Situation in the Middle East: Israel bombs south of the Gaza Strip

The Israeli military has increased its bombardment in the southern Gaza Strip on the second day after the ceasefire expired.

Situation in the Middle East: Israel bombs south of the Gaza Strip

The Israeli military has increased its bombardment in the southern Gaza Strip on the second day after the ceasefire expired. The army said on Saturday morning that warplanes bombed more than 50 targets overnight in the area of ​​the city of Chan Yunis. Terrorists and the infrastructure of the Islamist Hamas were also attacked with tanks and targeted air strikes in the Beit Lahia area, it said.

Heavy fighting in Khan Yunis

Israeli naval units also attacked Hamas military targets in the port of Khan Yunis and in Deir al-Balah with precision ammunition during the night. The infrastructure and equipment of Hamas's naval forces were hit. For weeks Israel had previously urged residents of the northern Gaza Strip to flee to the southern part for their safety.

Israel's army published a map for the civilian population on Friday that divides the area into numbered zones - "in preparation for the next phase of the war". This is intended to enable residents to “orientate themselves, understand the instructions and, if necessary, get to safety from certain locations.” However, the Israeli military's heavy attacks on Saturday raise renewed concerns about civilian casualties.

Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken clearly called on Israel's leadership to protect civilians in the Gaza Strip. The numerous deaths among the civilian population and the displacement on the scale seen in northern Gaza must not be repeated in the south, he warned after a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Also attacks in northern Gaza

According to reports, Israeli forces again fired on targets on the ground and from the air in northern Gaza. A terrorist cell that had lured the Israeli troops into an ambush was bombed, it was said on Saturday.

In addition, a fighter jet shelled a mosque that served as a command center for Islamic Jihad. Over the past day, more than 400 "terrorist targets" were attacked throughout the coastal area, the Israeli army also announced. All information could not initially be independently verified.

Hamas said it fired rockets at the center of Israel for the first time after the end of the week-long break in fighting. According to Israeli figures, around 10,000 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel since the Gaza War began.

Israel's army fights "as long as necessary"

According to a spokesman, Israel's army has not set a time limit for the Gaza war. "We are determined to fight Hamas for as long as it is necessary," said Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus on Saturday night. He added: “We have no other choice.” Conricus once again reiterated his country's war goal of completely destroying the terrorist organization so that it no longer poses a threat to Israel in the future.

The spokesman was responding to reports that Blinken had spoken during his recent talks in Israel of three weeks that Israel had to continue the war as it had previously. Israeli media reported that Blinken was not sure whether Israel would have the international support to continue fighting with the same intensity as before the ceasefire.

Shelling from Lebanon

Israel says it has also come under fire from its northern neighbor Lebanon. The Israeli army announced on Saturday morning that its own artillery had responded by attacking the area from where the projectiles were fired towards Israel. A fighter plane hit the target in Lebanon. There was no information about possible victims. Only the day before there had been fighting again on the border between the countries.

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