In response to ongoing clashes and violence in the region, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former defense minister Benny Gantz have jointly formed an emergency government. This move comes as Israel continues its military operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, following a surprise attack by the Palestinian militants.
The conflict, which began five days ago, has resulted in thousands of casualties, with the death toll steadily rising. Both sides have engaged in intense confrontations, with Israeli forces conducting a massive bombardment of Gaza in response to Hamas attacks.
US President Joe Biden has pledged additional support to Israel, expressing deep concern for the loss of civilian lives and the scale of the conflict.
This emergency government represents a rare alliance between political rivals Netanyahu and Gantz, as they set aside their differences to address the crisis and unite the country. The decision to form this government follows the discovery of 1,200 victims in battle-torn southern towns after Hamas’s unprecedented attack.
Gaza officials have reported over 1,000 casualties from Israel’s air and artillery strikes, leaving large areas in ruins. Israel has deployed significant military forces around Gaza in response to what Prime Minister Netanyahu described as a savage attack unparalleled since the Holocaust.
The crisis has also raised concerns about the fate of approximately 150 hostages, predominantly Israelis but including foreign nationals, being held by Hamas in Gaza. The militant group has threatened to harm these hostages if civilian targets continue to be bombed without warning.
The humanitarian situation in Gaza has further deteriorated, with over 1,000 buildings destroyed, and basic necessities such as water, food, and energy in short supply. The region’s sole power plant has shut down due to a lack of fuel.
As more than 260,000 Gaza residents have been displaced, the European Union has called for a “humanitarian corridor” to allow civilians to escape the conflict.
Israel is also facing threats from rocket attacks launched by militant groups in Lebanon and Syria. The situation prompted the US to deploy an aircraft carrier battle group to the eastern Mediterranean, emphasizing the strength of the military cooperation between the US and Israel.
The conflict has had a profound impact on Israel, which experienced the deadliest attack in its history and a significant intelligence failure. Hamas militants infiltrated southern towns, causing devastation and significant loss of life.
The Israeli army has mobilized 300,000 reservists for what Prime Minister Netanyahu has termed a “long and difficult” war. The conflict has raised concerns about the safety of civilians and the need to balance military actions with the protection of non-combatants.
The situation remains highly volatile, with heavy bombardments in Gaza leading to substantial casualties and extensive damage to infrastructure. Medical supplies are running low at Gaza’s hospitals, adding to the urgency of the situation.
The conflict has also sparked unrest in the occupied West Bank, where clashes have resulted in casualties. The international community continues to engage in diplomatic efforts to prevent further escalation in the region.