Israel-Hamas Conflict Enters 21st Day: Escalation and Diplomacy
The Israel-Hamas conflict has reached its 21st day, characterized by intense violence and diplomatic efforts. This round of conflict began when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, resulting in significant casualties on both sides, with at least 1,400 people killed.
As of the latest available data, the total death toll has exceeded 8,000 people, further intensifying the human tragedy. Thousands of individuals have been displaced from their homes due to the hostilities. There are growing concerns that a ground offensive by Israel aimed at crushing Hamas, which has been in control of the Gaza Strip since 2007, could lead to even more loss of life.
On the military front, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) confirmed that its fighter jets targeted three senior Hamas operatives within the Daraj Tuffah Battalion. This battalion played a significant role in the invasion and attacks that took place on October 7. It is considered one of the most critical brigades within the Hamas organization.
The European Union (EU) has called for the continuation of rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access and aid to reach those in need. EU leaders have emphasised the importance of establishing humanitarian corridors and implementing pauses to address immediate humanitarian requirements. Aid groups have reported that since the conflict began, only 74 trucks carrying food, water, and medicine have been allowed into Gaza, home to 2.4 million people.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed strong concerns about the situation. She called on Hamas to immediately release all hostages without preconditions and highlighted that Hamas’s actions have led to a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
In response to the escalating tensions in the Middle East, the United States has deployed approximately 900 troops to the region. This move, reported by Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Pat Ryder, includes various defence assets such as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence battery, Patriot batteries, and Avenger batteries.
This ongoing conflict and its potential ramifications have attracted significant international attention and raised concerns about the safety and well-being of civilians in the affected areas.