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Palestinian officials say death toll rises from expanded Israel military operation | AP News

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  kavika  •  9 months ago  •  19 comments

By:   ISABEL DEBRE, JULIA FRANKEL and SAMY MAGDY (AP News)

Palestinian officials say death toll rises from expanded Israel military operation | AP News
Israel has expanded its ground operation in Gaza, sending in tanks and infantry backed by massive strikes from the air and sea.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Multiple explosions could be seen in northern Gaza on Friday night after the Israeli military said that its ground forces would expand its activities in the Hamas-ruled territory. (Oct 27)

Videos 3 Photos 10 By ISABEL DEBRE, JULIA FRANKEL and SAMY MAGDY Share Share

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel on Saturday expanded its ground operation in Gaza, sending in tanks and infantry backed by massive strikes from the air and sea. Israel's defense minister said that "the ground shook in Gaza" and that the war against the territory's Hamas rulers had entered a new stage.

The bombardment, described by Gaza residents as the most intense of the war, also knocked out most communications in Gaza. This largely cut off the besieged enclave's 2.3 million people from the world, while enabling the Israeli military to control the narrative in the new stage of fighting.

The military released grainy images Saturday showing tank columns moving slowly in open areas of Gaza, many apparently near the border, and said warplanes bombed dozens of Hamas tunnels and underground bunkers. The underground sites are a key target in Israel's campaign to crush the territory's ruling group after its bloody incursion into Israel three weeks ago.

"We moved to the next stage in the war," Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in remarks broadcast Saturday. "Last evening, the ground shook in Gaza. We attacked above ground and underground. ... The instructions to the forces are clear. The campaign will continue until further notice."

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His comments signaled a gradual ramping up toward what is expected to evolve into an all-out ground offensive in northern Gaza.

Early in the war, Israel amassed hundreds of thousands of troops along the border. Until now, troops had conducted brief nightly ground incursions before returning to Israel.

The Palestinian death toll in Gaza on Saturday rose to just over 7,700 people since Oct. 7, with 377 deaths reported since late Friday, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. A majority of those killed have been women and minors, the ministry said.

Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra told reporters that the disruption of communications has "totally paralyzed" the health network. Residents had no way of calling ambulances, and emergency teams were chasing the sounds of artillery barrages and airstrikes to search for people in need.

A Palestinian sits in his damaged home after an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, Oct. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

An estimated 1,700 people remain trapped beneath the rubble, according to the health ministry, which has said it bases its estimates on distress calls it received.

Some civilians were using their bare hands to pull injured people from the rubble and loading them into personal cars or donkey carts to rush them to the hospital. In a video posted by local news media, Palestinians were sprinting down a ravaged street with a wounded man covered in the dust of a building's collapse while he winced, eyes shut, on a stretcher. "Ambulance! Ambulance!" the men shouted as they shoved the stretcher into the back of a pickup truck and shouted at the driver, "Go! Go!"

Some Gaza residents traveled by foot or car to check on relatives and friends. "The bombs were everywhere, the building was shaking," said Hind al-Khudary, a journalist in central Gaza and one of a few people with cellphone service. "We can't reach anyone or contact anyone. I do not know where my family is."

Read more What is Gaza's Ministry of Health and how does it calculate the war's death toll?These numbers show the staggering toll of the Israel-Hamas war

Israel says its strikes target Hamas fighters and infrastructure and that the militants operate from among civilians, putting them in danger.

The World Health Organization appealed to "the humanity in all those who have the power to do so to end the fighting now" in Gaza. "There are more wounded every hour. But ambulances cannot reach them in the communications blackout. Morgues are full. More than half of the dead are women and children," it said in a statement, and it expressed "grave concerns" about reported bombardment near hospitals in the northern half of Gaza.

Palestinians say this war is robbing them not only of their loved ones but also of the funeral rites that long have offered mourners some dignity and closure in the midst of unbearable grief. Overcrowded cemeteries have compelled families to dig up long-buried bodies and deepen the holes.

Across Gaza, terrified civilians were huddling in homes and shelters with food and water supplies running out. Electricity was knocked out by Israel in the early stages of the war.

More than 1.4 million people have fled their homes, nearly half crowding into U.N. schools and shelters, following repeated warnings by the Israeli military that they would be in grave danger if they remained in northern Gaza.

The military renewed such warnings Saturday, in leaflets dropped over Gaza. A large number of residents have not evacuated to the south, in part because Israel has also bombarded targets in so-called safe zones where conditions are increasingly dire.

Humanitarian workers say the trickle of aid Israel has allowed to enter from Egypt in the past week is a tiny fraction of what is needed. Gaza hospitals have been scrounging for fuel to run emergency generators that power incubators and other life-saving equipment.

The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, which runs an extensive network of shelters and schools for nearly half the displaced Gaza residents, has lost contact with most of its staff, spokeswoman Juliette Touma said Saturday. She said that coordinating aid efforts was now "extremely challenging."

