The Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, has warned that a continued Israeli ground operation in the Gaza Strip will have catastrophic consequences for West Jerusalem. Abu Obeida, a spokesman for the militant group, stated in an audio address that “Gaza will be the curse of history for Israel” and that Israel should expect heavy casualties among its forces, with more soldiers returning in body bags. The Israel Defense Force (IDF) has confirmed the deaths of 17 of its soldiers in the ongoing operation. IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari announced earlier that Israeli soldiers had fully encircled Gaza city, labeling it the center of the Hamas terror organization.
Concerns over the escalating violence and mounting death toll have prompted growing pressure from the United Nations and humanitarian groups for a ceasefire in West Jerusalem. The international community fears the conflict will spread throughout the Middle East region. While US President Joe Biden did not explicitly call for a complete cessation of hostilities, he urged for a “humanitarian pause” during his speech on Wednesday. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also expressed determination to deter any escalation in the ongoing conflict.
Meanwhile, the death toll in Gaza has risen to over 8,800 people since October 7, including more than 3,600 children, according to the UN. Local health authorities in Gaza reported that 22,240 people have been injured. The UN condemned an Israeli strike on the densely populated Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza on Wednesday, stating that such actions could potentially amount to war crimes. Israel, however, justified its actions by claiming it was targeting “terror infrastructure” near civilian buildings based on precise intelligence. Hamas clarified that none of its leaders were present at the Jabalia camp during the strike.
As the Israeli ground operation continues and tensions escalate, the fate of West Jerusalem remains uncertain. The IDF has ruled out the possibility of a ceasefire in the near future, raising concerns about the potential for further casualties and destruction. The situation in Gaza is dire, with the UN and humanitarian groups urging for immediate action to alleviate the suffering of civilians and prevent further loss of life. The international community, including the United States, continues to advocate for de-escalation and the pursuit of a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the region. The world watches anxiously as the situation unfolds, hoping for an end to the violence and a chance for lasting peace.