise its success. “Support for defending Israel should not come with conditions, be it cutting foreign military financing by 30% or offsetting aid in a time of crucial need. I am deeply disturbed by Speaker Johnson playing political games with Israeli emergency funding, something our nation has never done in a time of crisis,” Schultz said, CNN reported. 
  3. An escalation of the conflict in Gaza might destabilise the whole region, Lebanon’s interim prime minister warned on Monday. “I see that there is a real race between a ceasefire in Gaza and escalation, because escalation is not only affecting Lebanon, and I fear that escalation will spread to the whole region, plunging the Middle East into chaos,” Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati stated in a video interview with AFPTV.
  4. According to two people informed on the discussion, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Monday as Doha continues to lead negotiations for the release of Hamas hostages, CNN reported. 
  5. The Israeli military announced Monday that four top Hamas operatives were killed as part of its expanded ground operations in Gaza. 
  6. According to a statement issued by the Secretary General of North Sinai Governorate, Osama Al-Ghandour, 75 relief trucks arrived on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on Monday. According to a CNN, sixty are presently undergoing security inspections, with the remaining 15 awaiting inspection. 
  7. The US is aiming to convey a “strong” message of deterrence to Iran as fears of a larger regional confrontation grow, according to the White House on Monday. “We’re certainly going to act — if we have to— to continue to protect our troops and our facilities. We have proven that we will strike and act to do that. And that’s a strong message that Iran needs to take away. We take those responsibilities seriously,” said John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, CNN reported.
  8. “At the moment, we know of at least 239 hostages in Gaza, I say at least, because we still have many missing persons, and we don’t know whether they were abducted or whether Hamas simply destroyed their bodies. 239 innocent people, including 33 children under the age of 10, including 10 children under the age of five. There are children inside the Gaza Strip. Babies, their parents were murdered in front of them they were ripped out of their parents’ arms, and now they’re being held in a dark tunnel in Gaza. by terrorists”, detailed Eylon. 
  9. According to a Kremlin statement, the Russian government blames “external interference” for an anti-Israel brawl at Dagestan’s Makhachkala airport. According to the Kremlin, ill-wishers utilised information and horrific photos of Gaza to agitate and stir up people.
  10. Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said he has instructed the Finance Ministry to halt funds transferred to the Palestinian Authority and is urging the cabinet to reassess its policy on the transfer of funds. He said it was being done in light of what Smotrich characterised as PA “support” for Hamas’s October 7 terror onslaught. “I would like to inform you that I have instructed the Finance Ministry to stop the transfer of payments this month,” Smotrich wrote to Prime Minister Benjamin, reports Times of Israel.






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