#ISRAELHAMASWAR. Gaza City blocked, urban fighting begins. High tension on the Lebanese border

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According to the Axios newspaper: The American Defense Secretary expressed his concern about the escalation of tension on the border with Lebanon in an appeal to his Israeli counterpart: “Austin asked Gallant for clarification regarding the Israeli air strikes in Lebanon.” According to Axios, citing an Israeli source: Austin called on Israel to avoid steps that could lead to an all-out war between Israel and Hezbollah. And Gallant informed Austin that Israeli policy requires not opening a second front in Lebanon.

The Biden Administration’s budget package, totaling about $106 billion in additional emergency funding, includes a $1.2 billion investment in Israel’s Iron Beam directed-energy weapons system, which the military American could consider it as an alternative laser weapon for its own needs. The Iron Beam system uses a high-powered laser beam as lethal force and is designed to destroy artillery shells, artillery mines, and short-range missiles too small to be effectively intercepted by the Iron Dome. Furthermore, the system will be able to destroy small UAVs.

Unconfirmed reports emerge of English-speaking troops inside Gaza. Which would not be surprising because many of the reservists lived before the call between Israel and the United States. Germany opposes immediate ceasefire in Gaza. German Prime Minister Olaf Sholz has said he is against an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and calls for a ceasefire have increased due to the catastrophic situation in the Gaza Strip. He said: “I freely admit that I do not believe that calls for an immediate ceasefire or a long pause are correct, because ultimately this will mean that Israel will allow Hamas to rebuild and acquire new missiles.”

The American human rights organization Center for Constitutional Rights has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Biden Administration, accusing it of complicity in the genocide of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Reuters reported on the suspension of negotiations between Hamas and Israel on the release of hostages due to the situation around Al-Shifa hospital. Previously it became known that representatives of the group and the Jewish state discussed the possible release of 80 prisoners in exchange for the release of Palestinian women and teenagers from prisons by Tel Aviv. November 14 Sources from Qatar say that some hostages could be released in a few days.

The Israeli Ministry of Defense announced the signing of a “historic agreement” on the sale of the David’s Sling missile defense system to Finland for 317 million euros

As of November 12, WHO no longer has contact with its coordinators at the Al-Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip. Previously it became known that the clinic’s electricity supply had been completely cut off and that the Israeli Air Force had carried out massive bombing in its surroundings. The WHO recorded 137 attacks on medical facilities in the Gaza Strip during 36 days of escalating situation in the Middle East. As a result, 521 people would have died.

According to Human Rights Watch: “Israel” does not allow water and fuel to enter Gaza and collective punishment constitutes a war crime. As of October 7, 2023, the total death toll in the Gaza Strip has risen to 11 thousand people. These data were provided by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs with reference to the enclave’s Ministry of Health. According to the department, approximately 2,700 additional citizens are missing, including approximately 1,500 minors. 27,490 Palestinians were injured in Israeli attacks. However, there would be 735 IDF war victims up to November 13th.

The Palestinian Red Crescent has announced the cessation of work at the Al-Quds hospital in the northern Gaza Strip due to lack of fuel and electricity.

European Union Security and Foreign Affairs Commissioner Josep Borrell said: “Hezbollah has warned us against an escalation with Israel.”

China’s Foreign Ministry said: “We call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and make every effort to protect civilians and alleviate the humanitarian crisis.”

Starting November 12, Russia began evacuating its citizens from the Gaza Strip. “Today [November 13, ed.] 99 people crossed the checkpoint: 26 men, 30 women and 43 children,” the press service reported. Russian citizens crossed the Rafah checkpoint and are already in Egypt, handed over to the Ministry for Emergency Situations. More than a thousand people are on the list to be evacuated from the Gaza Strip. Of these, 300 are minors, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Everyone was in Moscow on November 14th. Within a week all 1000 should arrive in Russia.

Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi said the future belongs to the resistance and the Palestinian nation. He said it from Riyadh. “We have to face Israel and the only solution is resistance. We should pay attention to Israel’s nuclear program.” “We are undergoing a divine test, and if today’s leaders’ meeting fails to find a solution, it could increase people’s desperation for governments to start acting alone.” “The future belongs to the resistance and the Palestinian people, and they are the true heroes, and the victory is theirs.” “We kiss the hands of the heroes of Hamas. The Islamic Republic of Iran has considered the Israelis to be a false and illegal occupation entity from the beginning.”

IRGC Air Force Commander General Amir Ali Hajizadeh: “The Palestinian resistance is preparing for a long-term war and awaits the start of a ground conflict, and now the conditions are ripe for that. According to our intelligence, conditions for Hamas and Islamic Jihad are good. The conflict between Israel and Hamas has already expanded beyond the Gaza Strip, extending to Lebanon, and will continue to expand further,” Hajizadeh commented.

Bejanim Netanyahu addressed the leaders of the Arab countries: “If you want to stay in power, stay silent.” On November 12th he also declared. “This is a battle of civilization against barbarism, and if we don’t win here… Europe will be next. You will be next.” The Israeli Defense Minister said: “Hezbollah is close to a grave mistake. Beirut could find itself in the same situation as Gaza due to Hezbollah’s mistake.”

The question of internal disagreements within the current Israeli government is beginning to emerge. The vast majority, including senior military officials, are calling for a harsh and painful response against Hezbollah, Benjamin Netanyahu opposes it and Itamar Ben Gvir threatens immediate resignation. Netanyahu also declared that Israel will restore security in the north and, before that, defeat Hamas.

In any case, the Israeli army will remain in the Gaza Strip as long as necessary; Tel Aviv will not give up control of security in the enclave, Benjamin Netanyahu said. He has assured that he will oppose the transfer of Gaza under the control of the Palestinian National Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas, who has not yet condemned the actions of the Hamas movement. Netanyahu also underlined that he does not believe it is possible to resume Jewish settlement activity in the sector, which was interrupted in 2005. According to the head of the cabinet, we are fighting for “control of security in the Gaza Strip and the demilitarization of the enclave”.

We learn from the media that Benny Gantz, during closed-door talks, opposed calls to replace Netanyahu and said that now is not the time for that. Gantz declared to the press: “I say to our enemies of the south and the north: your day has come.”

Abu Obeida, military representative of the Qassam battalions said on November 11: “Our mujahideen are waging intense battles and destroying enemy equipment in all directions and at enemy advance points in the Gaza Strip.”

The Popular Front declared: “We ask the masses of our people to turn every Friday into a day of open confrontation with the enemy (…) We ask to turn the entire West Bank into a fiery and exhausting battlefield for the Zionist enemy to ease the burden on Gaza” And again “We call for the intensification of continuous attacks by occupying soldiers and settlers in all areas of the West Bank”.

And according to the Israeli Channel 12 again on November 11th: “Tonight is worse than October 7th, as there are dozens of dead Israeli soldiers in the streets of Gaza. According to the Israeli media: since November 11th it has become clear that Hezbollah is the one who decides who will live and who will die on the northern border.

The wife of Israeli President Michal Herzog says she has lost contact with her son, who joined ground forces invading the Gaza Strip.

More than 1 million civilians have been able to evacuate since the start of the ground operation from the northern Gaza Strip, Israel Defense Forces spokesman Peter Lerner said. An opinion poll conducted by the Israeli channel Kan found that a quarter of a million settlers have left to Israel since October 7, and nearly a million people have been displaced within it from one settlement to another.

Pro-Palestine demonstrations continue around the world, one of the latest notable ones being in Sydney’s Central Park. A considerable number of both members of the Muslim community and descendants of European settlers took part. In the main park of the Australian metropolis, representatives of public bodies and associations addressed the protesters. They strongly condemned the actions of the Israeli government in the context of the situation in the Middle East.

