Israeli forces said they conducted an aerial strike on a compound located beneath a mosque in the occupied West Bank on Sunday. According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the compound was being used by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad to “plan and execute terrorist attacks”.
Meanwhile, even as Israel prepares to intensify its attack on the Gaza Strip, US President Joe Biden welcomed the arrival of 20 aid trucks to the enclave and said Washington was committed to ensuring more assistance would enter via the Rafah border crossing.
The Palestinian health ministry said the death toll in the Gaza Strip has risen to 4,469 while 1,400 people were killed in the Hamas attacks on Israel.
Here are the top points from the Israel-Hamas war:
A compound located beneath the al-Ansar Mosque, in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank was the target of an Israeli airstrike. According to the Israeli military, the compound was being used by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and they were organising “an imminent terror attack”.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said at least one Palestinian was killed and three others were injured in the strike.
According to Palestinian officials, at least 84 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank in clashes with Israeli forces since October 7, when Hamas launched its surprise attack.
Meanwhile in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military is preparing to step up its strikes on the enclave to increase pressure on the Hamas group. IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said on Saturday night that Israel was planning to enter “the next phase of the war”.
In a briefing to Israeli reporters, Hagari said the attacks on Gaza City will be increased and added, “For your own safety move southward.”
Palestinian media reported at least 11 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. Palestinian media also said Israel was striking the southern city of Rafah.
As Israel prepares for its ground attack on Gaza, the US on Saturday proposed a draft UN Security Council resolution that says Israel has a right to defend itself. The draft also demanded Iran stop exporting arms to “militias and terrorist groups threatening peace and security across the region”, reported news agency Reuters.
This comes after US President Joe Biden launched an urgent mission to get Americans behind billions more dollars in spending for Israel and Ukraine.
The draft text calls for the protection of civilians, including those who are trying to get to safety, and notes that states must comply with international law when responding to “terrorist attacks”. It also urges the “continuous, sufficient and unhindered” delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip, said Reuters, which accessed the text.
The proposal by the US came after it vetoed a Brazilian-drafted text on Wednesday that would have called for humanitarian pauses in the war between Israel and Hamas, to allow aid access to Gaza.
Abu Ubaida, the spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing, said on Saturday that it wanted to release two more hostages along with the two American citizens but the Israeli government refused to accept them. Two US citizens, Judith Tai Raanan and her daughter Natalie, were released on Friday by the Palestinian group on “humanitarian grounds”.
Ubeida said it informed Qatar about Hamas’ intention to release two additional people “without expecting anything in return” but Israel refused.
Israel denied Hamas’ claim and described it as “propaganda”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said, “We will continue to do everything necessary to bring all the captives and missing back home.”
Anger is growing among Israel’s neighbours, even among its allies, over the military’s attack on the Gaza Strip. At a summit held in Egypt’s Cairo, Arab leaders condemned the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.
As per a report by the Associated Press, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who hosted the summit, rejected again any talk of driving Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians into the Sinai Peninsula and warned against the “liquidation of the Palestinian cause.”
Jordan’s King Abdullah II called Israel’s siege and bombardment of Gaza “a war crime.”
There is a growing concern in Egypt about a massive influx of Palestinians crossing into its territory after Israeli forces ordered Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip to evacuate to the south, toward Egypt.
As it faces criticism from its neighbours, Israel said its aircraft struck Hezbollah targets in Lebanon on Saturday. In the cross-border fighting, Iran said one of its soldiers was hit by an anti-tank missile while Hezobollah said six of its fighters were killed.
The Israeli military said it traded fire with Hezbollah in at least four different areas along the Lebanese border.
A top official with Hezbollah vowed that Israel will pay a high price whenever it starts a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip. On the other hand, Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Saturday that the armed group decided to “participate in the fighting” and that it would pay a “heavy price” for its attacks against Israel.