As ceasefire negotiations enter their second day in Cairo, fighting around Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis is intensifying—with dozens of Palestinians who have been sheltering inside forced to evacuate. Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) has said that there are about 400 patients in the hospital in critical condition. “The situation is really critical for patients and we are worried about the future,” said Guillemette Thomas of Medicins Sans Frontiers. Right now, the main thing holding up truce negotiations is disagreements over the number of Palestinian prisoners who should be released as a part of the deal. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is urging Hamas to “quickly complete” a truce deal to avoid carnage while displaced Palestinians in Rafah are bracing themselves for Israel’s ground invasion—which, at this point, feels inevitable.
A new opinion poll conducted in 16 Arab countries shows that Washington's continued support for Israel's campaign of genocide in the Gaza Strip has dramatically hurt its image across West Asia and North Africa, as 94 percent of respondents describe the US position as "bad." At the same time, more than half say the US poses the biggest threat to regional security. Other western states fared almost as poorly, with more than three-quarters of those polled saying the position of the UK, France, and Germany in relation to Gaza is "bad” or “very bad.” In contrast, Iran received a surge in recognition, with 48 percent of respondents expressing a positive view of the Iranian position, while 37 percent held a negative view.
Of all the amateurish moments to arise as the Biden regime conducts its foreign policy, the White House’s official statement as B1–B bombers let loose over Iraq and Syria last Friday may be the taker of the cake. As the ordnance fell on 85 targets in seven locations, many of them outposts of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, our addled president felt compelled to insist, “The United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world.” How many times have we heard this since these latest operations in Iraq, Syria and Yemen began? Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, has said the same thing in the same words. Lloyd Austin, the defense secretary, has, too.
Israel once reigned supreme on the back of some immovable narratives: widely spun myths of a "promised land," a "land without a people," the "only democracy in the Middle East," and the “only secure place for Jews in the world.” Today, those lofty soundbites lie in tatters, with the occupation state reeling from an unprecedented blow to its foundational ideas. This transformation has unfolded with unexpected intensity since the 7 October Al-Aqsa Flood resistance operation and Israel's devastating, genocidal war on Gaza. But it is not just the challenge of narratives that has Israel on its back feet.
Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian accused Israel of using “mindless terrorism” to cover up its losses in its war on Gaza. Abdollahian’s statement on Sunday, January 21, came after five members of its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) were killed in an Israeli air strike in Damascus a day before. Abdollahian claimed that, “although the Zionist enemy has destroyed Gaza on a large scale and martyred tens of thousands of people, it has not achieved any of its goals, so it is trying to make up for its defeat by resorting to blind terrorism,” Press TV reported. IRGC said in a statement on Saturday that at least five of its “military advisors” were killed when an Israeli air raid hit a building in Damascus’ Mezzeh neighborhood.
Israeli forces killed at least 165 Palestinians and wounded 280 more in the past 24 hours in Gaza, the Ministry of Health in the small bombarded enclave reported on Saturday, bringing the official death toll since October 7 in Gaza to 24,927, with at least 62,388 more wounded. This number does not include people who are missing and believed to be trapped under rubble, unidentified bodies, people who were buried by their families without going to a hospital, nor people who have died due to illness, cold, or hunger as a result of Israel’s merciless blockade of Gaza. The real death toll is believed by some groups to surpass 32,000.
The brutal war that Israel is waging on Gaza is increasingly becoming a regional conflict. Since October, the United States and Israel have bombed not only Gaza, but also Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Now, the U.S. government is even threatening Iran with war. President Joe Biden sent the Iranian government a private message while the U.S. military was bombing Yemen on January 13. He said threateningly, “We’re confident, we’re well prepared”. While this is happening, South Africa has introduced a case in the International Court of Justice, the top United Nations judicial authority, which accuses Israel of committing genocide against the Palestinian people.
Israel is planning to fight for the rest of 2024 in the Gaza Strip, according to the military spokesperson, as war has now expanded into the northern front with Lebanon following the assassination of a senior Hezbollah commander, Wisam al-Taweel, on Monday. Al-Taweel is a unit leader in Hezbollah’s elite force, Al-Radwan, who has fought in every major battle against Israel since 1989. He took part in the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers in 2006 near the fence north of occupied Palestine, an event that started a full-blown Israeli war against Lebanon. He is the most senior Hezbollah commander to be killed by Israel since October 8, when the Lebanese resistance movement weighed in on the fighting as Israel carpet-bombed the Gaza Strip.
