Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for Israel to immediately halt its attacks on Gaza, stating that the Israeli bombardments are targeting civilians and exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in the region. In a message posted on his social media account, Erdogan urged Palestine supporters to join him for a rally in Istanbul to show solidarity with the Palestinian people against Israeli oppression.
The call comes after Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced an expansion of its ground operations against Hamas in Gaza, accompanied by intensified aerial bombardment. The escalating violence has resulted in the largest telecommunications provider in Gaza, Paltel, severing all communications and Internet services due to massive airstrikes.
Erdogan’s demand for an end to the attacks on Gaza reflects growing international concern over the worsening situation in the region. Multiple media outlets also reported a message from Hamas, claiming to have successfully thwarted an attempted ground operation by Israeli forces and inflicting heavy losses on the Israeli military. However, the IDF refuted these claims, stating that no soldiers were injured in the expanded ground operation. IDF spokesperson reiterated that infantry, armored, engineering, and artillery forces along with heavy air cover are still actively engaged in the fighting in Gaza.
This recent escalation follows an initial surprise attack by Hamas on Israel three weeks ago, resulting in the loss of over 1,400 lives and the capture of numerous hostages. Israel responded with a wave of airstrikes on Gaza, resulting in over 7,000 casualties.
Since then, Israel has pledged to “obliterate” the Palestinian militant group, warning of an upcoming incursion into Gaza. However, internal tensions between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the military have reportedly arisen over the decision to launch a ground operation. According to a New York Times report, Netanyahu declined to approve a finalized invasion plan proposed by the IDF. The fate of the hostages and the possibility of successful negotiations mediated by Qatar were among the concerns contributing to this discord.
The situation in the Middle East is becoming increasingly dire, with lives being lost, infrastructure being destroyed, and the humanitarian crisis worsening day by day. International pressure is mounting on both Israel and Palestine to de-escalate the conflict and engage in meaningful dialogue to find a peaceful solution. It remains to be seen how the international community will respond to the calls for action and whether a diplomatic breakthrough can be achieved to bring an end to the violence and suffering inflicted on the people of Gaza.