The Israeli military said on Saturday that more than 50 Hamas targets in the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis, as well as in the north of the enclave, were hit by air, sea, and ground forces. The military said more than 400 targets have been hit in Gaza since fighting resumed two days ago.
Saturday’s clashes came a day after Israeli airstrikes in the Palestinian enclave killed 184 people, according to Gaza’s health ministry.
The Syrian Defense Ministry also said Israel carried out airstrikes on the outskirts of Damascus on Saturday. Syrian state media said military defenses shot down most of the Israeli missiles and that there were no reports of casualties.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that the US had provided Israel with “hundreds of millions of dollars worth of heavy bombs and artillery shells” while calling on Israel to limit civilian casualties.
The publication notes that “The US has provided Israel with large bunker buster bombs, among tens of thousands of other weapons and artillery shells, to help dislodge Hamas from Gaza”.
The newspaper quoted unnamed US officials as saying that the arms shipments included “approximately 15,000 bombs and 57,000 artillery shells” sent to Israel shortly after the Hamas terrorist attack. The publication also notes that deliveries “continued in recent days”.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday that Israel has begun taking steps to reduce the number of Palestinian casualties in the fight against Hamas.
“Today we saw that Israel took immediate steps to start providing people with information about where the safe zones are and how they can escape the attack,” he said in Dubai on the sidelines of the COP28 climate change conference.
Vice President Kamala Harris, representing the United States at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, outlined a vision for Gaza’s post-war future. This came after President Joe Biden delegated her to participate in discussions regarding the conflict between Israel and Hamas. In her talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, Harris emphasized that the US would not allow forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank, nor would it support the besiegement of Gaza or redrawing its borders. She stressed the need for post-war reconstruction to be aligned with a clear political horizon for the Palestinian people, advocating for a state led by a revitalized Palestinian Authority with substantial international and regional support. Harris highlighted the untenability of Hamas controlling Gaza, citing concerns for Israel’s security, the well-being of the Palestinian people, and regional stability. The US is considering ways to bolster the Palestinian Authority to extend its influence over Gaza, though no definitive plan has been agreed upon.
Israeli airstrikes and ground incursions into Gaza have killed more than 15,000 people and injured thousands more, according to Palestinian health authorities.