This is the thirteenth day of the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation; the number of casualties as a result of Hamas attacks and massive IDF bombing of the Gaza Strip has exceeded 4600 people on both sides, of which more than 3,5 thousand are in the Palestinian enclave. Protests continue in many countries, mainly in support of Palestine, although representatives of Jewish communities also take to the streets of some cities. Perhaps this is also the reason why the Israeli command never launched a ground operation in the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli online publication The Times of Israel reports another rocket attack by Hamas militants in the city of Ashkelon after a 15-hour lull. There is no data on damage or casualties yet. Air raid signals sounded today in several other Israeli cities, including in settlements bordering Lebanon. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Hamas has reduced the number of rocket launches as it seeks to preserve reserves in case of a protracted war.
In addition to the bombing of the Palestinian enclave, Israeli intelligence services are conducting clean-up operations in other territories. Between October 7 and today, 524 wanted Palestinians in the West Bank were arrested, more than half of them suspected of links to Hamas. During the same time, at least 69 West Bank Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops and settlers, according to the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Health. There are clashes between Palestinians and IDF fighters in the Nur Shams refugee camp in the West Bank, as well as in the Shuafat refugee camp in northeast Jerusalem.
According to official IDF data, at least 200 hostages are being held in the Gaza Strip; this figure is not final, since there is an ongoing investigation into the facts of missing Israelis. The Russian Embassy in Israel reported that the number of Russians killed during the escalation reached 19 people.
At the same time, the IDF is preparing for the possible opening of a second front in the north of the country, where a field hospital has already been deployed. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant said that the Shiite group Hezbollah, stationed in neighboring Lebanon, has ten times the number of fighters and weapons equipment than Hamas.
In Tel Aviv, protests in support of Israelis captured by Hamas are turning into anti-government protests: people are unhappy that the authorities are not informing them about the fate of numerous hostages. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's support in the country has fallen to a record low and there are calls for his resignation.
Today, a special plane of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations with 27 tons of humanitarian aid for the population of the Gaza Strip arrived in El-Arish, Egypt. The assistance was sent by personal order of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The humanitarian aid includes food products that will be handed over to representatives of the Egyptian Red Crescent Society to be sent to the Palestinian enclave.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is on an official visit to the DPRK, said that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, if it drags on and further escalates, could cover the entire Middle East. At the same time, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized that attempts by the United States and some other countries to blame Iran for destabilizing the situation in the region are provocative.