Israel-Gaza War Day 80: ‘We don’t have peace on Earth,’ Benjamin Netanyahu tells world in Christmas message| 10 Updates

Israel Gaza War Day 80: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Gaza war was exacting a 'very heavy price' as the toll of soldiers killed in fighting with Hamas mounted.

Livemint
First Published25 Dec 2023
TOPSHOT - A picture taken from Rafah shows smoke billowing over Khan Yunis during Israeli bombardment in the southern Gaza Strip on December 24, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP)
TOPSHOT - A picture taken from Rafah shows smoke billowing over Khan Yunis during Israeli bombardment in the southern Gaza Strip on December 24, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP)(AFP)

Israel-Gaza War Day 80: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday conveyed a Christmas message to the global Christian community, emphasizing that Israel still grapples with the absence of lasting peace.

Here are the top ten updates on the Israel-Gaza war:

1. “To our Christian friends around the world, Merry Christmas,” Netanyahu said, adding, “Christmas is supposed to be a time of goodwill to all men and peace on Earth. Well, we don't have peace on Earth, not in our part anyway, and we certainly don't see goodwill to all men. We're facing monsters," he explained, “monsters who murdered children in front of their parents and parents in front of their children, who raped and beheaded women, who burned babies alive, who took babies, hostages,” Netanyahu added as reported by ANI.

Also Read: Israel-Hamas, Russia-Ukraine, Myanmar strife- Wars the world is carrying into 2024

2. Reuters reported that the military said on Sunday that five Israeli hostages, who had been killed while in Hamas captivity, were recovered from an underground tunnel network in the northern Gaza Strip. The announcement included footage depicting a white-tiled bathroom and workroom connected by dark concrete-lined passages.

3. The publication left open the question of how they had died, with chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari saying post-mortems were pending. “We will brief the families and then, depending on what they approve, the public,” he said.

Also Read: Israel-Hamas war: 'If war ends, then...': Antony Blinken urges nations to demand Hamas surrender

4. An Israeli air strike targeted the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza on Sunday, resulting in the death of 70 individuals, as reported by Palestinian health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra. He expressed concern that the death toll was expected to rise, Reuters reported. “What is happening at the Maghazi camp is a massacre that is being committed on a crowded residential square,” al-Qidra said.

5. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that the Gaza war was exacting a “very heavy price” as the toll of soldiers killed in fighting with Hamas mounted, AFP reported.

Also Read: Israel-Hamas war Day 79: Over 200 killed in Gaza in 24 hrs; Biden presses PM Netanyahu to protect civilians. 10 points

6. “This is a difficult morning, after a very difficult day of fighting in Gaza,” Israeli PM said after the army announced 14 soldiers had been killed in the Palestinian territory since Friday. The army announced on Sunday that an additional soldier lost his life, bringing the total to 15 troops killed since Friday and 154 since the commencement of Israel's ground assault on October 27.

7. Widespread discontent is directed at Netanyahu's government for perceived failures in protecting civilians on Oct. 7 and for policies that contributed to Hamas' strengthening over the years. Netanyahu has refrained from acknowledging responsibility for both military and policy shortcomings.

Also Read: 'Pallywood': Disinformation and dehumanization in the Gaza War

8. Efforts for a potential exchange of hostages for Palestinians held by Israel are ongoing. Ziyad al-Nakhalah, the head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, participated in talks in Cairo on Sunday. The group, involved in the Oct. 7 attack, expressed readiness to consider releasing hostages only after a cessation of hostilities. Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas' top leader, had traveled to Cairo for discussions a few days earlier.

9. The Palestinian Red Crescent reported the death of a 13-year-old boy in an Israeli drone attack while he was inside al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, located in an area of Gaza where Israel's military suspects the presence of Hamas leaders, AP reported.

Also Read: Gaza sees 'lethal combination' of hunger, disease amid Israel-Hamas war — 93% starving, over a lakh people sick

10. As per a report by AP, Israel asserts that it has eliminated thousands of Hamas militants, although it has not presented evidence to support this claim. The Israeli military states that it is in the process of dismantling Hamas' extensive tunnel network and targeting senior commanders. This operation is described by leaders as potentially taking months to complete.

(With inputs from agencies)

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