War Between Israel and Gaza Strip: Israeli Troops Surround Gaza City, While the US Calls for a Pause in Hostilities

According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli forces have advanced beyond the outskirts of Gaza City, while the country faces attacks from Hezbollah on Israeli positions near the shared northern border.

The Gaza Ministry of Health reports that since Israel began its retaliatory strikes for the Hamas attack on October 7, approximately 9,061 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip, including around 3,760 children.

Last week, Israel deployed ground troops to the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas, following several weeks of airstrikes and artillery strikes in response to a sudden Hamas attack that resulted in the deaths of over 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians, in a single day, according to Israeli officials.

Here are the latest developments:

  • Israeli troops have surrounded the city of Gaza.
  • Hezbollah attacked an Israeli post using drones.
  • The situation in the Gaza Strip is described as "indescribable" by the head of the WHO.
  • Deaths on the West Bank.
  • Israel is discussing sending hospital ships to treat wounded residents of Gaza.
  • Sunak and the UN agree on the need to increase aid.
  • Israeli troops are "operating" in Gaza City.
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that Israeli forces have advanced into Gaza further than the outskirts of Gaza City.

"We are in the midst of the battle. We have achieved impressive successes and have advanced beyond the outskirts of Gaza City. We are moving forward," Netanyahu said.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi, Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), stated that the troops have "completed the encirclement" and are already operating within the city of Gaza.

He referred to Gaza City as the "center of the Hamas terrorist organization."

Netanyahu confirmed that it is the "second phase of the war."

"However, I want to clarify that we have not made any decisions to supply fuel. I have not given any such instructions, and the security cabinet has not sanctioned any decision," Netanyahu told reporters.

Lieutenant General Kochavi stated in a televised statement, "For the past few days, IDF soldiers have been operating in Gaza City and surrounding it from several directions."

He called Gaza City the "center of a ground operation in the northern sector of the Gaza Strip."

Under increasing pressure due to the dire situation of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip, the White House is calling for a series of pauses in hostilities to allow for the inflow of more humanitarian aid and the safe evacuation of foreign nationals and hostages.

However, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby stated that the administration is not insisting on a ceasefire.

"What we're trying to do is examine the idea of such periods of pause that might be necessary to continue the provision of assistance and the continued safe evacuation of people, including hostages," he told reporters at a briefing.

"These are temporary, localized pauses to achieve a certain goal or goals."

Brigadier General Ido Mizrahi, Head of the IDF Engineering Corps, stated that the troops are in the initial stage of opening access routes into Gaza but are encountering mines and booby traps.

Palestinians in Gaza reported that Israeli airstrikes are continuing at their previous intensity.

"They didn't stop bombing Gaza all night; the house didn't stop shaking," said one Palestinian, who asked not to be named.

"But in the morning, we find that Israeli forces are still outside the city, on the outskirts, which means that the resistance is stronger than they expected."

Hezbollah Attacks Israeli Post with Drones

Lebanese group Hezbollah claimed that it attacked an Israeli army post in the disputed Shebaa Farms area using two explosive-laden drones.

What is Hezbollah, and what will happen if it intervenes in the Israel-Hamas conflict? Here's what you need to know about Hezbollah and its role in the conflict.

In a brief statement, the group said the drones "accurately" targeted the Israeli positions in the Shebaa Farms.

The Shebaa Farms have been held by Israel since the 1967 Middle East war, but both Syria and Lebanon claim the territory as part of Lebanon.

The drone attack, the first of its kind by Hezbollah, is the result of escalating tensions by the group and came a day before Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is expected to deliver his first television speech since the Hamas attack on October 7.

The Israeli military has stated that it is responding to attacks, striking Hezbollah targets in Lebanon.

The White House expressed concern about the surge in violence along the Lebanese border but does not believe that Hezbollah is ready to "fully engage."

"We are concerned about the ongoing attacks on Israeli forces in the north, as are the Israelis. But I don't think we've seen any signs that Hezbollah is prepared to fully engage at this time," said Mr. Kirby.