The Gaza War: Israel strikes Hezbollah in Lebanon, may flood Hamas tunnels
New Delhi: Nearly two months into the raging conflict, and after a seven-day pause ended, Israel intensified air strikes in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, attacked Hezbollah sites in Lebanon, and considered flooding Hamas tunnels in the Gaza Strip where the Sunni terror group still reportedly holds nearly 140 hostages it took captive on October 7.
Both Hamas from Gaza and Hezbollah from Lebanon continued to launch attacks on Israel, prompting it to retaliate with greater force, the media reported.
The war has already killed more than 15,000 Palestinians and displaced over three-fourths of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents, who are running out of safe places to go. The total death toll in the war has surpassed 17,300, according to official data released by both sides.
The United States and the United Nations repeatedly urged Israel to protect civilians. The US said the Israeli offensive in the southern Gaza Strip should not repeat the “massive” civilian toll it has had in the north. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed to Tel Aviv to avoid further action that would make the already dire humanitarian situation in Hamas-run Gaza worse and to spare civilians from more suffering.
To drive out the terrorists, Israel is considering flooding tunnels used by Hamas operatives under the Gaza Strip. The Jewish nation has also assembled a large number of water pumps. In mid-November, Israel’s army set up at least five pumps about a mile north of the Al-Shati refugee camp that could move thousands of cubic meters of water per hour, flooding the tunnels within weeks, the media reported.
It was, however, not clear whether Israel would consider using the pumps before all hostages were released. Hamas had previously said it has hidden captives in “safe places and tunnels.”
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it struck several Hezbollah sites in Lebanon, following cross-border attacks by the Iran-supported Shia terror group. Israeli fighter jets hit several launch sites, “terror infrastructure” and a Hezbollah military structure.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be put on trial for alleged war crimes, just like former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. A vocal critic of Israel’s actions in Gaza, Erdogan, speaking at a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, once again referred to Netanyahu as the “butcher of Gaza.”
He also accused the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council of blocking efforts to end the violence.
The UN chief for humanitarian affairs, Martin Griffiths, regretted that “every time we think things cannot get any more apocalyptic in Gaza, they do.” Taking to X, Griffiths also said, “People are being ordered to move again, with little to survive on, forced to make one impossible choice with another.”
Earlier, he had said Gaza was a global crisis, and that this war has killed more children than any other war he can remember.