The intensified air and ground campaign raised new concerns about dozens of hostages dragged into Gaza on Oct. 7. On Saturday, hundreds of relatives of hostages gathered in a square in downtown Tel Aviv and demanded that the government put the return of their loved ones ahead of Israel's military objectives.

In comments likely to inflame these tensions, the spokesman of the Hamas military wing on Saturday offered a comprehensive swap of hostages for the thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

The spokesman, using the nom de guerre Abu Obeida, said in a televised speech that the price for freeing the hostages, said by Israel to number 229, is "emptying the Zionist prisons of all detainees."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was expected to meet with the hostage families later Saturday. Military officials have said they are trying to both topple Hamas and bring back the hostages but have not explained how they could obtain both objectives at the same time. The families of the hostages fear Israel's ramped up offensive in Gaza is endangering the captives.

The Israeli army spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said four hostages were released in recent days through mediation by Qatar and Egypt. Hagari dismissed news reports about a possible cease-fire deal in exchange for the release of hostages, saying Hamas was engaged in a "cynical exploitation" of relatives' anxieties.

In Cairo, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi said his government was working to de-escalate the conflict through its talks with the warring parties to release prisoners and hostages. On Saturday, he spoke with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres about those efforts, his office said.

In a written statement, Guterres said he was surprised by Israel's unprecedented escalation of bombardments overnight on Gaza.

"This situation must be reversed," he wrote.

But Guterres said he was encouraged by an apparent growing consensus on the need for a humanitarian cease-fire.

Among many, impatience was growing. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told hundreds of thousands of people at a pro-Palestinian rally in Istanbul on Saturday that his country was making preparations to proclaim Israel a "war criminal" for its actions in Gaza. He did not elaborate and his office said it could not comment on the statement.

Erdogan's government recently restored full diplomatic ties with Israel, whose foreign minister on Saturday said he had ordered the return of Israel's diplomatic mission from Turkey to reassess ties.

Elsewhere, tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters turned out in London for a second straight weekend to demand a cease-fire in Gaza.

More than 1,400 people were slain in Israel during Hamas' Oct. 7 attack, according to the Israeli government. Among those killed were at least 311 soldiers, according to the military.

Palestinian militants have fired thousands of rockets into Israel over the past three weeks.

The overall number of deaths in Gaza and Israel far exceeds the combined toll of all four previous Israel-Hamas wars, estimated at around 4,000.

Israel has said it aims to crush Hamas' rule in Gaza and its ability to threaten Israel. But how Hamas' defeat will be measured and an invasion's endgame remain unclear. Israel says it does not intend to rule the tiny territory but has not said who it expects will — even as Gallant suggested a long-term insurgency could ensue.

The conflict has threatened to ignite a wider war across the region. Arab nations — including U.S. allies and ones that have reached peace deals or normalized ties with Israel — have raised increasing alarm over a potential ground invasion.

___


Magdy reported from Cairo. Associated Press writer Samya Kullab in Baghdad contributed to this report.

___


Full AP coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.


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Kavika
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Kavika     9 months ago
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told hundreds of thousands of people at a pro-Palestinian rally in Istanbul on Saturday that his country was making preparations to proclaim Israel a "war criminal" for its actions in Gaza. He did not elaborate and his office said it could not comment on the statement.

The lines are being drawn by country.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2  JohnRussell    9 months ago

Sympathy may well grow for the Gaza civilians. What is the difference between this and say, the Russian bombardment of Ukrainian cities?  The Ukrainians were able to leave, the Gazans are trapped. Israel, right or wrong on the merits, is probably going to be punished by world opinion because of the optics. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  JohnRussell @2    9 months ago
Sympathy may well grow for the Gaza civilians. 

As it has always been.

What is the difference between this and say, the Russian bombardment of Ukrainian cities? 

If anything more Ukrainians including children have been killed than Jews. Hamas and Russian are little different both terrorist countries/groups.

Israel, right or wrong on the merits, is probably going to be punished by world opinion because of the optics. 

Without a doubt.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
2.2  Krishna  replied to  JohnRussell @2    9 months ago

Punished by world opinion? WTF? The Jewish state has always been punished by world opinion no matter what they do! 
(And they know that …)

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.2.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Krishna @2.2    9 months ago

Yes, they have.

The difference that I see this time is that the number of protesters and the countries involved is much larger than in the past and if Israel keeps up the bombardment and land assault it will grow much bigger with a much bigger chance of other countries entering the war.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.2.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Krishna @2.2    9 months ago

They do more to protect civilian lives than any nation in history has ever done, but the hatred of Jews is so deep they are criticized more than any nation for what they have to do to protect themselves.  

