By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 25, Oct 2023, 12:04 pm IST | UPDATED: 25, Oct 2023, 12:04 pm IST
The latest conflict was sparked by unprecedented attacks by Hamas militants on Israel on October 7, killing more than 1,400 people. Israel has responded with a massive counter-offensive against the Islamic terrorist group that has controlled Gaza since 2007. Last week, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant outlined Israel’s plan to change the “security regime” in Gaza-- meaning Hamas’ removal-- and said the plan had three stages.
Gallant said that the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) were in the first stage of the plan, carrying out aerial strikes. The next stage would be a ground incursion, followed by the final stage of changing the security regime in Gaza, he said.
More than 5,000 Palestinians have died so far, including over 2,000 children and 1,100 women, as well as journalists, medical workers and first responders, with more than 16,000 injured, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.
John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in the White House, told reporters that the US would continue to ensure that Israel had the tools and capabilities it needed to defend itself. “We’re going to continue to try to get that humanitarian assistance in, and we’re going to continue to try to get hostages and people out of Gaza appropriately,” he said.
He also said that a ceasefire right now would only benefit Hamas, and that he was not going to speculate on the future. “We have and will continue to talk to our Israeli counterparts about the importance of avoiding and minimizing civilian casualties and respecting innocent life and trying to prevent collateral damage as they go after legitimate Hamas targets,” he added.
He acknowledged that war was brutal and messy, and that innocent civilians would be hurt. “That doesn’t make it right, it doesn’t make it dismissible, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to still express concerns about that and do everything we can to help the Israelis do everything they can to minimize it, but that’s unfortunately the nature of conflict,” he said.