Amir Avivi, a retired deputy commander of the Gaza division of the Israeli army, spoke with BBC Newshour, providing insights into Israel's military operations. From Tel Aviv, Avivi suggested that the conflict could extend for another two months, highlighting a critical phase in the military campaign.
"More and more terrorists are surrendering," he noted, indicating a shift in the dynamics on the ground. Avivi predicted that within a week or two, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) would achieve full control over the northern part of the Gaza Strip, a region he described as a dense, Hamas stronghold, comprising about 20% of the territory.
"It is an important achievement," Avivi stated, emphasizing the strategic significance of this area. In other regions of Gaza, particularly around Khan Younis in the south, Avivi described ongoing "fierce fighting," characterizing Israel's actions as efforts to "liberate Gaza from Hamas." This perspective offers a glimpse into the complex and multifaceted nature of the conflict.
International Perspectives and the Call for a Ceasefire
The conflict's international implications were further brought to light by Tom Fletcher, a former UK diplomat and foreign policy advisor to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Fletcher relayed concerns from senior UN officials, describing the escalating violence in Gaza as akin to a "slaughterhouse." Fletcher reflected on the impact of UK's decision-making in international forums, citing an instance from the 2009 Israel-Gaza conflict.
The UK's vote for a ceasefire at the UN Security Council had contributed to a truce motion, despite opposition from the US government. "It moved the US to an abstention and so people say UN Security Council resolutions are just demonstrative, but we had a ceasefire within a week of that resolution," Fletcher explained.
However, the recent stance of the UK and the US at the Security Council displayed a shift, with the US vetoing a call for a ceasefire and the UK abstaining, while other major powers, including China, Russia, and France, voted in favor.
Fletcher acknowledged the escalated scale of violence since October 7, compared to 2009, but stressed that the fundamental need to protect civilians in both Israel and Palestine remains paramount. He critiqued the UK's abstention, suggesting it was a misstep in the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians: "The problem is abstention just annoys everyone equally... In the interests of Israeli's and Palestinians, I think [the UK] called it wrong last week."