Israel Continues Offensives On Hamas And Hezbollah

Israel Continues Offensives On Hamas And Hezbollah

Jan. 11, 2024, 8:51 a.m.

The Israeli military is ramping up offensives on the Gaza Strip and is attacking Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon despite US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to Israel to seek diplomatic solutions to the conflicts.

Israeli forces announced on Wednesday that they carried out air strikes on about 150 targets in Gaza and killed a number of Hamas fighters in the southern city of Khan Younis and elsewhere.

Palestinian media reported on Wednesday that at least 15 people were killed in an Israeli attack outside Rafah in the south.

Health authorities in Gaza say the death toll in the enclave has reached 23,210.

Israeli forces have also been intensifying attacks on the Shia Muslim group Hezbollah, which is based in southern Lebanon.

Their air strike killed a Hezbollah commander on Monday, and another commander who directed drone attacks on Israel was killed on Tuesday.

Secretary Blinken referred to Israel's stepped-up offensives in southern Lebanon and Gaza when he spoke to reporters on Tuesday in Tel Aviv.

He expressed hope that Israel would take a diplomatic path to easing tensions in the region.

But the outlook remains unclear as the Israeli side has not ruled out military solutions.

Hamas October 7 Attack Was Planned By Its Leader In Gaza

A Britain-based Arabic newspaper says the October 7 attack by Hamas in Israel was planned by the group's leader in Gaza and four of his close confidants.

Asharq Al-Awsat reported the details by quoting sources close to Hamas leadership.

The report said the five members include Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, as well as his brother Mohammed Sinwar. One of the members was later killed in an Israeli attack.

The paper said they selected 70 elite fighters from across Gaza who had undergone extensive training over years. The fighters reportedly pledged secrecy and refrained from discussing plans.

The attack took place on the day of the Jewish Sabbath. The top leaders informed military unit leaders three days before that the launch of the assault was near, and ordered them to get prepared at midnight on the eve of October 7.

The report also said political leaders of Hamas were briefed only hours before the attack. The paper said information sharing was kept to a minimum in a bid to prevent leaks to Israeli intelligence.

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