According to a US official on NBC: “A possible hostage exchange deal between Hamas and Israel could include the release of approximately 80 women and children who are hostages in exchange for the release of women and boys from Israeli prisons.”

A Turkish ship carrying aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip has arrived at the port of Al-Arish, near the Egyptian border crossing of Rafah. With almost 500 tons of medical equipment and medicines. The Palestinian Prime Minister asks the UN and EU to open other corridors for the delivery of aid to Gaza and not limit it to the Rafah crossing.

Jordan delivered humanitarian aid to a field hospital in the Amman-controlled Gaza Strip. This is the second such operation recently, the Times of Israel reported, citing the military.

And now a look at the front between Israel and Hamas updated at 4:00 pm on November 14th.

The operation to cover and block Gaza City from all sides has been completed, and the next phase has begun: taking the dense urban development.

Israeli units cut off the city not only from the south, but also from the west, the current IDF offensive is developing from the coastal strip deep into the urban area. Partial control over the areas of Al-Sheikh Ijlin, Ar-Rimal (both), Al-Shati camp.

Despite Israeli statements about the complete military collapse of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources confirm the encirclement of Al-Hilu hospital, fighting in the areas of Ar-Rimal, An-Nasr and Al-Sheikh Ijlin.

At one of the sites, the IDF managed to enter a residential building, occupying the Square of the Unknown Soldier and the nearby Legislative Assembly buildings, and then advanced towards Al-Wafa Hospital. Palestinians report sounds of fighting in the area of Yarmouk Stadium and the Gaza Municipal Garden.

Despite the “military collapse of Hamas,” Palestinian forces continue to launch raids and attack attacking units, as well as bomb Israeli cities. Then two missiles managed to pass the Iron Dome barrage on Ashkelon. Two victims suffered minor injuries and two others required medical attention due to shock. The injured were taken to Barzilai hospital.

Israeli units continue to guard the humanitarian corridor in the area of the Salah ed-Din highway, suspending attacks on the areas of the Old City, At-Tuffah and Al-Judaida for a couple of hours a day. When time runs out, non-humanitarian strikes resume in the areas.

Overall efforts are focused on winning public relations and informational and psychological pressure on the Palestinians.

In the northern sector, fighting continues in Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia, which are not yet under IDF control. It is likely that at the moment the IDF is not yet tasked with engaging in urban battles in densely built-up areas in this direction. Militants regularly attack Israelis, but in general the intensity of fighting in the north is significantly lower than in western Gaza.

At the same time, the situation on the Israeli-Lebanese border has significantly worsened: Hezbollah attacks are occurring more and more often and are no longer targeting only border settlements, but also deep into the country. Meanwhile, some Israeli politicians and security officials regularly speak of the inevitability of increased hostilities in the north.

In the Israeli segment of the network, footage of IDF reinforcements moving towards the Lebanese border was distributed. However, it is extremely unlikely that the fighting in the north will turn into real land clashes between the parties in the coming days.

The IDF completed its operation to blockade Gaza City, advancing along the Ar-Rashid coastal highway to the north and advancing along the Wadi Gaza valley to the south of the city.

In a context of ongoing bombing and fighting, the Israelis open humanitarian corridors daily along the main Ar-Rashid and Salah ed-Din highways. In this way, the population is expelled from the capital of the enclave and the IDF abdicates responsibility for the death of civilians, pointing to the possibility of salvation.

Despite the events in the Gaza Strip, routine raids by Israeli security forces continue in another enclave: the West Bank.

Even pro-Iranian groups from other territories are not standing aside. Then the Yemeni Houthis again tried to attack Israel with missiles and drones. But the launched projectiles were shot down by Saudi Arabia’s air defense systems over the Red Sea. Strikes were launched from Syria on Saturday on the southern part of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The Israel Defense Forces carried out attacks on Syrian settlements in Daraa province. The positions of the 175th Artillery Regiment in the center of the province were also hit.

Antonio Albanese e Graziella Giangiulio

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