Netanyahu's declaration on Hamas' end, rebuttal by Hamas, Biden under scan over weapons to Israeltext_fields
Israeli tanks have advanced into the heart of Gaza's southern city of Khan Younis, already grappling with an influx of displaced civilians from the north, intensifying the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
As Israeli forces pushed through resistant Hamas fighters, the situation further escalated with warplanes pounding areas west of the assault.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed the surrender of dozens of Hamas fighters, asserting the beginning of the end for the militant organization. However, Hamas swiftly refuted this assertion, labelling it as 'false and baseless.'"
Hamas, in a statement issued on Sunday, laid out fresh demands, threatening the lives of hostages held in Gaza unless Israel agreed to release Palestinian prisoners. The group declared its readiness to exchange all captured soldiers for the release of their imprisoned counterparts.
The conflict, sparked by an October 7 attack by Hamas that claimed 1,200 lives and took 240 hostages back to Gaza, has since evolved into a devastating and relentless military offensive by Israel.
Gaza's infrastructure lies in ruins, with almost 18,000 casualties reported, predominantly among women and children, according to Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry. An Israeli analysis indicated that civilians constituted 61% of the casualties from earlier airstrikes.
The Biden administration's support for Israel's actions has faced scrutiny, especially after revelations that the U.S. bypassed Congress to supply tank shells. Reports suggest a lack of continuous assessments regarding potential Israeli war crimes.
In Lebanon, violence erupted at the border with Israel, with Hezbollah launching explosive drones and missiles at Israeli positions. Israeli airstrikes targeted towns and villages in south Lebanon, causing significant damage and casualties.
Amidst the chaos, Harvard University's president, Claudine Gay, faces backlash for her appearance at a congressional hearing on rising anti-Semitism. Over 500 faculty members signed a petition supporting Gay, emphasizing the importance of defending academic freedom and the university's independence.
The controversy arose when Gay, along with other university heads, failed to provide a definitive response on whether calls for the genocide of Jews would violate university policy.
Amid global concerns, Jordan and the UN agency for Palestinian refugees accused Israel of pursuing a policy to cleanse Gaza's population through indiscriminate and brutal offensive actions. Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi went as far as suggesting that Israel's actions met the "legal definition of genocide."
Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, condemned Israel's collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza, calling for international monitoring of the situation. He attributed the October 7 Hamas offensive to decades of blockade and unfulfilled promises to Palestinians.
Palestinian activists and grassroots organizations have called for a global strike to demand an immediate ceasefire, condemning Israel's continued aggression. The World Health Organization has also passed a resolution calling for immediate access to humanitarian aid and an end to the fighting in Gaza.
As the United Nations Security Council grapples with the deepening crisis, Gaza faces an increasingly dire situation. Approximately 80% of the population has been displaced, grappling with shortages of essential resources and a growing threat of disease.