US President Joe Biden said Israelis can make their own decision as he was asked whether the US was urging Israel to delay its ground invasion in Gaza — amid the ongoing war triggered by Hamas’ unprecedented attacks on Israel on October 7. About 19 days into the conflict, the Israel Defence Forces on Tuesday announced that they were ready to ‘invade’ Gaza, as reported by The Jerusalem Post. IDF chief-of-staff, Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi said, “I want to be clear, we are ready to invade.”
“At this stage, there are tactical and strategic factors which are allowing us more time to improve and to exploit every minute to be more ready,” the IDF chief said confirming that the army was in the process of discussing the exact timing of the ground invasion with the country’s top leadership.
Israel-Hamas war: Latest updates
1. The United Nations called for a ceasefire in Gaza at a high-level meeting on Tuesday. Israel rejected the call and Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan said the UN secretary-general is not fit to lead the UN as he shows no understanding for the ‘campaign of mass murder of children, women and the elderly’.
2. Israel’s foreign minister Eli Cohen dismissed calls for “proportionality” in the country’s response to Hamas attack and asked: “How can you agree to a cease-fire with someone who swore to kill and destroy your own existence?”
3. A proportionate response to the October 7 attack will be a “total destruction to the last one of the Hamas”, the foreign minister said.
4. On Wednesday, Israel’s military said its jets struck Syrian army infrastructure and mortar launchers after rocket launches were made from Syria towards Israel.
5. As the war rages on, the Israeli military said it carried out a drone strike in West Bank’s Jenin during clashes with armed Palestinians.
6. On the Gaza offensive, Israel Defense Forces said some Hamas terrorists were attempting to infiltrate southern Israel via sea and were found exiting a tunnel on the Gaza coast. IDF said the tunnel was struck along with a weapons warehouse used by the terrorists in Gaza.
7. The Israeli military has offered financial rewards to Gaza Strip residents if they share any information about hostages being held. “If your will is to live in peace and to have a better future for your children, do the humanitarian deed immediately and share verified and valuable information about hostages being held in your area. The Israeli military assures you that it will invest maximum effort in providing security for you and your home, and you will receive a financial reward. We guarantee you complete confidentiality,” the IDF posted.
8. As the United Nations agency working to provide aid to Palestinian civilians said it would have to halt operations on Wednesday night as there is no fuel in Gaza, Israel’s military said they should ask Hamas for fuel supplies. Hamas has more than 500,000 litres of fuel in tanks inside Gaza, the IDF said making it clear that it won’t allow fuel in Gaza.
9. The White House said it is developing contingency plans to evacuate Americans from the Middle East in case the Israel-Hamas war turns into a broad regional conflict. As of now, there are no active efforts to evacuate Americans from the region apart from charter flights being operated by the US.
10. Israelis can make their own decisions, US President Joe Biden said as he was asked whether the US was pressuring Israel to delay the ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.