There is no ground invasion of Gaza from Israel yet, but the airstrikes are still rolling, in both Gaza and southern Lebanon. The airstrikes and rocket attacks have led to tragic civilian casualties, but have also flushed out Hamas commanders. Israel has been urging Gazan civilians to evacuate south, ahead of a potential invasion. Skirmishes have been occurring throughout the week between Israel and Hezbollah, but there has been no clear escalation there yet. It is reported that a ground operation is due to begin soon in Gaza, and was actually delayed due to weather conditions (this has been denied by the IDF). Iran has stated that they will take action if Israel’s operations in Gaza continues, but it is still unclear what this would entail.
The US, while staunchly supporting Israel in their war, has also been seeking to reign in the excesses of the Israeli response and negotiate access for humanitarian aid. This included efforts to reopen the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza to allow foreign nationals and refugees to leave and aid to come in, and the resumption of water supply to southern Gaza. On 60 Minutes, President Biden has stated that it would be a mistake to occupy Gaza again.
The US has also sent the Eisenhower carrier strike group (CSG) to the Eastern Mediterranean, supplementing the Ford CSG. While this was a pre-planned deployment before recent events, it is still another US force coming to the region. Ostensibly, these naval groups are there as deterrence, to stop the conflict from breaking out into a full regional war. Secretary of State Blinken will return to Israel on Monday, extending his Middle East tour. President Biden has been invited to visit Israel.
EU Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen, recipient of the World Peace and Security Award 2022, visited Israel earlier this week too. She affirmed European support for the country. The US and European countries have been repatriating its citizens throughout the week too, but most airlines have halted operations to Tel Aviv, outside of Israeli carriers.
Read more about this conflict:
- [New York Times] Israeli Invasion Plans Target Gaza City and Hamas Leadership
- [The Drive] Tit For Tat Escalation On The Israeli-Lebanese Border
- [Axios] Israel resumes water supply to southern Gaza after U.S. pressure
- [New York Times] Biden Warns Israel Not to Occupy Gaza
- [Reuters] Blinken says Arab states don’t want spillover from Israel-Hamas conflict
- [ABC News] Exclusive: US to send 2nd aircraft carrier to eastern Mediterranean
- [Euronews] Von der Leyen and Metsola arrive in Israel in show of solidarity after Hamas attacks