Residents of southern Israel remain resilient amid attacks
Palestinian militants fired at least two dozen rockets at the Israeli city of Netivot last week, about six miles from the Gaza border.
A senior Hamas official said that the massacre of Israelis on October 7 revived the dream of establishing a Palestinian state that would include the current state of Israel.
Khaled Meshal, in a Kuwaiti podcast that drew widespread attention on Wednesday, rejected any two-state solution, refused to recognize the Israeli state, and said there was “almost consensus” among Palestinians that their state should extend from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. This will include the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and all of Israel.
Meshaal, a billionaire who lives in Qatar, said that 17 years of rule in Gaza allowed Hamas to build its military power without being hindered by Israel. He did not express any remorse for the thousands of deaths and destruction caused by the armed attack across Gaza.
“There was no freedom in Gaza,” Meshaal said in translation. The Times of Israel. “There was clear stability, but life was not good. Palestinians are not interested in improving their lives under occupation.”
Disrupting President Biden's abortion rally Due to the repeated protests in Gaza
∎ Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on all Islamic countries to cut off all political and economic contacts with Israel and said that militants fighting in Gaza would win the war “in the not too distant future.”
∎ The Jordanian Foreign Minister, which shares a border with and recognizes Israel, accused Israel of “making a mockery” of international law. Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said during a UN meeting on the war: “Israel must be held accountable for its actions and the war crimes it commits and prevent peace from being achieved.”
Netanyahu says no to the Palestinian state We will not surrender to the “monsters of Hamas”: updates
The Israeli army announced on Wednesday that Israeli ground forces had surrounded the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, the second largest city in the Gaza Strip. Thousands of Palestinians were forced to flee to the south, and the destruction was widespread. Thomas White, director of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said on social media that two Israeli tank shells hit a youth center housing 800 people, setting it on fire, causing “huge loss of life.” He added that at least nine people were killed and 75 others were injured.
Fierce fighting also broke out around the two main hospitals in the area. The bombing hit the fourth floor of Al Amal Hospital, killing one person and wounding 10 others, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Rescue Service.
Pressure increased on Wednesday on the Israeli government to negotiate a hostage deal, days after Palestinian gunmen killed 21 soldiers in the deadliest attack on Israeli forces since the start of the war. But several media outlets quoted senior Egyptian officials as saying that Hamas rejected a two-month ceasefire proposed by Israel that would release more than 130 hostages held by militants and thousands of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. The deal would also have allowed Hamas leaders in Gaza to move to other countries.
An Egyptian official, who was not authorized to brief the media and spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that Hamas insisted that no more hostages be released until Israel ends its offensive and withdraws from Gaza. The Wall Street JournalHowever, he said that Hamas leaders expressed their willingness to discuss the release of some prisoners in exchange for a long cessation of fighting.
The Israeli army said that Israeli soldiers were preparing to demolish two buildings outside the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza when an activist fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a nearby tank. The explosion set off explosive devices, causing buildings to collapse on the soldiers.
Israeli media said that forces are working to create an unofficial buffer zone along the border to prevent activists from attacking Israeli communities near Gaza. Military spokesman Daniel Hagari said the mission was to clear buildings in order to “create conditions” that would allow residents of the south to return to their homes.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mourned the Israeli soldiers and pledged to press forward until “absolute victory” was achieved, including crushing Hamas and releasing more hostages.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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