Russia warned that the battle may extend beyond the Middle East, as Israel attacked the Gaza Strip in preparation for what it claims is a land invasion intended to destroy the Palestinian militant organisation Hamas.
As the number of civilian casualties increased, people in besieged Gaza buried their dead in mass graves and humanitarian supplies were critically short due to the inability of international powers to agree on a truce to transfer help.
The military stated that ground forces struck several sites in the Hamas-ruled enclave on Thursday before withdrawing, in what Army Radio described as the greatest incursion of the current battle. This was a sign that Israel was expanding its assaults into Gaza, which started over the weekend.
In statements on Wednesday that looked beyond the conflict, US President Joe Biden stated that Israeli and Palestinian governments should coexist in the future.
During a joint news conference in Washington with visiting Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Biden stated, “Israelis and Palestinians equally deserve to live side by side in safety, dignity, and in peace.”
Biden stated he thought that one of the goals of the October 7 attack by the Iranian-backed Hamas in southern Israel, which resulted in at least 1,400 deaths and several captives, was to keep Israel and Saudi Arabia from normalising their ties.
Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, stated that it was unfair that innocent women, children, and the elderly in Gaza were being punished for the actions of others, and he warned that the conflict may extend beyond the Middle East.
According to a Kremlin translation, Putin stated, “Our task today, our main task, is to stop the bloodshed and violence,” during a meeting with religious leaders from several Russian religions.
The Wall Street Journal revealed that Israel has decided to postpone its invasion of Gaza until American air defence systems can be deployed in the area, maybe as early as this week, in order to defend American personnel. This move reflects worries that the conflict in Gaza may expand.
When questioned about the claim, American sources told Reuters that Washington has expressed to Israel its fears that Iran and Islamist organisations with Iranian backing would strike American forces in the Middle East, escalating the conflict. They stated that Iranian proxies may be triggered by an Israeli attack into Gaza.
Beyond the Palestinian borders, strife has already been started by the Gaza war. In retaliation for rockets fired by Iran-ally Syria, Israeli aeroplanes attacked facilities belonging to the Syrian army on Wednesday. Israel has also attacked Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is supported by Iran, and the Aleppo airport in Syria.
Israel prepares for ground invasion
The longtime nemesis of Israel, Iran, supports Hamas and other armed organisations in Syria, Lebanon, and other countries. Iran has long wanted regional dominance. It has issued a warning to Israel to halt its assault on Gaza.
Israel has promised to overthrow Gaza’s controllers, Hamas.
In a live broadcast, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that his country was “preparing for a ground invasion. I will not elaborate on when, how or how many.”
On the Gaza border, Israeli tanks and soldiers are gathered and waiting for instructions. 360,000 reservists have been called up by Israel.