Israel’s Strike on Gaza ‘Has Been Delayed Until Next Week Because of Bad Weather, With New Rules Making It Easier for IDF Troops to Shoot Enemies’ in Invasion That Could Last 18 MONTHS
By Harriet Alexander
Israel intended to invade Gaza this weekend but was delayed due to bad weather, which would have limited air support, according to a report Troops will be operating under new rules, The New York Times reported, which allow soldiers to make fewer checks before shooting at suspects One security adviser to the Israeli government said some are advocating for an 18-month campaign of going door-to-door in Gaza, rooting out Hamas.
Israel’s troops have been given more freedom to shoot at potential enemies in Gaza, according to a report, and could be ordered to spend 18 months in the enclave going door-to-door to root out Hamas.
A Hamas officer told The New York Times they intended to ambush the Israeli troops from behind once they entered Gaza, jumping out of hidden tunnels Senior Israeli officials told the paper that the ground invasion was due to have begun already, but has been delayed due to bad weather preventing aerial cover.
The delay has given Palestinians living in the densely-populated enclave more time to flee.
Israel Defense Forces said they will only commence ‘significant military operations’ in Gaza once all civilians have evacuated, a spokesperson told CNN.
‘It’s really important that people in Gaza know we’ve been very, very generous with the time. We have given ample warning, more than 25 hours,’ said Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus.
‘I cannot stress more than enough to say now is the time for Gazans to leave.
‘Take your belongings, go south. Preserve your life, and do not fall into the trap that Hamas is setting up for you.’.
But they have nowhere to go: on Saturday, photos emerged showing Egyptian forces blockading the border crossing into Egypt with concrete slabs.
Gazans who journeyed to the Rafah crossing, told that they would be allowed to escape Gaza and cross into Egypt, were left frustrated on Saturday. One woman told CNN she had been instructed to wait by the gates, as they could open at any time.
U.S. diplomats were frantically trying to convince Egypt to let U.S. citizens out of the enclave, and rumors abounded that foreign passport-holders would be allowed out.
But Egypt remains wary about having a permanent population of displaced people on their territory, and are worried about the destabilizing effects on their own country, which is in severe economic crisis.
On Thursday, Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, said Gazans must ‘stay steadfast and remain on their land.’
The king of Jordan, King Abdullah II, warned Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, on Friday in a meeting in Amman that there should be no attempt to forcibly remove Palestinians.
His wife, Queen Rania, was born in Kuwait to Palestinian refugee parents, and was raised in the West Bank.
Thousands of Palestinians have fled south since the order was given, anticipating an Israeli ground invasion any day now.
Israel has amassed a massive fighting force on the Gaza border, including hundreds of thousands of IDF reservists.
Since Hamas – which controls Gaza – launched its terror attack on October 7, killing 1,300 Israelis, about 2,215 people have been killed in Gaza and more than 8,714 have been injured, according to Palestinian officials.
More Palestinians have been killed so far in 2023 than in 2014, when more than 2,000 were killed in a 50-day war.
Martin Griffiths, the United Nations humanitarian chief, said that he fears ‘that the worst is yet to come,’ and warned that the humanitarian situation in Gaza ‘is fast becoming untenable.’
The statement added that ‘the past week has been a test for humanity, and humanity is failing.’