IDF uncovers a tunnel during ceasefire talks in Egypt

The unprecedented death toll in Gaza, the massive destruction of the besieged region and the conditions of living in it have determined a change in the International community approach on the Israeli aggression.

On the 20th of December, the Israeli military announced to had found out a major Hamas command center in the heart of Gaza City, inflicting what it described as a strong strike to the Islamic militant group, reported Associated Press.

International pressure grows on Israel to end its devastating military offensive in the Palestinian coastal enclave.

The army said it had exposed the center of a Hamas tunnel used to move weapons, militants and supplies in the Gaza Strip. Israel has claimed to have destroyed the tunnels and presented the result as the major objective of the offensive.

The announcement came as Hamas’ top leader Ismail Haneyye arrived in Cairo for talks aimed at negotiating a permanent ceasefire and then a new deal for prisoners’ exchange.

Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official in Beirut, said that the efforts right now are focused on how to “stop this aggression, especially that our enemy now knows that it cannot achieve any of its goals”, reported Arab News.

READ: Hamas rejects prisoners exchange during Israeli bombardments

Although the US vetoed the UN resolution calling for permanent ceasefire in Gaza, Biden’s administration is starting to claim that a ceasefire in the besieged region is currently convenient.

According to AP, the UN Security Council members are negotiating an Arab-sponsored resolution to stop Israeli aggression in some way, to allow needed humanitarian to enter Gaza.

Israel has destroyed much of the Gaza Strip, killed 20,000 Palestinians, and displaced 1.9 million people — nearly 85 percent of the population — from their homes. The massive destruction and enormous Gazan civilian death toll has lead to big international calls for a permanent ceasefire.

The United States, Israel’s closest ally, has continued to support “Israel’s right to defend itself” while also asking to reduce the damages.

According to AP, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Israel to scale back its operation on December 2020.
“It’s clear that the conflict will move and needs to move to a lower intensity phase,” Blinken said. He said the US wants to see “more targeted operations” with smaller levels of forces focused on specific targets, such as Hamas’ leaders and tunnels used by Palestinian militants.
“As that happens, I think you’ll see as well, the harm done to civilians also decrease significantly,” he said.

“These are very serious discussions and negotiations, and we hope that they lead somewhere,” the White House’s national security spokesman, John Kirby, said aboard Air Force One while traveling with President Joe Biden to Wisconsin, reported Arab News.

These comments were more precise than Defense Secretary Lloyd Austins statements of the past days  saying that  US would not dictate any deadline to its ally, reported Arab News.

READ: US has not given firm deadline for Israel to end Gaza war



According to AP, the Israeli military escorted Israeli reporters into Palestine Square, in the heart of Gaza City, to demonstrate what it described as the center of Hamas’ tunnel network that it found out.
Military commanders boasted that they had uncovered offices, tunnels and elevators used by Hamas’ top leaders. The military released also videos of underground offices and claimed to have found a wheelchair belonging to Hamas’ shadowy military commander, Mohammed Deif, who has not been seen in public in years.
The army’s chief spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said the army had located a vast underground complex. “They all used this infrastructure routinely, during emergencies and also at the beginning of the war on Oct. 7,” he said. He said the tunnels extended across Gaza and into the biggest hospitals.

However, the claims could not be independently verified and Hamas rejected the accusations, reported Reuters.

The Israeli government declared several times its intention to continue the war until Hamas won’t be completely destroyed.

READ: Israeli army started pumping seawater into Gaza’s tunnels


The Israeli offensive created  an unprecedented  humanitarian crisis in Gaza, way worse than any past one.

1.9 millions of people  are displaced and staying in shelters and tent camps without enough food, medicine and other basic supplies.

At least 46 people were killed and more than 100 wounded early December 20 after Israel bombarded Jabalia refugee camp, according to Munir Al-Bursh, a senior Health Ministry official, reported AP.
At least five people were killed and dozens injured in another strike that hit three residential homes and a mosque in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah on the same day.

The Health Ministry in Gaza reports that the death toll since the start of the brutal aggression is 20 000.
Israel’s military says 469 of its soldiers have been killed in Gaza invasion. Israel says it has killed 7,000 Hamas militants, without providing any evidence. Likely in the past wave of aggression, it blames civilian martyrdom in Gaza on Hamas, claiming the Palestinian Resistance uses them as human shields when it fights in residential areas.

READ: HRW: Israel uses starvation as a weapon of war in Gaza

Arab News / Reuters

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