US Calls on Israel to Ease Strikes on Southern Part of Gaza Strip
Friday, 3 November 2023
The US presidential administration is pressuring Israel to reduce the number of airstrikes in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
According to The Times of Israel, the US is saying the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have less legitimacy to attack that area of the Gaza Strip after telling civilians to evacuate there from the north, sources have said.
An Israeli official said that the IDF strikes were focused mainly on the northern Gaza Strip, where most of the Hamas command posts are located. However, Israel reserves the right to target the terrorist group in any part of Gaza after the 7 October attack, the official said.
The Israeli official emphasised that the IDF has taken the humanitarian zone in the southwest of Gaza for the Palestinians. However, a US official said the area had not been clearly defined by Israel and was too small to contain Gaza's entire population of 2.3 million, so the vast majority of civilians were still subject to air strikes.
Washington recognizes that Hamas operates from within and under the cover of civilians throughout Gaza, a US official says. However, the US is concerned about the rising number of civilian casualties, complicating the Biden administration's ability to continue supporting Israel's military operation and encouraging allies to follow suit.
Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State, arrived in Israel on 3 November for meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials.
Bloomberg reported that the US and Israel are exploringseveral options for the future of Gaza after Israeli forces succeed in ousting Hamas.
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