The Times of Israel
.
Web Jul 25, 2021 · He added that based on his experience and on his personal observations: the IDF does more to safeguard the rights of  civilians  in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare. He...
So who do you believe, the Hamas health service who say how many Gazan civilians have been killed, the Hamas organization that said an Israeli missile hit a hospital and killed 500 civilians, or Col. Richard Kemp?  Unfortunately, as has been indicated, the hatred of Jews is so deep in the world that Israel will ALWAYS be blamed, no matter what the actual facts are. 
Another example of rampant Jew-hatred is that historically lands conquered by a country having to fight a defensive war will from then on be deemed part of the defending nation, UNLESS Israel is the nation that conquers lands in a defensive war, in which case it is considered a war crime to occupy it. Example - the Golan Heights, if not the West Bank.
 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
2.2.3  Krishna  replied to  Kavika @2.2.1    9 months ago

The difference that I see this time is that the number of protesters and the countries involved is much larger than in the past and if Israel keeps up the bombardment and land assault it will grow much bigger with a much bigger chance of other countries entering the war.

The number of protestors very much bigger. But I'm wondering if many other countries will enter the war? In the Arab the "politically correct" thing is to always bash Israel (no matter what they do).

But OTOH, while "The Arab Street" is angry and calling for blood, there are two other factors:

1. Many in the Arab world, including their leaders, aren't too crazy about the "Palestinians"-- they see them as trouble-makers. 

2. Many Arab leaders don't want to send their soldiers to die..for the Palestinians. An long war would greatly weaken the Arab countries who are participating.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
2.2.4  Krishna  replied to  Krishna @2.2.3    9 months ago

The good news is (I just heard this recently, (was it today?), for the first time-- the number of Israelis who want an immediate stepped up attack on Gaza has plummeted. 

At first, the size and sheer barbarism of Hamas' attack  really upset them-- and the country was mostly united in wanting an immediate full scale attack.

But apparently many of them are beginning to think a huge attack by Israel might not be such a great idea.

This was recent so I don't remeber the facts, will have to check.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.2.5  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Krishna @2.2.4    9 months ago

My question is, do the Israeli people want a continuation of missiles, rockets, incendiary kites and balloons and infiltrations of murderers, or do they want to return to the peaceful coexistence with Gaza that happened before Hamas took over and any Jewish residents were forcibly removed from Gaza?  IMO it will take the total eradication of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in order for the latter to be possible.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Participates
3  Greg Jones    9 months ago

The optics the larger, decent world has, is that Hamas is a bunch of craven cowards that has done nothing to protect their citizens by sending them to non-combat zones. Instead, it forces them to remain in harms way and uses them as human shields. Hamas' evil tactic of cowering behind women and children is on display for the whole world to see. This time it's not likely to work. It's time that Hamas is punished and destroyed without mercy.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Expert
3.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Greg Jones @3    9 months ago

Israel has always been held to a different standard which has not been fair. They have every right to try and rid themselves of Hamas. The problem being is that Hamas really does not care about their citizens. They care about thier "cause", which as clearly stated in their old charter is the total destruction of Israel.  That being said, because we see the suffering of the Palestinian civilians the concern in the long run, is our youth. Us old folks remember how Israel had to fight to survive. But our young, do not remember that, nor do they really know the history of the area, so they believe what their peers say. Hamas knows this, as well as organizations like BDS and Jews Voices for Palestine, and they might end up winning the propaganda war. I am not sure how to fix this going forward, but it is a concern.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3.1    9 months ago

Well said, and the gap will continue to get bigger and bigger and the propaganda war will be all-powerful.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Senior Expert
3.1.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3.1    9 months ago

The world says never again too many times.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.1.3  JohnRussell  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3.1    9 months ago

I think that is a fair comment. 

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
3.1.4  Krishna  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3.1    9 months ago

I am not sure how to fix this going forward, but it is a concern.

I totally agree. And in the past few years I've got to know quite a few younger Millennials as well as Gen Z. (Throughthe courses and workshops I've taken).

And many of them have no idea of the hsirtory-- or even many of the current facts.

So when they hear people shouting slogans (about "freedom" etc it sounds like a worthy cause)

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
3.1.5  Krishna  replied to  Kavika @3.1.1    9 months ago
Well said, and the gap will continue to get bigger and bigger and the propaganda war will be all-powerful.

Unless something unanticipated happens.

I don't follow pop stars. But finally Taylor Swift caught my attention.

She has a YUGE following, and many of them are pretty young. From what I know she steers clear of political statements.

And I was wondering if she would start making statements about wholeheartedly supporting Hamas and the so called "Palestinians".

But then I read her bodyguard left. Why? To go home to fight for his country! (Israel) 

So there seems to be a good chance she at least hears both sides to the story....

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
3.1.6  Krishna  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @3.1.2    9 months ago
The world says never again too many times.

Perhaps you're right-- perhaps the world should cut down on how often they say it!

But I'm wondering-- how much should the world cut down? 50% Or more than 50-- or less?

And once we agree on how much the world should cut down-- how can we enforce that?

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
3.1.7  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Krishna @3.1.4    9 months ago

Unfortunately all the old canards take over because of that ignorance of the past.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
3.1.8  charger 383  replied to  Krishna @3.1.5    9 months ago

I think she is smart enough to stay away from things that would hurt her popularity. 

 
 

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