Israel says war in Gaza expected to continue throughout 2024

A Palestinian man runs for cover during an Israeli air strike near the site of a tower building which was destroyed in earlier strikes, amid a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence, in Gaza City May 13, 2021. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

The Israeli military has said it expects the conflict in Gaza to continue throughout 2024.

In a new year’s message, Israel Defence Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari said troop deployments were being adjusted to prepare for “prolonged fighting”.

He said some troops – especially reservists – would be withdrawn to allow them to regroup.

“These adaptations are intended to ensure the planning and preparation for continuing the war in 2024,” he said.

“The IDF must plan ahead out of an understanding that there will be additional missions and the fighting will continue the rest of the year.”

He said that some reservists would leave Gaza “as soon as this week” to allow them to “re-energise ahead of the coming operations”.

Some 21,978 people – mostly women and children – have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. It said 56,697 people in Gaza had been wounded over the same period.

The figures include 156 people killed and 246 injured in the last 24 hours, the ministry added.

The latest war was triggered by an unprecedented cross-border attack by Hamas gunmen on southern Israel on 7 October, in which 1,200 people were killed – most of them civilians – and about 240 others taken hostage.

Israel continued its bombardment of Gaza up until the end of what has been dark year in the region.

At least 48 Palestinians were killed in overnight bombing in Gaza City on Sunday, the health ministry in Gaza said, with many still buried under the rubble.

Another strike killed 20 people sheltering at Al-Aqsa University in the west of Gaza City, witnesses told the AFP news agency. The BBC has not been able to verify the latest reports.

The UN says 85% of Gaza’s 2.4 million people – almost two million – have now been displaced.

“Tonight the sky in world countries will be lit by firecrackers, and joyful laughs will fill the air.

“In Gaza our skies are now filled with Israeli missiles and tank shells that land on innocent, homeless civilians,” Zainab Khalil, 57, a resident from northern Gaza now in Rafah, told Reuters.


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