New Delhi, Dec 3: On the third day of renewed hostilities, the Israeli military has redirected its offensive efforts towards southern Gaza, with heavy airstrikes targeting the cities of Khan Younis and Rafah. The shift comes after the ceasefire with Hamas collapsed on Friday, leading to intensified attacks.
The Israeli military states that its current operations aim at Hamas command centers, weapons storage, and naval forces, alleging that Hamas fighters are hiding in the south.
Despite international concern, including statements from US officials, Israel asserts its right to defend itself while acknowledging a “moral responsibility” to protect civilians.
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin emphasises the moral duty to safeguard the population and warns of potential consequences, suggesting that intensified attacks could bolster support for Hamas. US Vice President Kamala Harris expresses deep concern over Palestinian casualties, describing the level of suffering as “devastating.”
Residents of Khan Younis report the heaviest bombardment since the conflict’s onset. The Biden administration urges Israel to exercise restraint in the south, highlighting the need to avoid replicating the intensity of attacks witnessed in the north.
As Israel concentrates its offensive in southern Gaza, fears of a ground offensive mount, prompting evacuation orders. The humanitarian crisis in the region worsens, with crowded hospitals, shortages of essential supplies, and limited resources. Aid efforts, including a recent convoy from Egypt, struggle to meet the escalating needs.
French President Emmanuel Macron arrives in Qatar to work on a new truce, aiming to address the breakdown of the temporary ceasefire. Foreign ministers from Gulf countries gather in Doha for a summit, where the Gaza conflict tops the agenda.
Amid the ongoing crisis, the UK Ministry of Defence conducts drone surveillance flights over Gaza, focused on gathering intelligence related to hostages held by Hamas. Health Secretary Victoria Atkins confirms the unarmed and unmanned nature of the drones, emphasizing their role in locating hostages following the deadly attacks on southern Israel.
With no extension of the ceasefire, both Hamas and Israel resume hostilities, blaming each other for the breakdown. The international community intensified efforts to navigate a path towards peace in the troubled region.