Monday, February 26, 2024

War against Hamas threatens to spiral into broader conflict


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Rafah (Gaza Strip), Oct 22: Israeli warplanes struck targets across Gaza, two airports in Syria and a mosque in the occupied West Bank allegedly used by militants, as the 2-week-old war with Hamas threatened to spiral Sunday into a broader conflict.
Israel has traded fire with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group since the war began, and tensions are soaring in the occupied West Bank, where Israeli forces have battled militants in refugee camps and carried out two airstrikes in recent days.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told troops in northern Israel that if Hezbollah launches a war, “it will make the mistake of its life. We will cripple it with a force it cannot even imagine and the consequences for it and the Lebanese state will be devastating”.
For days, Israel has seemed to be on the verge of launching a ground offensive in Gaza following Hamas’ deadly October 7 rampage, with tanks and troops massed at the border.
Israel’s military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said the country had increased airstrikes across Gaza to hit targets that would reduce the risk to troops in the next stage of the war.
Hamas said it fought with Israeli forces near Khan Younis in southern Gaza and destroyed a tank and two bulldozers.
The Israeli military said it had no information about the claim.
On Saturday, 20 trucks entered Gaza in the first aid shipment into the territory since Israel imposed a complete siege two weeks ago.
Egypt’s state-run media reported 17 more trucks crossing on Sunday, but the United Nations said none had crossed.
“Until now, there is no convoy,” said Juliette Touma, spokeswoman for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.
Associated Press journalists saw seven fuel trucks head north from the border, but Touma and the Israeli military said those trucks were taking fuel that had been stored on the Gaza side of the crossing deeper into the territory, and that no fuel had entered from Egypt. (AP)
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