Middle East war: Israeli ground troops fight in the Gaza Strip

After three weeks of heavy air strikes, more and more Israeli ground troops with battle tanks have been advancing against Hamas, which rules in the Gaza Strip, since the weekend.

Middle East war: Israeli ground troops fight in the Gaza Strip

After three weeks of heavy air strikes, more and more Israeli ground troops with battle tanks have been advancing against Hamas, which rules in the Gaza Strip, since the weekend.

Israel's declared goal is to destroy the Islamist organization ruling in the coastal strip. On October 7, terrorists from Hamas and other extremist groups carried out the worst massacre of Israeli civilians since the founding of Israel in 1948.

There were protests against Israel around the world in view of the increasing number of deaths in the Gaza Strip. The UN speaks of a precarious humanitarian situation. In the Gaza Strip, people looted UN food warehouses.

Israel intensifies fighting in the Gaza Strip

"We are entering the next phase of our war against Hamas in Gaza. From the air, on land and at sea," Israel's army spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a video published by the military on the X platform on Sunday night. In addition, nighttime aerial photos of Israeli battle tanks were published, which were already firing from short distances in built-up areas. Two Israeli soldiers were wounded in fighting in the northern Gaza Strip, the army said.

When Israel announced the mobilization of 300,000 reservists following the Hamas attack on October 7, many had expected a large-scale ground offensive. In fact, Israel appears to want to avoid such a frontal attack, which could lead Hezbollah in southern Lebanon to attack Israel and embroil the army in a two-front war. Like Hamas, the Shiite militia is allied with Israel's arch-enemy Iran. Instead of a sudden major attack, Israel is apparently relying on a gradual expansion of its ground operations against Hamas.

Netanyahu apologizes for allegations against secret service

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu apologized for accusations against the secret service for not warning him about Hamas's war intentions. In a post on the online platform ." The Prime Minister had previously written on X that he had never been warned about Hamas's warlike intentions. There was no explanation for the sudden change of heart.

Hamas has at least 239 hostages

The number of known hostages held in the Gaza Strip continues to rise. The families of 239 abductees had been informed by Sunday, said Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari. It is expected that the number could go up even further.

Foreign workers were also among the hostages, said Hagari. It takes time to reach all families. According to Israeli sources, dozens of workers from Thailand are believed to be among those abducted. The Thai Foreign Ministry spoke on Sunday of 19 abductees with Thai citizenship. In total, citizens of 25 countries are among those kidnapped. According to Israeli information, at least twelve have German citizenship.

According to military information, the four hostages already released by the terrorist organization Hamas are not included in the 239 now mentioned.

Hardly any reports from the combat areas

There were hardly any reports about the ground fighting in the north because most journalists and hundreds of thousands of civilians had fled to the south of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army had been calling for this for days so that people would not be harmed in future armed conflicts. In addition, almost all telephone and internet connections in and with the Gaza Strip were down for around 36 hours until they were slowly restored on Sunday.

Iran: Israel has crossed red lines

From Iran's perspective, Israel has crossed red lines with the attacks on Gaza. “The crimes of the Zionist entity, humanitarian and military, have crossed the red lines that could force everyone to act,” said Prime Minister Ebrahim Raisi in an interview published on Saturday evening to the Arabic broadcaster Al-Jazeera.

More and more victims in the Gaza Strip

The number of victims in the Gaza Strip continued to rise after the heavy airstrikes. According to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Health Ministry, more than 8,000 Palestinians have been killed and around 20,000 injured since October 7. Meanwhile, Israel was again attacked with rockets from the Gaza Strip. Nothing was known about any further victims. Since October 7th, Israel has suffered 1,400 deaths and around 4,000 injuries. In addition, at least 229 people were abducted from Israel to the Gaza Strip three weeks ago.

Supply situation dramatic - people loot UN emergency relief camps

The situation of the more than 2.2 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip is becoming increasingly precarious. According to aid organizations, drinking water, food and medicine are running out. Around 90 trucks have come from Egypt through the Rafah border crossing since the beginning of the war. 100 would be needed per day. According to the UN Palestinian relief agency UNRWA, thousands of people broke into storage and distribution points for aid supplies. They took flour and other things such as hygiene products with them. "This is a worrying sign that after three weeks of war and a tight siege on Gaza, civil order is slowly breaking down. People are afraid, frustrated and desperate," said Thomas White, UNRWA head in the Gaza Strip.

Israel announces expansion of humanitarian aid to Gaza Strip

Israel says it wants to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. Elad Goren from the relevant Cogat authority told journalists on Sunday that aid deliveries should be "dramatically increased" in the coming weeks. This is happening at the request of the USA. Goren said water supplies in the Gaza Strip were "not at normal levels" but sufficient for humanitarian needs. 90 percent of the drinking water in the Gaza Strip comes from the Palestinian territory itself. According to Israeli findings, there is no shortage of food in the coastal strip.

Rallies against Israel and calls for a ceasefire around the world

In view of the suffering of civilians in the Gaza Strip, people in many countries in the Islamic world demonstrated against Israel. Not only in cities like Istanbul, but also in London and New York, demonstrators called for a ceasefire. Pro-Palestinian rallies also took place again in several German cities. The largest was on Saturday with around 11,000 participants in Berlin under the motto “Global South United”. On Sunday, around 250 people demonstrated against anti-Semitism and Islamism in Berlin-Mitte.

Qatar: Escalation makes efforts to recover hostages “more difficult”

Qatar and Egypt are acting as mediators in efforts to secure the release of hostages kidnapped by Palestinian extremists. Before the expansion of ground operations in the coastal area sealed off by Israel, there were reports that there was supposed to be progress in these efforts. However, Majed Al-Ansari, spokesman for the Qatari Foreign Ministry, told the US news channel CNN on Saturday that the escalation on the ground was now making the situation "significantly more difficult". Relatives called on Netanyahu to work for the release of the hostages and to refrain from attacks on the Gaza Strip.