Sat 09 Dec 2023 7:22 am - Jerusalem Time
Reports reveal the date of the end of the war in Gaza
The British newspaper The Times, citing informed sources, said: US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken informed "Israel" that it has until early January to end its ground operation in Gaza.
The sources added that senior soldiers in the occupation army secretly admit that the Khan Yunis operation is the last large-scale ground attack in the Gaza Strip.
At the same time, Hebrew Channel 12 reported that President Joe Biden called on Israel to stop the war on Gaza by the end of this year, 2023.
In a related context, a senior Israeli defense official told Axios that Israel expects to end its military operation in the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip within three to four weeks.
Axios quoted the Israeli official as saying, "The highly intense phase of the war is likely to continue for another three to four weeks."
Why this is important:
The administration of US President Joe Biden has supported the Israeli operation in Gaza and says it supports Israel's stated goal of overthrowing Hamas in Gaza, but the White House is under increasing international and domestic pressure to ask Israel to end the war.
More than 17,400 Palestinians were martyred in the war, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.
A senior Israeli official told Axios that Israeli army forces have “made significant progress” in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, but the operation in the southern city of Khan Yunis, where Israel believes Hamas leadership is based, “has only just begun.”
On Thursday, President Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Israeli military plans and the operation in Khan Yunis.
A similar call took place last night between US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Israeli counterpart Yoav Galant.
A senior Israeli official indicated to Axios that the United States is not “pressing on the brakes” or giving Israel a specific deadline to stop the operation, but is pointing to the fact that time is running out.
The official added that the gap between the Biden administration and the Israeli government relates to the one-month timetable offered by Israel to end the intensive phase of the Gaza war.
White House Deputy National Security Advisor John Feiner told the Aspen Security Forum in Washington on Thursday that the United States has not set a concrete deadline for Israel.
“This is their struggle,” Weiner explained. “However, we have influence, even if we do not have absolute control over what happens on the ground in Gaza.”
what are they saying:
Axios quoted an Israeli army official as saying that the United States would be satisfied if Israel ended the high-intensity phase of the operation by the end of December, while Israel aspires to an end in January.
He added: "The message from the United States is that they want us to end faster, with fewer civilian casualties and more humanitarian aid to Gaza. We want the same thing, but there is another player here, which is the enemy, who does not agree."
He continued: "The United States understands this. We are working together. We need them and they need us."
A spokesman for the US National Security Council said: “These are Israeli military operations, and the Israelis are the ones who will decide their course... and we will continue to support Israel’s efforts to defend itself from Hamas.”
Reuters quoted a White House official as saying: “Israel and Hamas are not close to reaching another agreement on a new humanitarian truce in their ongoing conflict.”
On Wednesday, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said: Washington continues to send military aid to Israel to defend itself against Hamas, adding that the focus now is on providing Israel with the weapons and systems it needs in its operations in southern Gaza.
Kirby claimed that "Israel does not intentionally kill civilians, and the Israeli army's mission to spare civilians from the consequences of fighting is very difficult because of the presence of Hamas among civilians."
He explained that Washington does not support a military occupation of Gaza or the reduction of the territory of the Strip, nor displacement outside Gaza.
He continued that the future form of governance of Gaza must be representative of the Palestinians and their aspirations.
He added that the United States will continue to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches the Gaza Strip, even in the absence of a truce.
The American official claimed that "Hamas is the one preventing the International Red Cross from visiting the hostages, and no one else can be blamed."
This is while the newspaper "Jerusalem Post" revealed that the Israeli army is facing resistance in the city of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, which is the most intense since the start of the war, noting that the resistance is "fighting for every centimeter."
The Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, led by the Al-Qassam Brigades and the Al-Quds Brigades, announced the continued confrontation of the Israeli army’s incursion on several fronts in the Gaza Strip, causing a number of deaths and injuries among soldiers.