Tuesday, Dec 26, 2023

100 killed in deadliest night in Gaza, Netanyahu says war against Hamas to continue

Nearly 20,700 Gazans have been killed so far in the Israel-Hamas war, including 250 in the last 24 hours, according to Palestinian health authorities.

israel hamas war gaza palestine benjamin netanyahuIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wears a protective vest and helmet as he receives a security briefing with commanders and soldiers in the northern Gaza Strip. (AP/PTI)

Amid international calls for a ceasefire and pressure from ally United States, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remained defiant and maintained that the war against the Palestinian militant group Hamas will continue.

Netanyahu made the statement while paying a visit to Israeli troops stationed in northern Gaza on Monday. Israel has been attacking Gaza since Hamas’ unprecedented infiltration into southern Israel on October 7, with Netanyahu repeatedly saying that the fight was to “finish off” the militant group.

“We are not stopping. The war will continue until the end, until we finish it, no less,” Netanyahu said.


He also told lawmakers from his Likud Party that the war “was far from over”, and dismissed what he cast as “media speculation”, that his government would agree to the demand for a ceasefire and halt the fighting. According to the news agency Reuters, Netanyahu added that the remaining hostages held by Hamas would not be freed, unless Israel applies military pressure.

Hamas and its ally Islamic Jihad are believed to be holding more than 100 hostages from among the 240 they captured on October 7. Around half of the hostages, predominantly women and children, were released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners during a temporary ceasefire in November.

Airstrikes continue

Meanwhile, Israeli airstrikes on Sunday (December 24) night, resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people, making it one of the deadliest nights in the ongoing war. Palestinian residents also reported several airstrikes near southern Gaza’s largest medical facility Nasser Hospital, located in Khan Younis, Reuters said.

Festive offer

Palestinian health officials also reported the deaths of seven people in an Israeli airstrike on a house in the Al-Aman neighbourhood in Khan Younis.

Nearly 20,700 Gazans have been killed so far in the war, including 250 in the last 24 hours, according to Palestinian health authorities. In addition to this, the majority of Gaza’s 2.3 million population have fled their homes, leading to massive displacement.

Speaking to Reuters, Gemma Connell, a United Nations worker deployed in Gaza said, “There’s so little space left here in Rafah that people just don’t know where they will go and it really feels like people being moved around a human chessboard because there’s an evacuation order somewhere.”


She added, “People flee that area into another area. But they’re not safe there.”

An Israeli army spokesperson told Reuters that the military has tried to evacuate civilians to safety, but it is Hamas that prevents this. The spokesperson added that Hamas uses civilians as a human shield, an accusation that the militant group has repeatedly denied.

First published on: 26-12-2023 at 10:44 IST
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