War in the Middle East: Israel further expands ground offensive in Gaza

Israel: 150 underground targets hit in Gaza

7:47 a.m.: Israeli warplanes hit 150 underground targets in night strikes in the northern Gaza Strip, according to the Israeli army. These included “tunnels used by terrorists, underground combat rooms and other underground infrastructure,” the Israeli army said on Saturday. In addition, several “terrorists” from the radical Islamic Palestinian organization Hamas were killed.

The Bundeswehr has deployed more than 1,000 soldiers to the Middle East

6:16 a.m.: The Bundeswehr has now relocated more than 1,000 soldiers to the Middle East for a possible evacuation of German citizens. The vast majority of men and women are now on standby in Cyprus, security circles told the German Press Agency in Berlin. From there they are ready for use almost immediately, but there is no way of predicting further developments as a result of Hamas’ major attack on Israel.

The Defense Ministry said last weekend that its own ability to respond in the region would be increased. A planning and command staff for a possible evacuation operation was set up in Cyprus. Special forces from the German Navy (KSM) with combat swimmers are also in waiting position on the island. Soldiers from the Special Forces Command (KSK) were flown to Jordan.

Jordan: Thousands demonstrate in solidarity with Palestinians

01:52: In Jordan, thousands of people protested again on Friday in solidarity with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip against Israel’s ongoing attacks. In the capital Amman, crowds marched through the city center after Friday prayers, Al-Ghad television reported. In the evening, demonstrators also gathered in front of the Israeli embassy after Israel announced its expanded ground operations. Police used tear gas to disperse them, videos on social media showed.

A spokesman for the Jordanian public security agency said that “rioters” had set fires near the Israeli embassy and incited riots there. There were several arrests. However, the security forces made peaceful demonstrations possible and protected.

White House: “We are not drawing red lines for Israel”

Saturday, October 28th, 12:51 a.m: The US government has reiterated its support for Israel following attacks by the Islamist group Hamas. “We don’t draw any red lines for Israel,” National Security Council communications director John Kirby said Friday in response to a journalist’s question. They continue to support the country’s “security needs” and Israel’s right to defend itself. “It will stay that way.” Kirby did not comment on Israel’s expansion of ground operations in Gaza when asked several times.

Kirby said that they had also discussed the “manner” of a response to the terrorist attacks with Israel from the beginning. “And we have not shied away from expressing our concerns about civilian casualties, collateral damage and the course of action they might take.” That is what “friends” can do and these discussions will continue.

Hamas claims: Israeli ground operations in the Gaza Strip

11:21 p.m.: According to the military wing of the Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip, there are Israeli ground operations in two different locations. There were violent clashes in the town of Beit Hanun in the north and east of the Al-Bureij refugee camp in the center of the Gaza Strip, the Al-Kassam Brigades announced late on Friday evening. Both are places near the border. The information provided by the Islamist organization, which is classified as a terrorist organization by the EU and the USA, could not be independently verified. Israel’s army declined to comment on the report.

Israel’s army had previously announced that it would expand its ground operations in the Gaza Strip against the Islamist Hamas. It initially remained unclear whether the announcement marked the start of the Israeli military’s widely expected ground offensive. The Israeli military had previously made isolated, time-limited advances on the ground.

Hamas will feel Israel’s “wrath.”

10.30 p.m.: Hamas will feel Israel’s “wrath tonight,” according to an adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu. Speaking to MSNBC, Mark Regev said the militant group would pay for its crimes against humanity. Israel begins its revenge tonight, Regev said. His comments came after the Israeli Defense Forces announced they would expand their ground operations this evening.

WHO loses contact with staff in Gaza

10:27 p.m.: The World Health Organization (WHO) is no longer in contact with staff, health facilities and other partners in the Gaza Strip. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote this on Friday evening on the X platform, formerly Twitter. Because of the “siege,” he is very concerned about their safety and the immediate health threat to vulnerable patients. “We urge immediate protection.” In a second tweet, he added only the word: “Why?”

UN General Assembly adopts resolution on situation in Gaza

9:54 p.m.: The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution to improve the humanitarian situation and call for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. The paper achieved a necessary two-thirds majority in New York on Friday. 120 countries voted in favor, 14 against, 45 abstained, including Germany. However, resolutions of the UN General Assembly are not legally binding, but are considered symbolic. The more powerful UN Security Council, whose resolutions are binding, had previously failed several times to pass a resolution with a humanitarian focus on the situation in the Gaza Strip.

The resolution that has now been adopted condemns, among other things, all violence against Israeli and Palestinian civilians, calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilians “illegally detained,” and demands unhindered humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip. The text also calls for an “immediate permanent and sustainable humanitarian ceasefire” that should lead to a “cessation of hostilities”.

Canada had previously introduced an amendment to the resolution condemning the “terrorist attacks by Hamas” and the hostage-taking and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages. However, this addition failed to achieve the necessary two-thirds majority.

Before the vote, the member states were divided. For example, while the representatives of Egypt and Qatar advocated for the adoption of the resolution, the USA spoke out clearly against it.

Jordanian Foreign Minister: Israel has begun ground offensive

9:35 p.m.: Israel has begun its expected ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, according to Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi. “Israel has just launched a ground war against Gaza,” Safadi wrote on X on Friday evening. “The result will be a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions for years to come.”

Regarding a planned vote in the UN General Assembly on a resolution introduced by Jordan, Safadi writes: “Millions will follow every vote. History will judge.” Voting against the UN resolution would mean “agreeing with this senseless war, this senseless killing.”

The vote on the resolution was scheduled for Friday. The resolutions of the UN General Assembly are not binding and have primarily symbolic meaning.

Jean Harris

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