Gaza City Battle
Israel accelerated its offensive into Gaza City yesterday, with increasing reports of clashes between Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas militants in residential neighborhoods. The movement comes days after Israel encircled the city in the northern Gaza Strip, cutting it off from the rest of the 25-mile-long territory. Israeli officials say they are focused on infiltrating and destroying an elaborate underground tunnel system used by Hamas. The exact location and extent of the network is unknown; previous intelligence from Israel suggested separate systems exist in both north (Gaza City) and south (Khan Younis) Gaza. Roughly 300 miles of tunnels are believed to have been built—some reaching 200 feet underground (read more)—with the more complex tunnel labyrinth under Gaza City. See a map of the current state of the battle here. Separately, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for a united Palestinian-led government for both the Gaza Strip and West Bank following the conflict. Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu had recently said Israel would be responsible for the postwar security in Gaza (without additional details). See photos from a month of war here (warning—sensitive content).