Israeli Offensive Intensifies, First Evacuees Flee Gaza for Safety

A group of injured evacuees from Gaza crossed into Egypt under a Qatari-mediated deal, as Israeli forces battle Hamas militants in the Palestinian enclave.

The evacuees were transported via ambulances through the Rafah border crossing, with a deal allowing foreigners and critically wounded people to leave the besieged territory. The evacuation came after an Israeli air strike killed 50 people in a refugee camp in Gaza, following weeks of bombardments.

The civilian death toll in Gaza and the desperate humanitarian conditions have caused global concern, as food, fuel, drinking water, and medicine run short and hospitals struggle to treat casualties. Egyptian security sources said up to 500 foreign passport holders will pass the Rafah border crossing on Wednesday.

Egypt has prepared a field hospital in Sheikh Zuwayed, Sinai, and ambulances are waiting at the Rafah crossing. The deal is not linked to other issues, such as the release of 240 hostages held by Hamas or a “humanitarian pause” in the fighting. The Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7 killed about 300 soldiers and 1,100 civilians, Israeli figures say. At least 8,525 Palestinians, including 3,542 children, were killed in retaliatory Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7. The Israeli military said Tuesday’s strikes on Jabalia, Gaza’s largest refugee camp, had killed Ibrahim Biari, a Hamas commander pivotal in organizing the attack.

At least 50 Palestinians were killed and 150 wounded in a Jabalia attack, while Hamas reported 400 dead and injured. Seven civilians were killed, including three foreign passport holders. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu promised a long, victorious war despite increasing military losses.

The Israeli military has continued to pound Gaza city and the north, causing a series of clashes with Hamas fighters in the north, southern, and eastern areas of Gaza. The Israeli military has sounded sirens in southern communities and the port cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod. Communications and internet services were cut off in Gaza again on Wednesday. Health officials reported 15 Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes overnight in Khan Younis, including four children. Two of Gaza’s main hospitals, Al Shifa Medical and the Indonesian Hospital, faced a power outage as their generators ran out of fuel. The current violence is the worst in many years of sporadic warfare and erupted at a time when Palestinian hopes for an independent state and an end to Israel’s occupation are as far away as ever.

Peace talks have been abandoned, and Netanyahu’s government has expanded Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Israel views Hamas as an existential threat, and the US and other countries consider Gaza’s future if militants are removed. Iran’s support for Hamas and regional militant groups raises fears of escalation. Israel deploys missile boats in the Red Sea.

Israel’s Strategic Response: Missile Boats Stationed in the Red Sea to Counter Houthis’ Yemen Attacks

The Israeli military has deployed missile boats in the Red Sea as reinforcements, following the Iran-aligned Houthi movement’s claims of missile and drone attacks on Israel.

The military has deployed Saar-class corvettes patrolling near Eilat port in the Red Sea, which Israel sees as a new front as its war in Gaza draws retaliation from Iran-aligned pro-Hamas forces.

The Houthi movement has launched three drone and missile attacks towards Israel since the start of the Hamas-Israel war on October 7.

Israel has intercepted an “aerial threat” over the Red Sea, indicating a new attack by the Houthi group. The Houthis, part of the Iran-aligned regional alliance hostile to Israel and the US, govern swathes of Yemen, including Sanaa, over a thousand miles from Israel.

Israel has fired missiles and drones at Israel from the Red Sea area since October 7, with missiles and drones either being shot down or falling short.

Israel claimed the Houthis were behind a drone attack that caused explosions in two Egyptian towns on the Red Sea.

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