Israel Intensifies Aerial Attacks in Gaza as U.S. Urges Postponement of Ground Invasion for Hostage Negotiations

by Ryan Lee
Israel-Gaza Conflict

On Monday, Israel escalated its aerial bombardment in the Gaza Strip, causing an uptick in the already rising death toll, even as the United States advised Israel to defer an anticipated ground incursion. The delay is aimed at providing additional time for negotiations concerning the release of individuals captured by Hamas militants.

A third small relief convoy from Egypt arrived in Gaza, where 2.3 million residents have been grappling with shortages of essentials such as food, water, and medicine due to a two-week Israeli blockade. With Israel continuing to restrict fuel supplies, the United Nations warned that its aid distribution efforts could come to a standstill in the coming days due to an inability to fuel its trucks. Meanwhile, hospitals in Gaza are finding it challenging to maintain generator power for critical medical equipment and incubators for premature infants.

Widespread airstrikes have resulted in significant structural damage across Gaza, causing fatalities and overwhelming hospitals. Areas designated as safe havens for Palestinians were also targeted. In one instance, a grieving woman was seen holding the hand of a deceased relative following an airstrike in Gaza City. Multiple corpses were visible on the streets.

Israel has indicated its intention to initiate a ground assault in Gaza, stating its resolve to dismantle Hamas following its violent activities in southern Israel on October 7. This raises concerns about a broader conflict extending beyond Israel and Gaza, particularly as Iran-backed militias in the region have warned of potential escalation, including threats to U.S. forces in the Middle East.

The U.S. has cautioned Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon and other groups against entering the conflict. Recent days have seen Israeli military actions extending to the West Bank, Syria, and Lebanon.

A U.S. official, who requested anonymity, conveyed Washington’s counsel to Israeli authorities that postponing a ground operation could offer more time for diplomatic efforts to secure the release of captives taken by Hamas. It remains uncertain how significantly this will influence Israel’s course of action.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant instructed troops near Gaza to continue preparations for an impending offensive, stating it would involve a multi-pronged attack from air, land, and sea. Although he did not specify a timeline, military assets have been amassed near the Gaza border, and airstrikes have been intensified as a preparatory measure for the next phase of operations, likely to heighten the casualty rate.

According to updated figures, over 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, predominantly civilians, in the initial attacks carried out by Hamas. Additionally, at least 222 individuals, including foreign nationals, were reported as captured by the militant group.

The Health Ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza reported that more than 5,000 Palestinians, including approximately 2,000 minors and 1,100 women, have been killed. These numbers include disputed casualties from a recent hospital explosion and have rapidly increased in the last 24 hours.

In preparation for a possible ground operation, Israel reported hitting 320 militant targets in Gaza over the past day. Despite the high civilian death toll, Israel maintains that its military actions are focused on militant targets and points out that over 7,000 rockets have been fired at Israel since the conflict began.

The situation remains precarious, with global health and humanitarian organizations warning of escalating crises in medical care and essential supply distribution in Gaza.

Contributors to this report include correspondents from Cairo and Jerusalem, with additional inputs from reporters in the Gaza Strip, Washington, Jerusalem, and London.

For more comprehensive coverage, visit AP’s dedicated webpage on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Israel-Gaza Conflict

What is the main focus of the article?

The main focus of the article is the escalation of the Israel-Gaza conflict, particularly the intensification of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. The article also covers the U.S. advice to Israel to delay a ground invasion to allow time for hostage negotiations.

Who are the major parties involved in the conflict?

The major parties involved in the conflict are Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza. The United States is also involved in a diplomatic capacity, advising Israel on its military strategy and negotiating for the release of hostages.

What is the U.S. role in the conflict?

The U.S. has advised Israel to postpone its anticipated ground invasion into Gaza to allow more time for negotiations aimed at securing the release of hostages taken by Hamas. The U.S. has also warned Iran-backed militias, like Hezbollah in Lebanon, against entering the conflict.

What is the humanitarian situation in Gaza?

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is dire, with a population of 2.3 million facing shortages of essential supplies like food, water, and medicine. Hospitals are struggling to operate critical medical equipment due to fuel shortages. The United Nations has warned that its aid distribution will soon grind to a halt without fuel for its trucks.

How has the conflict affected civilian populations on both sides?

The conflict has resulted in a high number of casualties. Over 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, mostly civilians, during the initial Hamas attacks. In Gaza, more than 5,000 Palestinians have been killed, including approximately 2,000 minors and 1,100 women.

What is the status of aid and relief efforts in Gaza?

A third small relief convoy from Egypt has entered Gaza. However, these efforts are insufficient to meet the needs of the population, according to the United Nations. Hospitals and humanitarian operations are at risk due to lack of fuel and other essential supplies.

Are there any indications of how the conflict may evolve?

Israel is widely expected to launch a ground offensive in Gaza, which would likely result in an even higher number of casualties. Meanwhile, Iran-backed militias in the region have warned of potential escalation, increasing concerns of the conflict spreading beyond Gaza and Israel.

What is the international response to the conflict?

The article does not specifically address the international response, but it does indicate that the World Health Organization has noted the shutdown of seven hospitals in northern Gaza due to damage from airstrikes and lack of supplies.

What is the source of the article?

The article is a composite report with contributions from correspondents in Cairo and Jerusalem, along with additional inputs from reporters in the Gaza Strip, Washington, Jerusalem, and London. It is intended for comprehensive coverage and is hosted on AP’s dedicated webpage on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

More about Israel-Gaza Conflict

  • Israel-Gaza Conflict Overview
  • U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East
  • Humanitarian Situation in Gaza
  • Hostage Negotiations in Conflict Zones
  • Iran-Backed Militias and Regional Conflict
  • United Nations Relief Efforts in Gaza
  • World Health Organization on Gaza Crisis

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Mike Thompson October 24, 2023 - 9:26 am

Wow, this situation is just getting worse and worse. When will it end? Something’s gotta give.

Alex Greene October 24, 2023 - 10:10 am

Strikes, hostages, ground invasion threats. Is a peaceful solution even possible at this point?

Linda Foster October 24, 2023 - 10:58 am

It’s more than a military conflict; it’s a humanitarian crisis. And yet, the world just watches. Makes me mad.

David Lee October 24, 2023 - 11:08 am

What about other nations? Why isn’t there a bigger coalition to force peace or at least a ceasefire?

Sarah Williams October 24, 2023 - 3:14 pm

Its heartbreaking to see the human cost, esp on the civilian side. Where’s the international intervention??

Karen Mills October 24, 2023 - 4:20 pm

Reading this, you can’t help but feel helpless. Where’s the humanity in all this? Just awful.

Rachel Simmons October 24, 2023 - 9:09 pm

The US advising to delay ground invasion is like a drop in the ocean. More needs to be done, and fast.

Emily Clark October 25, 2023 - 3:57 am

This is a disaster. Hospitals shutting down, aid barely trickling in. it’s a catastrophe waiting to happen.

Steve Rogers October 25, 2023 - 5:42 am

There’s a lot of focus on Israel and Hamas. What about the people caught in the middle? The article paints a grim picture.

John Peterson October 25, 2023 - 7:09 am

Can’t believe the scale of this conflict, both sides taking massive hits. The US is advising but what are they actually doing to mitigate?


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