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Israel army suffers deadliest assault in Gaza since begin of offensive – Nationwide | Globalnews.ca Specific Instances

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Palestinian militants carried out the deadliest single assault on Israel’s forces because the Hamas raid that triggered the battle, killing 21 troopers, the army mentioned Tuesday, a big setback that might add to mounting requires a cease-fire.

Hours later, the army introduced that floor forces had encircled the southern metropolis of Khan Younis, Gaza’s second largest. That marked a significant advance, nevertheless it was unclear how a lot nearer it could carry Israel to defeating Hamas or releasing Israeli hostages — two central battle goals which have proved more and more elusive — or what affect it could have on cease-fire talks that seem like gathering tempo.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mourned the troopers however vowed to press forward with the offensive till “absolute victory” over Hamas. However Israelis are more and more divided on whether or not such a victory is feasible — and whether or not it’s appropriate with bringing again the hostages. In earlier conflicts, giant numbers of casualties have pressured Israel to halt army operations.

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A senior Egyptian official mentioned Israel has proposed a two-month cease-fire during which the hostages can be freed in change for the discharge of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel and prime Hamas leaders in Gaza can be allowed to relocate to different international locations.

Israeli troopers carry the flag-draped casket of reservist Hadar Kapeluk throughout his funeral at Mt. Herzl army cemetery in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024.

AP Photograph/Ohad Zwigenberg

The official, who was not approved to temporary media and spoke on situation of anonymity, mentioned Hamas rejected the proposal and is insisting that no extra hostages can be launched till Israel ends its offensive and withdraws from Gaza. Israel’s authorities declined to touch upon the talks.

Egypt and Qatar — which have brokered previous agreements between Israel and Hamas — have been creating a multistage proposal to attempt to bridge the gaps, the official mentioned. Households of the hostages have known as for Israel to succeed in a cope with Hamas, saying time is operating out to carry their family house alive.

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Israel launched its offensive after Hamas crossed the border Oct. 7, killing over 1,200 individuals and abducting some 250 others. Greater than 100 have been launched in November throughout a weeklong cease-fire.

The offensive has precipitated widespread loss of life and destruction, displaced an estimated 85% of Gaza’s 2.3 million individuals and left one-quarter dealing with hunger. Iran-backed teams in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen have in the meantime attacked U.S. and Israeli targets in assist of the Palestinians.

The U.S. and Britain launched one other wave of strikes Monday in opposition to Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who’ve focused worldwide transport within the Crimson Sea. Lebanon’s Hezbollah group mentioned it fired rockets at a strategic army set up in northern Israel for a second time this month.

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‘One of many hardest days’ for Israel

Israeli reservists have been making ready explosives on Monday to demolish two buildings within the built-up Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza when a militant fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a tank close by. The blast triggered the explosives, inflicting each two-story buildings to break down on the troopers.

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Not less than 217 troopers have been killed because the floor offensive started in late October, together with three killed in a separate occasion Monday, in keeping with the army.

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Netanyahu acknowledged on social media that it was “one of many hardest days” of the battle however vowed to maintain up the offensive.

“We’re in the course of a conflict that’s greater than justified. On this conflict, we’re making huge achievements, just like the encircling of Khan Younis, and there are additionally very heavy losses,” he later mentioned in a video assertion.

Gaza’s Well being Ministry mentioned Tuesday that the our bodies of 195 individuals killed in Israeli strikes have been dropped at hospitals within the earlier 24 hours. Hospitals additionally obtained 354 wounded, it mentioned.

The fatalities introduced the loss of life toll within the strip to 25,490 because the battle started, the ministry mentioned. One other 63,354 have been wounded, it added. The ministry’s depend doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants.

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Heavy combating in Khan Younis

Israel claims to have killed hundreds of militants and to have largely defeated Hamas in northern Gaza in operations that precipitated widespread destruction to that a part of the territory, together with Gaza Metropolis. In latest weeks the offensive has targeted on Khan Younis and refugee camps in central Gaza, together with Maghazi, that date again to the 1948 conflict surrounding Israel’s creation.

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The army mentioned its forces had killed dozens of militants in Khan Younis in latest days and had encircled town, with out offering proof. It was not potential to independently affirm these claims.

Raed al-Nems, a spokesperson for the Palestine Crimson Crescent rescue service, mentioned there was heavy combating across the metropolis’s Al-Amal Hospital. He mentioned a shell had hit the fourth flooring, killing one individual and wounding 10 others. Medical groups have been unable to enter or exit the hospital, and a territory-wide communication outage had additional sophisticated rescue efforts, he mentioned.

1000’s of individuals fled Khan Younis on Tuesday, some on foot with solely what they may carry. Thick, black smoke could possibly be seen rising over town.

“We heard very intense shelling, and we couldn’t sleep all evening as a result of we have been so afraid,” Ibtisam Abu Jommaiza mentioned as she made her manner out of town.

Israel believes Hamas commanders could also be hiding in huge tunnel complexes beneath Khan Younis, the hometown of the group’s prime chief in Gaza, Yehya Sinwar, whose location is unknown. Hamas leaders are additionally believed to be utilizing hostages as human shields, additional complicating any rescue efforts.

Palestinians who flee from Khan Younis from Israeli floor and air offensive on the Gaza Strip arrive in Rafah, southern Gaza, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024.

AP Photograph/Fatima Shbair

The rising loss of life toll and dire humanitarian scenario have led to rising worldwide strain on Israel to cut back the offensive and conform to a path for the creation of a Palestinian state after the battle. The US, which has supplied essential army assist for the offensive, has joined these calls.

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However Netanyahu, whose recognition has plummeted since Oct. 7 and whose governing coalition is beholden to far-right events, has rebuffed each calls for.

As a substitute, he has mentioned Israel might want to develop operations and finally take over the Gaza facet of the border with Egypt — an space the place a whole bunch of hundreds of Palestinians who’ve fled from different areas are packed into overflowing U.N.-run shelters and sprawling tent camps.

That drew an offended protest from Egypt’s authorities, which rejected Israeli allegations that Hamas smuggles in weapons throughout the closely guarded frontier.

Diaa Rashwan, head of Egypt’s State Info Service, mentioned Monday that any Israeli transfer to occupy the border space would “result in a critical menace” to relations between the 2 international locations, which signed a landmark peace treaty over 4 many years in the past. Egypt can be deeply involved about any potential inflow of Palestinian refugees into its Sinai Peninsula.

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Magdy reported from Cairo and Jobain from Rafah, Gaza Strip. Related Press author Melanie Lidman in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

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