Israel has intensified its ground operations in Gaza and firmly rejected the idea of a ceasefire in its ongoing conflict with Hamas.
The Israeli forces reported the elimination of several Hamas operatives and the successful targeting of their underground tunnels during recent ground operations in Gaza. This escalation is part of the wider conflict that began on October 7 after a Hamas terror attack claimed the lives of 1,400 people in Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has opted for an expanded ground offensive in Gaza, firmly dismissing any calls for a ceasefire. Over the past day, significant developments have taken place, as noted by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in a statement: “Numerous Hamas terrorists have been eliminated, the IAF [Israeli Air Force] struck terrorist targets and infrastructure, IDF combat forces struck approximately 300 targets, including anti-tank missile posts, rocket launch sites, and terrorist compounds concealed within underground tunnels.”
Over the last day, during ground operations:
🔻Numerous Hamas terrorists have been eliminated.
🔻The IAF struck terrorist targets and infrastructure.
🔻IDF combat forces struck approximately 300 targets, including:
• Anti-tank missiles posts.
• Rocket launch posts.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 31, 2023
Furthermore, there have been reports of Israeli tanks advancing into the outskirts of Gaza City, specifically the Zaytun district in the city’s southern periphery, according to an eyewitness cited by AFP.
Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear that a ceasefire is not on the horizon, emphasizing that it would equate to surrendering to Hamas. This stance aligns with the United States, a staunch ally of Israel, which has also opposed calls for a ceasefire.
Netanyahu emphasized during a foreign briefing, “Calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism… this will not happen.” He reiterated Israel’s commitment to continuing the battle until victory is achieved.
Hamas initiated the conflict on October 7 by launching rockets at Israel and conducting attacks on Israeli border towns, which resulted in civilian casualties and abductions.
As the conflict persists, Israeli ground forces are actively engaged in combat with Hamas within the Gaza Strip, while aerial strikes continue to target structures, reducing them to rubble. Importantly, a significant number of hostages, approximately 230 individuals, remain in captivity within the Gaza Strip, holding substantial political significance for Hamas, including several foreign nationals.
Hamas had previously released four captives, including two U.S. citizens, and has indicated a willingness to consider a ceasefire for the purpose of releasing these hostages. They have called for a potential prisoner exchange agreement that would involve the release of all Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails in exchange for the safe return of all hostages held in Gaza.