A weekend siege by Hamas has led to the capture of hostages, prompting Israel to retaliate with devastating bombings over Gaza. Israel has announced it will withhold essential resources like electricity, water, and fuel until the hostages are released. This has resulted in significant displacement and casualties, with over 338,000 people displaced, 1,354 killed, and 6,049 wounded. The last power station in Gaza has run out of fuel, forcing reliance on generators for power. The International Committee of the Red Cross warned of an impending fuel crisis, but Israel’s Energy Minister insists the blockade will persist until their demands are met.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Israel to support efforts for the hostages’ release, and he plans to visit Jordan and meet with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Meanwhile, Israel is considering a ground assault on Gaza and has mobilized reservists. The conflict disrupts regional diplomacy, including Israel’s efforts to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia and recent ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran. While Tehran praised Hamas, they deny involvement. U.S. President Joe Biden’s deployment of military assets near Israel is seen as a signal to Iran to stay out of the conflict.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi emphasized the need for humanitarian relief to Gaza, directing aid to Al Arish airport in the Sinai Peninsula. The Rafah crossing remains open, but Egypt has urged Israel not to target the Palestinian side after strikes disrupted operations.
Source – CGTN