Israel hints at end of bombardment in northern Gaza

Israel’s military has signalled it is ready to end bombardment in northern Gaza, media reports said.

The claim from the military spokesperson that Israel has nullified the Palestinian armed group in the north of the enclave, extends the signs that it plans to shift to a more precise campaign, reported Al Jazeera.

The spokesperson was quoted as saying by the news channel that Israeli forces have now completely dismantled Hamas’s “military framework” in northern Gaza after killing about 8,000 fighters, and will now end major combat operations.

Hamas fighters “without a framework and without commanders” are still present, he continued, and scattered fighting is to be expected, along with rockets sporadically being launched towards Israel.

He said Hamas does not operate in an organised manner in the area.

Meanwhile, the UN’s relief chief on Friday (January 5, 2024)  warned that “Gaza has simply become uninhabitable” and demanded Israeli forces and Palestinian militants start meeting their obligations under international law to protect civilian lives.

“Its people are witnessing daily threats to their very existence – while the world watches on”, warned Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths in a statement, adding that “hope has never been more elusive” amidst deteriorating conditions.

“The humanitarian community has been left with the impossible mission of supporting more than two million people, even as its own staff are being killed and displaced, as communication blackouts continue, as roads are damaged and convoys are shot at, and as commercial supplies vital to survival are almost non-existent.”

Three months on from the horrific 7 October, 2023 attacks, Gaza has become a place of death and despair, he said, with a public health disaster unfolding before our eyes.

‘Famine around the corner’

“Infectious diseases are spreading in overcrowded shelters as sewers spill over. Some 180 Palestinian women are giving birth daily amidst this chaos.  People are facing the highest levels of food insecurity ever recorded. Famine is around the corner,” he said.

But rocket attacks from militants are still raining down on Israel, while more than 120 people are still held hostage in Gaza, he added.

With tensions in the West Bank at boiling point, and “the spectre of further regional spillover of the war” looming, Griffiths said that the war must end, “not just for the people of Gaza and its threatened neighbours, but for the generations to come who will never forget these 90 days of hell and of assaults on the most basic precepts of humanity”.

He concluded with a call for the international community to use all influence possible to end the fighting, meet civilians’ essential needs, and secure the release of all hostages.