In a recent turn of events, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Daniel Hagari confirmed during a press conference that the IDF had launched an operation against the Jabalin refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. This operation resulted in the tragic death of over 50 people.
The IDF's Justification
The IDF's move was motivated by their aim to eliminate one of Hamas's high-profile figures. According to Hagari, the IDF successfully targeted Ibrahim Biari, the "main" commander of Hamas in the region since Israeli forces made their way into northern Gaza.
"During his elimination, many terrorists were killed," Hagari stated. He further explained the aftermath of the strike on the building that housed Biari. Due to the building's expansive infrastructure, the bombing led to the subsequent collapse of neighboring structures.
The IDF maintains that their operation was geared towards dismantling the vast terrorist network they believed was present within the camp.
However, Hamas countered the IDF's narrative. In a statement circulated on the Telegram platform, they labeled the Israeli claims regarding Biari's presence in Jabalia at the time of the airstrike as a "baseless lie." The Israeli operation has garnered attention, not just because of the military objective but due to the significant civilian impact.
The densely populated Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza witnessed a considerable number of civilian casualties. The Interior Ministry of the Hamas-led Gaza strip reported that 20 houses, situated within a residential neighborhood in Jabalia, were obliterated due to the Israeli bombardment.
The grim aftermath of the attack was described by Atef al-Kahlout, the director of the Indonesian hospital in Gaza. He informed CNN about the overwhelming number of casualties that the hospital was tending to. Al-Kahlout painted a harrowing picture, saying that "many are still under the rubble."
The incident in Jabalia prompted reactions from multiple nations.
Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia swiftly condemned the Israeli action. Egypt specifically labeled the strikes as a blatant violation of international law, emphasizing their indiscriminate nature, especially in regions around hospitals where civilians often seek shelter.
Cairo's leadership has made a plea to the global community to step in, halt the Israeli offensives, and assist Gaza's residents with humanitarian aid. Jordan, echoing Egypt's sentiments, condemned Israel's actions and held the nation accountable for the recent unrest.
They also highlighted their concerns regarding the escalating tension in the West Bank and incidents of settler-initiated violence against Palestinians. Saudi Arabia voiced its concerns too, expressing total rejection of Israel's strategy of targeting areas densely populated by civilians.