On Friday, Israel carried out its second ground incursion into the Gaza Strip. Its goal: to eradicate Hamas, responsible for killing more than 1,400 people — mostly civilians — on October 7th and kidnapping an estimated 230 others. After three weeks in which the two sides have exchanged thousands of missiles and rockets, Israeli officials said they've brought in tanks and soldiers into Gaza to target hundreds of Hamas sites, including command centers and missile launch sites. Palestinians have described the continuous airstrikes as the most intense since the start of the war. It’s led to a spiraling humanitarian crisis.
Over the weekend, Gaza lost internet and cell service for more than 24 hours amid Israel's heavy bombardment. The blackout meant ambulances couldn't function and aid groups couldn't coordinate operations on the ground. People also broke into UN aid offices for access to basic hygiene supplies, flour, and wheat — as aid has been slow to enter the enclave. The Palestinian Health Ministry said more than 8,000 people have been killed since the war began. Meanwhile, many around the world are outraged and afraid as tensions continue to mount.
What do you mean?
On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people in Turkey flooded the streets of Istanbul — one of the largest pro-Palestinian rallies since the start of the war. Pro-Palestinian demonstrators also gathered in London, Madrid, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, calling for an immediate ceasefire. Meanwhile, violence has flared across the globe. In Russia, a mob swarmed an airport in search of Jewish passengers fleeing Israel — causing the airport to close down and leaving Jewish communities shaken.
The latest Israel-Hamas war has entered its fourth week and a new phase. With the conflict having no end in sight, many fear that the death toll, humanitarian crisis, and its impact on communities around the world will only worsen.
What Are the Tunnels?
Key to Israel’s goal of defeating Hamas is its targeting of the militant group's extensive tunnel network. For decades, Hamas has developed an underground network that's allowed itto smuggle goods, people, and weaponsand attack and kidnap Israelis. By its own account, the group boasts more than 300 miles of tunnels, dozens of feet or more below the 25-mile-long strip.If true, Hamas’s underground network is a little less than half the length of the New York City subway system, snaking under a small strip of land.
To date, Israel’s airstrikes are believed to have limited impact on the underground network itself, where one freed hostage says she was taken. Still, Israel says it struck 150 underground targets this weekend, and accuses Hamas of hiding entryways to the tunnels under schools, and other civilian targets. When Israel targeted Hamas tunnels through airstrikes in 2021, Hamas boasted that it only succeeded in destroying a maximum of “20%” of its tunnel system. Now, Israel seems ready to escalate its ground invasion in Gaza, echoing its military aims in 2014. Targeting Hamas’s tunnels is likely to involve hand-to-hand combat, and explosive devices in a space where Israel is at a military disadvantage. It’s expected to be costly — and deadly.
Who the tributes are pouring in for…
Matthew Perry. Many are still memorializing the 54-year-old “Friends” star who played Chandler Bing. The co-creators of “Friends” called this moment, “The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken.” Maggie Wheeler, who portrayed Chandler's ex Janice, said “the world will miss you.” Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, who went to school with Perry, said he’ll “never forget the schoolyard games” they would play. The news of Perry's death came almost one year after he published his memoir, opening up about his experience in Hollywood and his decades-long struggle with addiction. Investigators said there was no sign of foul play after Perry was reportedly found dead in a hot tub at his LA home on Saturday. Officials will be conducting an autopsy.
Where there are questions…
Iran. Over the weekend, state media reported that 16-year-old Armita Geravand died.Earlier this month, human rights groups accused Iran’s morality police of beating Geravand on the Tehran subway for failing to wear a hijab, leaving her brain dead. Iran’s state news agency blamed her death on an injury after she collapsed after a drop in blood pressure. Geravand's death comes a little over a year after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini's death led to nationwide, women-led protests.
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