New Round of Escalations in the Gaza Strip
On Sunday, Nov. 11th ISF carried out a military operation in the Gaza Strip targeting a militant group in the Khan Yunis area, which resulted in seven militant fighters being killed. As armed clashes reportedly broke out, one ISF personnel was killed while another was injured.
This incident caused the worst surge of violence since the 2014 war, where Israel has launched more airstrikes on Gaza as Hamas’ militants kept up rocket fire on Israeli territory. ISF launched an airstrike in the same area that resulted in an unspecified number of injuries as a building was hit. In response to the incident, Gaza-based militants launched a Mortar Shell attack in Eshkol Regional Council West of Beersheba that hit a military convoy and resulted in one ISF personnel being injured.
ISF said its raids targeted training compounds as well as weapons manufacturing facilities and storage warehouses that supposedly contain thousands of rockets. The air force also targeted one car that the army said was being used by militants to launch rockets at southern Israel from the Strip. One Hamas operative was reportedly killed in the airstrike. Unconfirmed reports claimed he was the relative of a senior Hamas commander.
This series of events led to the eruption of a new round of escalations between militants in the Gaza Strip and ISF during which nearly 500 projectiles were fired towards Israeli controlled areas and over 100 airstrikes were carried out within the Gaza Strip. Reports indicated that one Israeli was killed in Ashkelon, as well as five Palestinians were killed in different areas of the strip.
This escalation threatens to derail Egyptian-UN mediated efforts to reach a long-term ceasefire agreement between Hamas and the Israeli government. It’s unclear for now whether or not tensions have ceased.
Since the situation risks of escalating further, NGOs and other international organizations have stopped conducting their operations in the Gaza Strip and banned their employees from any entry to the enclave, until further notice.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his security cabinet to discuss Israel's next moves and the military said it had sent infantry and armored reinforcements to the Gaza frontier.
A Palestinian official said Egypt and the United Nations had stepped up efforts with Palestinian factions and Israel to end the current round of fighting "and prevent further escalation".