War with Hamas will last for months, Israel warns

Tel Aviv: Israel has warned that its war with Hamas will last for months amid an United Nations alarm over Israeli airstrikes killing over 100 Palestinians in two days in the war-torn Gaza strip. There are no shortcuts in dismantling a “terrorist organization”, Israel’s military chief Herzi Halevi said in a televised statement, adding that the war “will continue for many more months”.

“There are no magic solutions, there are no shortcuts in dismantling a terrorist organization, only determined and persistent fighting. We will reach Hamas leadership too, whether it takes a week or if it takes months,” said Halevi.

The UN voiced concern over the continuous Israeli airstrikes as it named an outgoing Dutch minister its humanitarian coordinator for Gaza. “We are gravely concerned about the continued bombardment of #Gaza by Israeli forces, which has reportedly claimed over 100 Palestinian lives since Christmas Eve. Israeli forces must take all measures available to protect civilians,” the UN Human Rights office posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, noted three prerequisites to achieve peace: “Hamas must be destroyed, Gaza must be demilitarized and Palestinian society must be deradicalized.”

Israel has been bombing Gaza since October 7 after a cross-border Hamas killed 1,200 people in border towns and around 240 were taken hostages. Around 21,000 Palestinians have died in Israel’s counteroffensive in Gaza since. However, Israeli strikes have raised concerns over the safety of civilians.

UN estimates suggest around 1.9 million Gazans have been displaced with many having fled south. The civilians are suffering from shortages of water, food, fuel and medicine.

Yemeni rebels say they launched drones at Israel

Yemen’s Iran-backed Huothi rebels claimed a missile strike on a vessel in the Red Sea and a drone attack towards Israel in solidarity with Gaza. In a statement, the rebels said they “carried out a targeting operation against a commercial ship” they identified as MSC UNITED, and launched a number of “drones against military targets” in southern Israel.

The Houthis say they are targeting Israel and Israeli-linked vessels to push for a stop to the offensive in the Gaza Strip, where Israel is battling Hamas militants.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

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