Developments in and around Israel continue broadly on trend, as Israel on one side and Hamas and Hezbollah on the other, continue to exchange fire as Gaza prepares for the Israeli land offensive. Over the past two days, Israel said that it had struck more than 700 targets in Gaza, as it dropped leaflets asking Palestinian civilians to cooperate with Israel and reveal the locations where hostages are held.
During’s Macron visit to Israel, the French president stated that the fight against terrorism must be “without mercy but not without rules”, signaling that Western governments side with Israel, for now, but the methods of the IDF might push Western officials in a different direction.
Symptomatic of a changing approach are the words of UNSG Antonio Guterres, who condemned Hamas’s attack on 7 October, but stated that they did not happen “in a vacuum”, hinting at Israeli responsibility, and went on to say that they do not justify the “collective punishment” of civilians in the Gaza Strip. In response, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen cancelled his meeting with the Secretary-General, and the Israeli permanent resident at the UN called for his resignation.
Border crossings with Egypt and Jordan remain open, where, however, the security situation for Westerners is deteriorating. Dozens of flights keep coming in and out of Israel daily.