The Israeli military launched an extended ground offensive into the Gaza Strip on 29 October, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the country was entering the second phase of the military campaign against the Islamist movement Hamas.
theo reuters, Mr. Netanyahu confirmed that the explicit goal of the military operation was to destroy Hamas’s military and administrative capacity, as well as to bring hostages home. The leader also warned of a “long and difficult” campaign. Since the Hamas attack on October 7, Israel has tightened the blockade on the Gaza Strip and carried out airstrikes in retaliation.
On the night of 27 October (local time), the Israeli military sent troops and tanks into the Gaza Strip, focusing on attacking Hamas’ infrastructure, including its tunnel network. The scale of this deployment has not been announced. In response, the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing, said its gunmen clashed with Israeli forces in an area near the Gaza Strip–Israel border.
Hamas also announced readiness to respond with full force after the Israeli army expanded airstrikes and ground attacks on this land.
On 28 October, people received relief supplies in the city of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Photo: Reuters
Western countries generally support Israel’s right to self-defense. However, the international community also expressed growing concern about the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, and called for a ceasefire to allow aid to reach people living there without electricity, water, fuel and food.
Their situation worsened when internet and phone services were disrupted from the night of 27 October following Israeli air strikes. The Israeli military spokesman declined to say whether they were behind the development, but only said they would do whatever was necessary to protect their forces.
According to Netblocks.org, Internet and phone services were gradually restored in the Gaza Strip by 29 October. The same day, the Israeli military advised people in the northern Gaza Strip and Gaza City to head south to obtain water, food and medicine. According to reutersThe statement said humanitarian efforts in the Gaza Strip, led by Egypt and the United States, will be expanded on October 30.
Another issue of concern is the fate of hostages in the hands of Hamas. Prime Minister Netanyahu said contacts were continuing to free the hostages despite Israel launching a military operation on the ground. The leader also believes military pressure on Hamas could help drive them home, though he did not elaborate.
During this, reuters Citing an unnamed source, talks between Israel and Hamas to de-escalate the conflict and Qatar’s mediation were still taking place on 28 October. According to this source, negotiations did not break down but proceeded at a much slower pace on the evening of 27 October than before the conflict escalated.
Qatar has made several diplomatic efforts over the past three weeks with both Israeli and Hamas officials to promote peace and secure the release of the hostages. So far 4 hostages have been released by Hamas.
Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Mr. Abu Ubaida confirmed that Hamas would release all hostages if it released all Palestinian prisoners. Israel said that 224 hostages were taken during the Hamas attack on 7 October.
Diplomatic efforts at the United Nations
The United Nations Security Council (UN) plans to meet on October 30 to discuss the Israel-Hamas conflict, according to information provided to Reuters by several unnamed diplomats. Earlier on October 25, this agency could not approve two draft proposals of America and Russia on the crisis.
On 27 October, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, protecting civilians and international organizations, and ensuring the delivery of humanitarian aid to the region.
according to page united nations newsOn 28 October, the United Nations increased calls for a humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip after a night of intense attacks by Israeli forces. According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, such a pause would help in the release of hostages in the Gaza Strip, the evacuation of nationals from third countries and the expansion of humanitarian aid delivery to the people there.
Mr. Guterres also spoke by phone with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi about the regional situation and humanitarian relief efforts in the Gaza Strip. Only a few trucks have brought aid to the Gaza Strip since the reopening of the Rafah border with Egypt on October 21.
Also on October 28, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk warned of possible serious consequences due to large-scale ground operations in the Gaza Strip. The official stressed that violence is not the answer and called on conflicting parties and influential countries in the region to make every possible effort to de-escalate the conflict.