Israel declared control of western Gaza City

The Israeli army said it had taken control of the western Gaza City area and was moving to the next phase in its campaign to deal with Hamas in Gaza.

“We have taken control and ensured safety in the western Gaza City area and are moving to the next phase of the campaign,” Israeli news agency Ynet quoted Defense Minister Yoav Gallant as saying on November 16. “The deeper we go, the more pressure Hamas is under. This will help increase the chances of the hostages returning.”

Mr. Gallant added that “the Israeli army discovered a large amount of supplies during the operation at al-Shifa hospital” but declined to elaborate.

Commander of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Herzi Halevi, on the same day soldiers visited fighting in the Gaza Strip. Mr. Halevi stated that the IDF “has come quite close to destroying the Hamas military system in the northern Gaza Strip” and will continue to hunt down and take down Hamas members.

Hamas has not commented on the information.

Israel, at the end of October, stepped up its offensive campaign in the Gaza Strip in response to the October 7 raid carried out by Hamas. Israeli soldiers then announced “divide Gaza,” surrounded and marched into Gaza City, the largest city in the region. On November 14, the IDF announced the occupation of many buildings of the Hamas government, among them the legislature, government complex and police headquarters of Hamas.

IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said Israel recently continued to raid Hamas‘s underground infrastructure and said the force was trying to hide the damage.

Iran’s Quds Task Force Commander Esmail Ghaani, on November 16, sent a letter to Hamas’s armed wing commander Mohammed Deif, declaring that this country and its allies “will fulfill all their obligations in the historic battle,” Do not let Israel achieve its goal of destroying Hamas. However, Mr. Ghaani did not mention whether Tehran participated in the war to support Hamas or not.

The war between Israel and Hamas has left more than 12,600 people dead and more than 34,000 injured as of November 16. Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in Gaza, with a population of about 2.3 million people, is deteriorating as water, essential food and fuel become scarce.