Despite international calls for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to continue the war against the Islamist Hamas. "We will continue until the end, until victory, until the destruction of Hamas, even in the face of international pressure," he told soldiers, according to a statement from the government press office. "Nothing will stop us."
However, given the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, Israel is increasingly losing support for its war against the terrorist organization Hamas. In the UN General Assembly, more than 150 countries called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, which Israel angrily rejected.
Even from the US ally, the pressure is growing. The White House expects "extremely serious discussions" from the National Security Advisor's visit to Israel starting today. Jake Sullivan wants to speak with Netanyahu and the War Cabinet about the next phase of military operations in Gaza and Israeli efforts to be more precise and reduce harm to civilians.
Israel: Hamas uses civilians as shields
Amid growing criticism of the numerous civilian casualties of the military offensive in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli armed forces once again accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields. "Our troops found large weapons depots and tunnels in several schools. They even discovered a sniper rifle hidden in a teddy bear," said military spokeswoman Keren Hajioff.
Nevertheless, the armed forces tried to avoid civilian casualties in their operation against Hamas. “Our war is against Hamas, not the people of Gaza,” Hajioff said. "But while Hamas sees every innocent death as part of its strategy, for us every death of an innocent person is a tragedy."
Palestinians: dead in military operation in Jenin
According to Palestinian information, two people were killed in an Israeli military operation during the night in Jenin in the West Bank. The Palestinian Ministry of Health said they were hit in a drone strike on a house in the city. A third person died a short time later from his serious injuries. A minor was also among the dead. There was initially no information from the Israeli army about the incident.
According to Palestinian information, the military operation by the Israeli military has been ongoing since Tuesday. The Ministry of Health also announced that a total of ten people were killed and several people were injured.
Survey among Palestinians
After the massacre in Israel with 1,200 deaths and the resulting Gaza war, Hamas' reputation increased significantly in the West Bank, according to a survey. 44 percent of people supported Hamas, compared to only 12 percent in September, according to a survey by the reputable Palestinian survey institute PSR. In the Gaza Strip, Hamas's reputation also rose, although less sharply, from 38 percent to 42 percent.
However, opinions differ between Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on the question of whether the Hamas attack on Israel more than two months ago was right. While 82 percent in the West Bank supported the attack, in the directly affected coastal strip it was only 57 percent.
UNRWA chief: Desperate families without food
Because there is so little food in the Gaza Strip, chaos broke out when one of the few trucks carrying relief supplies arrived. This was reported by the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Middle East (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, on Wednesday in Geneva.
"The Palestinians are facing the darkest chapter in their history since 1948," he said. The State of Israel was founded in 1948. Lazzarini described the situation as he saw desperate people tearing open bags right on the street to devour what little food they could get hold of.
Israel's military: Hamas fires rockets
The Islamist Hamas continues to fire rockets from the "humanitarian zone" in the Gaza Strip, which is exempt from attacks, according to the Israeli Defense Forces. Since the protection zone for civilians was established on October 18, 116 rockets have been fired at Israel from the area around the town of Al-Mawasi on the Mediterranean coast, the military said.
38 shells hit the Gaza Strip. "Hamas continues to use the humanitarian zone to carry out terrorist activities, endangering the lives of civilians in the Gaza Strip and Israel," the armed forces said in a statement.
Rain worsens situation for displaced people
Due to heavy rains, the situation of the displaced people in the Gaza Strip is further deteriorating. "We are afraid for our children because of the cold and the rain, which are getting worse with the onset of winter," says Khadijah al-Sharafi, who lives in the Gaza Strip. He and his family left everything behind when they fled the northern part of the cordoned off area. Now they are exposed to the weather without enough clothing.
According to the UN Palestinian relief agency UNRWA, almost 1.9 million people are now internally displaced because of the war in the Gaza Strip - out of a total population of more than 2.2 million. Many people sleep in the open air.
What is important today
The US national security advisor, Sullivan, wants to discuss, among other things, with Netanyahu and the war cabinet about how to proceed in the Gaza war. Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) wants to visit a kibbutz. Political talks with President Izchak Herzog are planned for later in the afternoon.