A weekend of combat in Gaza kills 14 Israeli soldiers, in sign of Hamas’ entrenchment

Fourteen Israeli soldiers were killed in combat in the ongoing conflict in Gaza over the past weekend, indicating that Hamas continues to resist despite weeks of devastating warfare.

The escalating conflict: The Israeli military reported the deaths of 14 soldiers over the weekend, marking one of the most tragic periods of battle since the ground offensive began.
* This conflict was triggered by the Hamas-led incursion into southern Israel on October 7, resulting in the deaths of 1,200 individuals and the abduction of 240 more.
* As a result of the ongoing war, approximately 20,400 Palestinians have perished, and almost 85% of Gaza’s 2.3 million population has been displaced.

Public perspective and reactions: The increasing death toll among Israeli troops could sway public support for the war since soldier’s deaths are a fraught topic in Israel, a country with mandatory military enlistment for most Jews.
* Despite the rising international pressure against Israel’s offensive and the immense suffering among Palestinians, Israelis largely continue to back their country’s actions.
* There is, however, growing criticism and frustration directed towards Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, accused of not adequately protecting civilians and being responsible for the policies that have allowed Hamas to gain strength.

Ground offensive update: The Israeli forces are fighting in “complex areas,” including battles in Khan Younis, where it’s believed that Hamas leaders are taking refuge.
* Israel continues its devastating offensive, which has resulted in a substantial Palestinian death toll and heavy criticism for its humanitarian toll.

International outlook: The international community, including the United Nations, continues to raise concerns on the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza.
* Despite these concerns, it is unclear how and when aid deliveries will be able to increase to meet the growing demand for humanitarian aid.
* Despite growing global calls for a cease-fire, USA, Israel’s foremost ally, still supports Israel and is calling for enhanced protective measures for Gaza’s civilians.
View original article on NPR
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