Israel claims Gaza War is projected to last until 2024

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The Israeli military said it expected the conflict in Gaza to continue until 2024.

In his New Year’s message, Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari said troop deployments were being adjusted to prepare for “protracted fighting. ”

He said some soldiers, including reservists, would be withdrawn to regroup.

“These adjustments are intended to ensure planning and preparation for the continuation of the war into 2024,” he said.

“The Israeli army must plan ahead, knowing that there will be additional missions and fighting will continue for the rest of the year.

” He said some reservists will leave Gaza “as early as this week” so they can “recharge their batteries in preparation for future operations.”

According to the Hamas-run Health Ministry, more than 21,800 people have been killed in Gaza – mostly children and women – in 11 weeks of fighting.

The latest war was sparked by an unprecedented cross-border attack by Hamas gunmen into southern Israel on October 7, in which 1,200 people were killed – mostly civilians – and about 240 others. taken hostage Israel continued to bomb Gaza until the end of a dark year for the region.

At least 48 Palestinians were killed in overnight bombings in Gaza City on Sunday, with many still buried under rubble, the Gaza Health Ministry said.

Another attack killed 20 people taking shelter at Al-Aqsa University, west of Gaza City, witnesses told AFP news agency. The BBC cannot verify the latest information.

The United Nations says 85% of Gaza’s 2. 4 million residents – nearly 2 million people – are now displaced. “Tonight, the skies of countries around the world will be lit up with fireworks and joyful laughter will fill the air.

Zainab Khalil, 57, a northern Gaza resident currently in Rafah, told Reuters: “In Gaza, our skies are now filled with Israeli rockets and tank shells targeting innocent and homeless civilians residence”

Netanyahu declared on Saturday that “the war is reaching its climax. ” “We are fighting on all fronts,” he said.

“We have had great successes but also painful situations. It will take time to achieve victory. “As the (Israeli army) chief of staff said, the war will continue for many more months.

” Earlier on Sunday, further Israeli attacks were reported in central Gaza, with reports of airstrikes in al-Maghazi and al-Bureij.

On Sunday morning, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said 150 people had died in the past day. Far-right Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called on Palestinians to leave Gaza and make way for Israelis who can “make the desert bloom”.

The Israeli government’s official statement is that Gaza residents will eventually be able to return home, although it remains unclear how and when this might be possible.

AFP reported that air raid sirens sounded in Tel Aviv and southern Israel, similar to what happened in the new year, when Israel’s missile defense systems intercepted rockets fired from Gaza.

A man in Tel Aviv celebrating the New Year with friends said: “I was very scared, like the first time I saw a rocket, it was terrifying. » Hamas’s military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for both attacks in a video posted on social media.

They said they used M90 missiles to “respond to the massacres of civilians” carried out by Israel.

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