22,000 Dead in Gaza as Israel Intensifies Its Campaign Against Hamas

(NationalUSNews.com) — The Israel-Hamas conflict’s death toll recently surpassed 22,000 casualties, following Israel’s offensive operations throughout Hamas territory. One of the areas directly involved in recent clashes between Israel’s Security Defense Force and Hamas is the city of Khan Younis, where Israeli forces attacked a compound, resulting in five deaths. Despite Israel’s ongoing operations in Hamas territory, Israeli troops are beginning a “drawdown” of military forces, decreasing Israel’s military presence in Gaza. Israel’s drawdown isn’t providing much relief to civilians in Gaza, however, as the ongoing war has displaced many Palestinians and caused immeasurable damage to both sides.

Some foreign officials fear the war between Israel and Hamas could escalate due to Israel’s involvement in a military strike within another country. The strike occurred in Lebanon when an Israeli drone attack killed a senior official connected to Hamas in Beirut. The strike resulted in Saleh al-Arouri’s death and could result in direct conflict with Hezbollah, a militant group located in Beirut. Hezbollah’s leader, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, promised a retaliatory strike against Israel following the attack on al-Arouri. Saleh al-Arouri is the most prominent member of Hamas’ leadership killed since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

The drone strike hit an apartment building within Beirut, which Hezbollah used as a stronghold. Many foreign intelligence officials believe the strike will escalate the conflict between Israel and Lebanon, which hasn’t included direct fighting so far. Israel and Lebanon have exchanged gunfire during Israel’s conflict with Hamas, but Lebanon hasn’t conducted any military operations within Israel’s territory. Hasan Nasrallah’s warning of a retaliatory strike indicates Lebanon is becoming more involved moving forward.

Despite Saleh al-Arouri’s death, Israeli officials claim the war is far from over. According to Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Israeli officials are planning for a prolonged conflict against Hamas due to the slow progress of dismantling Hamas forces. Gallant claims that a quick victory won’t occur and that Israel cannot peacefully live within the Middle East without a victory over Hamas.

Israel is also involved with an international justice court after South Africa requested a temporary cessation of Israel’s military operations in the Gaza region. South African officials claim Israel’s actions in Gaza are a “genocide,” a claim that Israel vehemently denies. Israeli officials addressed the accusation, claiming the United Nations is biased against them and confirming their intention to defend themselves from other nations criticizing their military efforts against Hamas.

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