Israeli tanks have re-entered parts of the northern Gaza Strip, previously vacated last week, leading to a resurgence in intense fighting, according to reports from residents on Tuesday.
This development marks a significant escalation in the conflict since the beginning of the year, following Israel’s announcement of a reduction in operations in the region.
Overnight, massive explosions illuminated northern Gaza, a departure from the relative calm of the past two weeks when Israel had scaled back its presence in the north to shift towards smaller, targeted operations. Intense gunfire echoed across the border throughout the night, with Israel’s Iron Dome defences intercepting rockets fired by the Resistance. This demonstrates the ongoing capability of the resistance, despite over 100 days of conflict.
Israel reported that its forces engaged in clashes in Beit Lahiya, claiming to have killed dozens of Hamas fighters. Meanwhile, Gaza health authorities reported 158 casualties in the last 24 hours, bringing the total toll of the four-month-long war to 24,285, with concerns about additional casualties under the rubble.
The conflict began when Israel launched a war to eliminate Hamas after the group breached the border fence on October 7, resulting in casualties and hostage-taking. However, recent revelations suggest that the reported casualties include individuals killed by the Israeli army.
The war has displaced nearly all Gazans multiple times, creating a humanitarian crisis with dwindling supplies of food, fuel, and medical resources. Despite international pressure, Israel insisted on its commitment to shifting tactics and focusing on targeted operations, starting with a withdrawal from the north.
While Defence Minister Yoav Gallant mentioned the conclusion of the recent ground assault in the south, the path to de-escalation remains elusive. Israel maintains its stance of continuing the conflict until Hamas is dismantled, with no indication that the Resistance is losing its ability to resist.
Residents who had started returning to previously evacuated areas in the north now face disruptions due to the sudden resurgence of fighting. The situation remains volatile, hindering plans for many to return to their homes amid the ongoing conflict.