Since October 8, we have entered into combat with the enemy in the south over a stretch of more than 100 km. The Islamic Resistance executed 494 targetings, including 50 border points targeted more than once. The Islamic Resistance also targeted technical and intelligence equipment along the border, completely destroying them. “Israeli” soldiers fled from the sites towards the settlements, fearing the advancement of the fighters towards the sites and their occupations. A large number of vehicles and tanks were destroyed along the border. The operations were very draining for the enemy, who practiced extreme secrecy on their large losses.
Israeli leaders are escalating their threats to start a full-fledged war against Hezbollah in Lebanon following Israel’s assassination of top Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut last week, a major terror attack in Iran, and a Hezbollah missile attack on a strategically crucial Israeli border surveillance base in response. “We prefer the path of an agreed-upon diplomatic settlement,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Friday, “but we are getting close to the point where the hourglass will turn over,” The Washington Post reported on 7 January. The Post added that “US officials are concerned that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may see an expanded fight in Lebanon as key to his political survival amid domestic criticism of his government’s failure to prevent Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack.”
The first International Court of Justice hearings scheduled for next week over whether Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip constitute genocide are not deterring the Israeli military from continuing to wage a relentless campaign of bombardment and deliberate humanitarian devastation on the besieged Palestinian territory. WAFA news agency reported deadly Israeli airstrikes between Thursday and Friday in Jabalia refugee camp, Khan Younis, al-Zawaida, al-Maghazi refugee camp, al-Bureij refugee camp, Deir al-Balah, Rafah, and Nuseirat refugee camp. Israeli forces notably hit a cemetery and tents where Palestinian civilians had taken refuge, as well as residential homes and vehicles.
At the start of the new year, Israel’s occupation army began implementing the withdrawal of a large portion of its forces from the northern Gaza Strip. This withdrawal did not mean the end of the war on Gaza, and it certainly did not suggest calm on the Lebanese-Israeli front. On the contrary, reducing the pace of the war in the Gaza Strip increases the possibilities of an Israeli war on Lebanon. The battles taking place between the occupation army and Hezbollah along the southern Lebanese border since 8 October, in support of the resistance in Gaza, have been increasing in intensity day after day.
‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 89: Hamas And Hezbollah Pledge To Punish Israel Following Aruri Killing
Saleh Al-Aruri, 57, the deputy political leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), was killed in a drone airstrike in the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday evening. Aruri is the most senior Hamas leader to be killed since the October 7 Palestinian cross-fence attack, which shocked Israel’s security and intelligence establishment. Aruri was one of the masterminds of The Al-Aqsa Flood operation. He talked about it openly in an interview with Al-Mayadeen channel in August. On Tuesday evening, he was killed in the movement’s office in Al-Dahiya, the southern Beirut suburb and the stronghold of Hezbollah movement.
For years, this site has warned that Israel, especially Benjamin Netanyahu, have tried to instigate the U.S. into a wider war in the Mideast, particularly with Iran. We’ve also regularly indicted the U.S. mainstream media for ignoring this danger. Today, the threat is greater than ever. And, true to form, the New York Times, National Public Radio, and the others continue to cover it up, instead treating Netanyahu as the embattled but honest leader of an Israel that is only trying to defend itself. For more than a decade, Netanyahu’s main aim was to destroy Iran’s alleged (and unproven) program to build nuclear weapons.
The Israeli war in Gaza has continued to invite strong responses from resistance forces all across the West Asian region. Militias in the region have targeted both Israel and its strongest backer, the US. On Wednesday, December 6, the Ansar Allah (Houthi)-backed government in Yemen claimed that its army fired missiles targeting Israel’s southern Umm al-Rashrash (Eilat) city and said it would continue its operations until the Israeli war on Gaza is stopped. Media reports confirmed that sirens went off across Eilat city following the Houthi attacks on Wednesday. However, it claimed that using its Arrow air defense, the Israeli military was able to intercept the missile before it could enter the country’s air space.