Skip to content

War between Israel and Hamas: 21 Israeli reservists killed on Monday, ‘one of the worst days’ of the conflict

An Israeli army spokesman announced on Tuesday the deaths of 21 “reservists” killed the previous day in the Gaza Strip, the highest daily Israeli death toll since the launch of a ground offensive on the Palestinian territory on October 27. Gen. Daniel Hagari said during a televised press briefing that most of these reservists were killed when an RPG (shoulder-ignited rocket) targeted a tank and a building the army had booby-trapped to demolish it in the southern Gaza Strip. The army had previously published the identities of ten such reservists on its website.

“We worked to find victims until the last hours,” General Hagari said, citing the difficulty of recovering bodies buried under the rubble. “War has a heavy, even very heavy price. Our reservists sacrificed what they held most dear so that we could all live here safely,” General Hagary added.

Israel’s prime minister announced on Tuesday the opening of a military investigation into what he called a “catastrophe.” Israeli forces “have launched an investigation into the crash. We must learn all the lessons and do everything to save the lives of our fighters,” Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement, referring to “one of the most difficult days” since the start of the war.

“Pause” in the war

Heavy fighting continued Tuesday between the Israeli army and Palestinian Hamas in Khan Younes, in the southern Gaza Strip, amid talks to put the war on “pause” for several weeks in the absence of a lasting solution. According to the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian assistance (Ocha), “fighting is intensifying” in the city, where the Israeli army said on Monday it had taken control of Hamas command posts.

Israel has offered Hamas, through the mediation of Egypt and Qatar, a two-month pause in fighting and raids in the Gaza Strip in exchange for the release of all hostages, the American website Axios reported on Monday evening. The proposal does not imply an end to the war in the Gaza Strip, but a second truce after a week that allowed the release of hundreds of hostages in exchange for at least 240 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons.

According to Axios, the Israeli proposal calls for the return of live hostages to Israel and consists of several stages, the first of which would include women and men over 60 years of age. This will be followed by female soldiers, male non-military men under 60, male Israeli soldiers, and then the remains of hostages. As part of this plan, Israel and Hamas would have to agree in advance on the number of Palestinian prisoners released in exchange for each hostage according to their category, Axios continues.

Rejection of the two-state solution

If Netanyahu’s government discusses a truce, it refuses to consider a long-term “two-state solution” – an independent Palestinian state next to Israel, European foreign ministers lamented on Monday. Meeting in Brussels, the latter met alternately and separately with their Israeli counterparts Israel Katz and the Palestinian Riyadh al-Maliki. “The (Israeli) minister could have used his time better and been concerned about the security of his country and the high number of deaths in Gaza,” reacted European diplomacy chief Josep Borrell, irritated by Israel’s refusal to discuss a two-state solution.

Outside the Palestinian territories, the conflict is heightening tensions between Israel and Hamas’ Iran-backed allies such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthis. In support of the Gaza Strip, the latter are intensifying attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, which causes headaches for large shipowners and increases the cost of shipping.

The US and UK again bombed Houthi targets in Yemen overnight on Monday into Tuesday in hopes of what they called “weaken” the rebels’ military arsenal to help restore traffic in the Red Sea. But according to Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a senior Houthi official, the strikes “only strengthen the resolve of the Yemeni people to shoulder their moral and humanitarian responsibilities towards the oppressed in the Gaza Strip.”

Source: Le Parisien

Share this article:
globalhappenings news.jpg
most popular