Israel-Palestine War Day 87: Pope Francis’ message, Israel’s attack in Gaza, Netanyahu’s comment; 10 updates

Israeli operations in central Gaza killed at least 35 lives on December 31. Check 10 updates on the Israel-Palestine war.

Written By Sounak Mukhopadhyay
First Published1 Jan 2024
A woman addresses pro-Palestinian demonstrators during a protest in Boston, Massachusetts on December 31, 2023. Israeli strikes pounded Gaza on December 31 as both sides near the end of a dark year and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the war sparked by Hamas's October 7 attack will last for 'many months'. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP)
A woman addresses pro-Palestinian demonstrators during a protest in Boston, Massachusetts on December 31, 2023. Israeli strikes pounded Gaza on December 31 as both sides near the end of a dark year and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the war sparked by Hamas’s October 7 attack will last for ’many months’. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP)(Joseph Prezioso / AFP)

Here are the top 10 updates on the Israel-Palestine war:

Pope Francis prays for Israel-Palestine

At the Vatican, Pope Francis remembered 2023 as a year filled with the pain of war. The pontiff prayed for the “tormented” people of Ukraine, Palestine, Israel, Sudan and others.

Also Read: Israel-Iran Tensions Rise as Israeli Forces Trade Fire With Militias in Syria, Lebanon

“At the end of the year, we will have the courage to ask ourselves how many human lives have been shattered by armed conflict, how many dead and how much destruction, how much suffering, how much poverty,” he said.

Hamas launches rockets

At the onset of 2024, Hamas launched over 20 rockets towards southern and central Israel, causing alarm as the new year began. Sirens had been heard across various cities including Ashdod, and Sderot, as well as in Rehovot, Ness Ziona, Holon, Lod, and Modiin. There have been no injuries reported.

Israel attacks central Gaza

Israeli operations in central Gaza killed at least 35 lives on December 31, according to local hospital authorities. The conflict continues to escalate within the small territory. Air strikes hit central Gaza, destroyed a house and killed 10 people. Many others left for Rafah, near the Egyptian border, as Israeli tanks fought with Hamas fighters.

Netanyahu says war to continue

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the war will continue for “many more months”. His promise to take back control over the border with Egypt also brings up fresh doubts about the possibility of a two-state solution in the future.

Israel FM asks settlers to return

Israel Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has asked Jewish settlers to the Gaza Strip after the war and encouraged Palestinians there to move away. Smotrich has said that, to keep the area safe, Israel needs to be in charge.

Former Israel minister says sorry

A former Israeli minister, Galit Distel Atbaryan, apologised for her part in the country's arguments before the violence started on October 7. She suggested that arguments among Israelis might have looked like a weakness, which led to Hamas’ attack.

Also Read: The Palestinian cause has been damaged by factionalism, argues a former prime minister

"I sinned against you, I caused pain for you, I caused you to fear for your lives here, and I am sorry for this," she said.

Hostage returns to Israel

Itay Regev, 18, met his sister Maya Regev, 21, at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, Israel. He just got back to Israel after being held by Hamas in Gaza. Maya, who was also held in Gaza, got out a few days before Itay.

Israel to release reservists

The Israeli military plans to send home some reservists called up for duty in Gaza. They say this will help the economy as the country gets ready for more conflict. "Some of the reservist soldiers will return to their families and their jobs already this week," military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari stated.

Jama Masjid Shahi Imam comments

Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid, says that the Muslim world has “not lived up to its responsibilities” on the Israel-Palestine issue. He has also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use India's influence to help stop the conflict with Israel.

PM Modi on resolving conflicts

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India believes "honest dialogue and sincere diplomacy" are the best ways to settle conflicts without fear or force. “Be it in Ukraine or in Gaza, our approach has been guided by this belief. We cannot let terrorists or violence set the agenda," PM Modi told India Today.

(With agency inputs)

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HomeNewsworldIsrael-Palestine War Day 87: Pope Francis’ message, Israel’s attack in Gaza, Netanyahu’s comment; 10 updates

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