Military Action Alone Won’t Rescue Gaza Captives – Daniel Hagari

Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari. (Photo: via Al-Jazeera Arabic)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The Israeli army stated on Saturday that the return of all captives in the Gaza Strip cannot be achieved “through military operations.”

Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari mentioned at a news conference, broadcast by Channel 12, that military operations are not enough to return all the captives, the Anadolu news agency reported.

He reportedly added that a team of experts will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident in Rafah, where eight soldiers, including at least one officer, were killed.

Earlier in the day, the army confirmed the killings of the soldiers when an armored vehicle was hit by an explosive device in Tel Sultan camp. 

The Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, announced that they had carried out a “compound ambush” in Rafah targeting Israeli soldiers, resulting in deaths and injuries.

Among the casualties are two combat officers, including the deputy commander of a company in the 401st Armored Brigade’s 601st Combat Engineering Battalion. 

Another officer from the 8th Armored Brigade’s 129th Battalion was killed in an attack that also killed another soldier and seriously injured two others.

‘Tactical Pause’

A few hours after Hagari’s statement, the Israeli army command announced on Sunday a daily “tactical pause of military activity” in certain areas of the southern Gaza Strip during daylight hours to allegedly facilitate aid delivery.

“A local, tactical pause of military activity for humanitarian purposes will take place from 08:00 until 19:00 every day until further notice along the road that leads from the Kerem Shalom Crossing to the Salah al-Din Road and then northwards,” the military said in a statement.

The Salah al-Din Road cuts across Gaza, linking the north to the south, passing through Rafah, and ends at the Salah al-Din Gate, a secondary crossing used for commercial trade between Palestine and Egypt. 

Israeli Army Announces ‘Tactical Pause’ in Rafah – Gaza Crossings Remain Restricted

The Kerem Shalom Crossing, referred to in the announcement, is the Israeli-controlled Karem Abu Salem Crossing, located on the southern end of the fence separating Gaza from Israel. 

This crossing has been pivotal in the Israeli war on Gaza, serving as a checkpoint for aid entering the territory and a military base for forces preparing to invade Rafah.

Israeli National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir, angered by this decision, criticized the move, stating that whoever decided on it is a “fool who should not stay in his position.” 

“Unfortunately, this move was not brought before the cabinet and is contrary to its decisions. It’s time to abandon the (current) security concept and stop the crazy and delusional approach that only brings us more dead and fallen,” he said.

Strategic Move?

Currently, most Israeli military attacks are concentrated in the southwestern region of Rafah, particularly in the Tell al-Sultan neighborhood, which is not included in the tactical pause. 

Less intense attacks have also been launched into the al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City, which is also not part of the pause.

Israeli authorities claim the decision aims to “increase the volumes of humanitarian aid entering the Gaza Strip” following discussions with the United Nations and other entities. 

‘Complex Ambush’ – Israeli Army Acknowledges Killing of Eight Soldiers in Gaza Battles

However, the announcement does not mention the Rafah border crossing, implying that the main gateway into Gaza will remain restricted.

Ongoing Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 37,296 Palestinians have been killed, and 85,197 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(PC, Anadolu)

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