The Government of Israel has begun the second phase of the war to dismantle Hamas – the ground offensive in Gaza – and has rejected the thesis that it should delay it so as not to put the lives of the 229 kidnapped people at risk, whose relatives were received, finally, by Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Although the prime minister defended that the two objectives were compatible – destroying Hamas and achieving liberation – discouragement has spread among relatives in view of the two nights of intense bombing and fighting on the ground in Gaza.
“Tonight has been the most distressing of all, against the background of the largest army operation in Gaza,” the Forum of relatives of the kidnapped people said in a statement.
“We are not going to change the goal of overthrowing Hamas and not expanding the ground operation. That does not clash with our desire to bring the kidnapped people,” Netanyahu said in a press conference last night, in which one thing was very clear, repeated in the mouths of Netanyahu and the Minister of Defense: “the war will be long.”
Netanyahu received the hostages’ families and promised them something similar to squaring the circle
The fate of these citizens from more than twenty countries, among which the Thais stand out, the largest nationality (they are temporary farm workers), has gained visibility thanks to their effective media campaign to recount their dramas. Hence, yesterday, the prime minister himself received them to promise something similar to squaring the circle when your troops are turning the Strip into hell. “Israel will exhaust all possibilities,” he promised them. But at all times – both with them and in a subsequent press conference – Netanyahu put the ground campaign (or phase two) as his first objective. What’s more, “the key is the level of pressure,” said the prime minister, who stressed that “the greater the pressure, the greater the possibilities” of releasing them.
Israel warns that the incursion into Gaza will be long and that “victory has a price”
“This is going to be a long war, our second war of independence,” the prime minister also said. Or, as the head of the armed forces, Herzi Halevi, declared, “victory has a price.”
For its part, Hamas made an offer that sounds good because no one is going to buy it: release of all the hostages in exchange for Israel releasing all the Palestinian prisoners in its prisons, around 30,000.
Meanwhile, the offensive on Gaza can be initiated and with the triumphant tone that the military reports have in these cases. One hundred and fifty Israeli airstrikes hit underground targets and claimed the life of the person responsible for Hamas’ drones and other aerial weapons – a second-ranking figure – without suffering a single casualty in his ranks.
Hamas, for its part, reported inflicting “heavy losses” on the Israelis. Saddam Hussein’s last triumphant moments in the Iraq war with American troops on the outskirts of Baghdad are still remembered in this region…
The ground offensive comes amid warnings about the risk of it overflowing the region. Iran, for now, has not intensified hostilities on the Lebanon front, as Hamas demanded yesterday from its allies in Hizbullah, the Shiite organization that operates in the fragile cedar country and depends directly on Tehran. Yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out that Iran finances 90% of Hamas’s military budget and that without Iran it would not exist, but at the same time he showed a certain verbal restraint regarding Israel’s great enemy in the region.
Erdogan attacks the West and accuses Israel of “war crimes”
The Arab street, that very journalistic expression, is what its rulers fear most, many of whom – like Jordan or Egypt – have maintained excellent relations with Israel. Appearing complacent or non-belligerent can revolt populations whose discontent erupts for reasons that are not always logical. This is not the case of Turkey, whose President Erdogan attacked Israel and the West beyond what was foreseeable, at a rally in Istanbul before tens of thousands of people, to the point that Israel withdrew its diplomatic personnel in the country.
President Erdogan accused the West “of being the main culprit for the Gaza massacres” and Israel of “crimes against humanity.” At a rally, just the day before the first centenary of Kemal Ataturk’s secular and progressive Republic, Erdogan provided headlines to the press by accusing the West of “creating a crusade against all Muslims. “What is happening in Gaza is not self-defense but massacre.” The foreseeable diplomatic crisis between Israel and Turkey – Erdogan yesterday called the members of Hamas “freedom fighters” – may be related to Turkish unrest over the United States’ support for other freedom fighters or terrorists – depending on how you look at it – , Kurdish groups operating in northern Syria.
For its part, Egypt yesterday blamed Israel for erecting obstacles that “hinder the entry” of humanitarian aid to Gaza through the Rafah crossing.
“Israeli obstacles are what hinder the entry” of aid, denounced in a statement the Foreign Affairs spokesman, Ahmed Abu Zeid, who indicated that “all parties must know that Egypt never spares efforts to guarantee the speed” of assistance. humanitarian.
These conditions include the diversion of humanitarian aid trucks at the Rafah crossing to the Israeli border crossing at Nitzana, where they are again inspected by Israeli authorities before returning to Rafah. Not a word, instead of grandson Egyptian, to allow a single Palestinian to enter for humanitarian reasons, not even those who have dual nationalities.