The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have announced the dismantling of an extensive Hamas tunnel network under the Gaza Strip, destroying over 130 tunnel shafts with the efforts of combat engineers. Simultaneously, air strikes have reportedly eliminated a significant Hamas figure responsible for weapons manufacturing, Mahsein Abu Zina.
IDF's focus has been on neutralizing subterranean systems believed to facilitate militant activities, including a tunnel adjacent to a school run by UNRWA. Operations also led to the capture of a Hamas training camp, uncovering a potential staging ground for attacks.
Despite facing staunch resistance from Hamas fighters, the IDF remains committed to its mission, resulting in at least 33 Israeli soldiers killed in action. Amidst the conflict, mediated talks led by Qatar, home to several Hamas leaders, aim to negotiate a humanitarian pause.
These discussions follow a devastating surprise attack by Hamas on October 7, resulting in at least 1,400 dead Israelis, mostly civilians. According to Palestinian officials, around 11,000 people have been killed in Gaza.
Israeli military actions continue as part of its broader assault on Gaza, impacting the population significantly, including a high number of child fatalities.
As international efforts for a ceasefire gain momentum, with input from the United States and G7 nations emphasizing the humanitarian crisis, President Joe Biden and G7 foreign ministers have called for a halt to the hostilities.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledges the humanitarian concerns but insists that a ceasefire could enable Hamas to reinforce its capabilities. The situation remains tense, with the potential for a brief cessation of operations in exchange for the release of hostages held by Hamas.