1706114549 Israel War Updates Officials Say Hamas Will Never Recognize Israel

Israel War Updates: Officials Say Hamas Will Never Recognize Israel – USA TODAY

Israel War Updates Officials Say Hamas Will Never Recognize Israelplay

Southern Israel remains resilient despite attacks

At least two dozen rockets were fired by Palestinian militants last week at the Israeli town of Netivot, about six miles from the Gaza border.

The militant massacre of Israelis on October 7 revived the dream of a Palestinian state, which includes the current state of Israel, a senior Hamas official says.

Khaled Mashaal, in a widely watched Kuwaiti podcast on Wednesday, rejected any two-state solution, rejected recognition of the Israeli state and said there was “almost a consensus” among Palestinians that their state extends from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean should extend. This would include the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and all of Israel.

Mashaal, a Qatar-based billionaire, said the 17-year rule in Gaza had allowed Hamas to build military strength unhindered by Israel. And he expressed no remorse for the thousands of deaths and devastation the militant attack caused across Gaza.

“There was no freedom in Gaza,” Mashaal said, as translated by The Times of Israel. “There seemed to be stability, but life was not good. “Palestinians are not interested in improving their lives under the occupation.”

President Biden's abortion demonstration is disruptive through repeated protests against Gaza


∎ Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on all Muslim countries to cut off all political and economic contact with Israel, saying militants fighting in Gaza would win the war “in the not too distant future.”

∎ The foreign minister of Jordan, which borders and recognizes Israel, accused Israel of “mocking” international law. “Israel must be held accountable for its actions, its war crimes and its prevention of peace,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told a U.N. meeting on the war.

Netanyahu says no to a Palestinian state will not give in to the “Hamas monsters”: updates

Israeli ground forces have surrounded the southern town of Khan Younis, Gaza's second-largest city, the military said on Wednesday. Thousands of Palestinians had to flee further south and the destruction was great. Two Israeli tank shells hit a youth center housing 800 people, setting it on fire and causing “mass casualties,” U.N. refugee agency director Thomas White said on social media. At least nine people were killed and 75 injured, he said.

There was also heavy fighting around the region's two largest hospitals. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service, the fourth floor of Al Amal Hospital was hit by shells, killing one person and injuring 10 others.

Pressure on the Israeli government to negotiate a hostage deal increased on Wednesday, just days after Palestinian militants killed 21 soldiers in the deadliest single attack on Israeli forces since the war began. However, senior Egyptian officials were quoted by multiple news outlets as saying that Hamas had rejected a two-month ceasefire proposed by Israel that would release the more than 130 hostages held by militants and thousands of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. The deal would also have allowed Hamas leaders in Gaza to relocate to other countries.

An Egyptian official who was not authorized to brief the media and spoke on condition of anonymity told the Associated Press that Hamas was insisting that no more hostages would be released until Israel ends its offensive and withdraws from Gaza. However, the Wall Street Journal said Hamas leaders had expressed willingness to discuss releasing some prisoners in exchange for a longer pause in fighting.

Israeli soldiers were preparing to demolish two buildings outside the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza when a militant fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a tank nearby, the military said. The explosion set off the explosives and caused the buildings to collapse on the soldiers.

Israeli media said troops were working to create an informal buffer zone along the border to prevent militants from attacking Israeli communities near Gaza. Military spokesman Daniel Hagari said the mission was to clear buildings to “create the conditions” that would allow southern residents to return to their homes.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mourned the Israeli soldiers and vowed to press on until “absolute victory,” including dismantling Hamas and releasing more hostages.

Contribution: The Associated Press