IDF Advances in Southern Gaza, UN Still Refuses to Condemn Hamas Sexual Violence
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JERUSALEM, Israel – The chief spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces says the fight against Hamas is broadening, especially in the southern Gaza Strip.
Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari stated, "As we expand the operation in Gaza, we remain committed to our goals: secure the release of our hostages and dismantle Hamas. We will operate as we have done until now according to international law. We will operate as we have done until now, against Hamas centers of gravity. We pursued them in northern Gaza. We're now pursuing Hamas in southern Gaza, too.”
Hagari also condemned the Hamas strategy of using Gazans as human shields. While the fighting goes on, the military says it's committed to helping civilians stay out of harm's way.
"We are giving precise instructions to Gaza residents near Hamas centers of gravity, urging them to temporarily move away from the danger that Hamas puts them in. We're dropping leaflets with QR codes that opens a map guiding Gazans to safer areas," he said.
Tuesday morning, the military announced it was encircling the Jabaliya refugee camp.
In the meantime, Israel issued a new international warning to Israelis to avoid "unnecessary travel," to keep away from public demonstrations and not to display indications of Israeli nationality.
Israeli forces continue to destroy the hundreds of Hamas tunnels, and The Wall Street Journal reports the IDF is considering flooding Hamas tunnels with pumps moving seawater from the Mediterranean. The tactic could destroy the tunnels and also drive Hamas terrorists from their underground refuge. It appears no final decision has been made to employ this method since it also could threaten Gaza's water supply.
UN Refusal to Condemn Hamas Sexual Violence Against Israeli Women
At the United Nations on Monday, the Israeli Permanent Mission sponsored a special session calling on the U.N. and other international bodies to condemn Hamas for using sexual violence against Israeli women on October 7th.
Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan said there has been a deafening silence by U.N. bodies about the sexual violence, and that it waited too long – eight weeks – to speak out.
The Israeli group Physicians for Human Rights says the sexual atrocities were widespread.
"We know this from eyewitnesses. We know this from paramedics. We would know this from some victims if more had been allowed to live," asserted the keynote speaker at the hearing, former Facebook C.O.O. Sheryl Sandberg. "Maybe then, one would be standing beside me right now to state something that should not need to be stated: rape should never be used as an act of war."
Sandberg sharply criticized the use of sexual violence, despite Hamas's claim the accusations were unfounded lies to demonize the Palestinian resistance.
“The world has to decide who to believe," Sandberg said. "Do we believe the Hamas spokesperson who said rape is forbidden, therefore it couldn’t possibly have happened on October 7th? Or do we believe the women whose bodies tell us how they spent the last few minutes of their lives? Who are we going to believe?”
State Department Spokesperson Mathew Miller:— Israel ישראל (@Israel) December 4, 2023
“The fact that they continue to hold women hostages, the fact that they continue to hold children hostages, the fact that it seems one of the reasons they don’t want to turn women over that they’ve been holding hostage and the reason… pic.twitter.com/CdGseLTUUZ
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