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Israeli Strikes and Hamas Retaliation Intensify as New Year Ushers in More Violence

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman, Daniel Hagari, stated in a new year’s message that the Israeli military was preparing for prolonged fighting in Gaza throughout 2024.

Adjustments in troop deployments, particularly those involving reservists, were underway to ensure readiness for continued operations.

Casualties in Gaza Conflict

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Since the conflict’s escalation on October 7, over 21,978 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, have died, and 56,697 have been injured, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

Original October 7 Attack From Hamas

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The recent surge in violence was sparked by an unprecedented cross-border attack by Hamas gunmen, resulting in 1,200 deaths, primarily civilians, and around 240 hostages.

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IDF Strikes and Civilian Impact

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The IDF’s overnight operations reportedly killed a senior Hamas commander, Adil Mismah, involved in the October 7 attack. Concurrently, bombings in Gaza City and strikes in Al-Aqsa University and al-Maghazi refugee camps resulted in significant civilian casualties, with death tolls rising.

Displacement Crisis and Health Emergency in Gaza

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The UN reported a massive displacement crisis, with 85% of Gaza’s population affected. Concurrently, a health emergency looms as thousands of vaccine doses are delivered to tackle the risk of disease outbreaks in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions.

WHO Stresses Importance of Vaccines in Overcrowded Gaza Conditions

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Ayadil Saparbekov from the World Health Organization, speaking from Rafah, emphasized the crucial role of vaccines in Gaza. He highlighted the dire living conditions, stating that overcrowded camps with poor water, hygiene, and sanitation are breeding grounds for various diseases.

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What Israeli Leadership Feels About The Conflict

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The IDF spokesperson said, “The IDF must plan ahead out of an understanding that there will be additional missions and the fighting will continue the rest of the year”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said that the war would continue for several more months.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Addresses Ongoing Conflict

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Saturday that “The war is at its height”, acknowledging both success and painful cases. He further asserted, “We have huge success but we also have painful cases. Achieving victory will require time”.

Controversial Remarks by Israeli Finance Minister

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Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich stirred controversy with his statement urging Palestinians to leave Gaza. This remark contrasted with the Israeli government’s official line, which suggested the eventual return of Gazans to their homes.

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Fear Grips Israel Amidst New Year Celebrations

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As Israel celebrated the New Year, the populace experienced fear and uncertainty with air raid sirens in Tel Aviv and southern Israel, following rocket attacks from Gaza.

M90 Rockets Used

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Hamas’s military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, acknowledged the responsibility for the attacks on Tel Aviv, citing the use of M90 rockets as retaliation against Israeli actions in Gaza.

The human cost of conflict

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The first-hand account from a resident in Gaza vividly captured the human cost of the conflict, contrasting sharply with the celebrations around the world and bringing a personal dimension to the broader geopolitical narrative. “In Gaza our skies are now filled with Israeli missiles and tank shells that land on innocent, homeless civilians”, a Gaza resident said.

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Continued Conflict and Its Implications

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As Israeli leadership prepares for a prolonged conflict, the implications for civilians in Gaza and Israel are profound. The situation remains fraught with complexity, as both sides brace for continued strife in the coming months.

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Malik is a skilled writer with a passion for news and current events. With their keen eye for detail, they provide insightful perspectives on the latest happenings. Stay informed and engaged!