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Netanyahu Asserts Israel’s Need for Border Control with Egypt, Anticipates Months-Long War in Gaza

Intense Gaza conflict continues, Hamas and Islamic Jihad claim strikes on Israeli forces, while Israel resists calls to shift tactics amid civilian safety concerns.

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CAIRO/GAZA/JERUSALEM, Dec 31 (The Street Press) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to regain control of Gaza’s border with Egypt. This is part of a broader effort by Israel to counter Hamas. The conflict is anticipated to extend over several months.

“The war is at its height,” Netanyahu informed reporters on Saturday. Since October 7, when the Palestinian militant group Hamas and its allies breached Israel’s borders, the fighting has resulted in 1,200 casualties and 240 hostages.

Netanyahu emphasized the necessity for the Philadelphi Corridor buffer zone along Gaza’s border with Egypt to be under Israeli control, stating, “”It must be shut”. He emphasised, “It is clear that any other arrangement would not ensure the demilitarisation that we seek.” This move would effectively reverse Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, bringing the enclave back under exclusive Israeli control after years of being governed by Hamas.

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Netanyahu’s remarks about the buffer zone coincide with ongoing Israeli military operations, emphasizing that the offensive is expected to continue “for many more months.” Since the surprise October incursion by Hamas, Israel’s full-scale attack in Gaza has led to the displacement of nearly all 2.3 million residents. According to health authorities in Gaza, at least 21,672 Palestinians have been killed, with over 56,000 injured, and concerns persist about additional casualties under the rubble.

Saturday’s fighting concentrated in al-Bureij, Nuseirat, Maghazi, and Khan Younis in central and southern Gaza, as reported by residents and medics. Hamas media stated that Abdel-Fattah Maali, a senior member of the group’s armed wing, was killed in an Israeli strike in Gaza. Originally from the West Bank, Maali was released during a 2011 prisoner swap and expelled to Gaza. The reports did not specify the exact timing of his death.

Smoke rises over Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, as seen from southern Israel, December 30, 2023. REUTERS/Amir Cohen TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Smoke rises over Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, as seen from southern Israel, December 30, 2023. REUTERS/Amir Cohen TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Israel reports that 172 of its military personnel have lost their lives in the Gaza fighting. The conflict raises concerns about potential regional expansion, involving Iran-backed groups in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, known for skirmishes with Israel and its U.S. ally, or targeting merchant shipping.

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Israel highlights progress in dismantling Hamas infrastructure, citing the destruction of a tunnel complex beneath the house of Gaza’s Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar, in Gaza City. Israeli troops also raided the Hamas military intelligence headquarters and an Islamic Jihad command center in Khan Younis, destroying various targets, including a weapons foundry, according to a military statement.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad, both committed to Israel’s destruction, claimed their fighters destroyed and damaged Israeli tanks and troop carriers in Gaza on Saturday. They reported mortar attacks against Israeli forces in Khan Younis, Al-Bureij, and northern Gaza. Despite Washington’s call to scale down the conflict, Israel remains committed to targeting Hamas, accusing the group of endangering civilians by using them as human shields—a claim Hamas denies.

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SourceReuters
Sk Sahiluddin
Sk Sahiluddinhttps://www.thestreetpress.com
Sk Sahiluddin is a seasoned journalist and media professional with a passion for delivering accurate and impactful news coverage to a global audience. As the Editor of The Street Press, he plays a pivotal role in shaping the editorial direction and ensuring the highest journalistic standards are upheld.
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