Israel-Hamas war: Israeli army increases strikes on central Gaza and warns of increased shooting on border with Lebanon

In addition to the Gaza Strip, attacked mainly in the center on Thursday December 28, Israeli forces increased raids during the night in large cities in the occupied West Bank, notably in Jenin and Ramallah, where Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority is headquartered, according to the official agency WAFA

Israel-Hamas war: Israeli army increases strikes on central Gaza and warns of increased shooting on border with Lebanon

In addition to the Gaza Strip, attacked mainly in the center on Thursday December 28, Israeli forces increased raids during the night in large cities in the occupied West Bank, notably in Jenin and Ramallah, where Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority is headquartered, according to the official agency WAFA.

The army general staff warned against intensifying shooting along the border with Lebanon, the country from which Hezbollah operates. This movement is part, like Palestinian Hamas, of the “axis of resistance”, a grouping of armed groups close to Iran and hostile to Israel.

Near the Lebanese border, in the Golan, territory annexed by Israel, a drone crashed during the night from Wednesday to Thursday, the Israeli army told Agence France-Presse (AFP), after a nebula of fighters – from pro-Iran armed groups – claimed responsibility for an attack on this sector.

Moreover, Iran on Wednesday threatened Israel with "direct actions and others carried out by the resistance front", after the death on Monday, in a strike in Syria, which it blames on Israel, of Razi Moussavi , one of his senior officers.

“Expansion of fighting in the North”

And Israeli army chief of staff Herzi Halevi said Israeli forces “are at a very high level of readiness for an expansion of fighting in the north,” where clashes between Israel and Hezbollah have been almost daily since the start of the fighting in Gaza.

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military declared that it was continuing its operations in Khan Younes, the main city in the South, but also in the refugee camps in the center of the territory.

The health ministry in the Gaza Strip, administered by Hamas, reported deadly strikes overnight in Nusseirat and Deir Al-Balah, in the center of this territory of 2.4 million inhabitants, including 1.9 million (85%) were displaced by war. The Gaza ministry, in its latest report, reports 21,110 deaths in the Gaza Strip – 6,300 women and 8,800 children. On the Israeli side, according to an AFP count based on the latest official Israeli figures, the attack by Hamas commandos left around 1,140 dead, most of them civilians.

About 250 people have been kidnapped by Hamas, 129 of whom remain detained in Gaza, according to Israel, which said Thursday that three of the 167 soldiers dead so far were killed on Wednesday.

“Long-lasting ceasefire”?

In Gaza, the local population faces "grave danger" with "hunger and despair" worsening, to the point where "hungry people blocked our convoy in the hope of finding food", alarmed the World Health Organization (WHO). In a telephone interview with Benjamin Netanyahu, Emmanuel Macron reiterated his request for a “lasting ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip, the Elysée said.

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Ben Hamad Al Thani, whose country led a mediation that resulted in a truce at the end of November, spoke this week with the President of the United States about the need for a “permanent ceasefire,” not just a mere pause in fighting.

195 people killed in 24 hours in Gaza

This truce allowed the release of 105 hostages and 240 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, as well as the entry into the territory of the Gaza Strip of a large volume of humanitarian aid. But the efforts of the mediators, Egyptian and Qatari, did not make it possible to renew it, while the toll increases every day.

According to the Hamas health ministry, 195 people were killed in twenty-four hours in the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces. The ministry said on Wednesday that the army had notably targeted a house neighboring the Al-Amal hospital in Khan Younes, leaving 22 dead and 34 injured.

Trying to escape the incessant bombings, Palestinians who had found refuge in a UN school located in the Nousseirat camp (center), fled southward on Wednesday, loading mattresses, blankets, luggage on carts, or on the roof of their cars.