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Gaza Conflict Escalates, Netanyahu Vows To Continue; United States And Iran Tensions Worsen Even As Nvidia Raise $15 Million Supporting Civilians Affected by the Israel-Hamas Conflict

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared his commitment to continue the fight in Gaza until Hamas is eliminated, disregarding international calls for a ceasefire. 

 

Netanyahu, during a visit to northern Gaza, affirmed that the conflict is far from over and rejected speculations about a possible halt to the fighting, emphasising that military pressure is necessary to free remaining hostages held by Hamas.

In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Netanyahu outlined three prerequisites for peace: the destruction of Hamas, the demilitarisation of Gaza, and the deradicalisation of Palestinian society. 

Despite U.S. pressure to shift operations in Gaza to a lower-intensity phase, Israel has maintained its stance, leading to concerns about escalating conflicts between U.S. and Iran-aligned forces.

Israel Stance Leads To U.S. Retaliation By Iran

The ongoing retaliation against Hamas has resulted in a significant death toll in Gaza, with almost 20,700 casualties, including 250 in the last 24 hours, leading to U.S. forces being targeted by Iran-backed militants in Iraq and Syria, resulting in retaliatory airstrikes by the U.S. military.

The airstrikes targeted Kataib Hezbollah militants, a group with deep ties to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian faction supported by Iran. 

General Michael Erik Kurilla, head of U.S. Central Command, emphasised the intention to hold accountable those responsible for attacks on coalition forces.

Gaza, Nvidia

The Civilian Human Casualty

Despite international calls for minimizing civilian harm, the death toll continues to rise, and Israeli operations have intensified. 

The situation on the ground, described as a “human chessboard,” has displaced thousands of people multiple times, with uncertainty about finding safe destinations.

Reports of additional airstrikes near Nasser Hospital and casualties in Khan Younis further illuminate the humanitarian crisis. Pope Francis condemned the loss of innocent lives in Gaza, describing the children affected as the “little Jesuses of today.”

Diplomatic efforts for a ceasefire faced challenges as Hamas and Islamic Jihad rejected an Egyptian proposal; the proposal suggested relinquishing power in Gaza in exchange for a permanent ceasefire, but the groups refused to make concessions beyond the potential release of more hostages.

Israeli Airstrikes Claim Over 100 Lives As Gaza Conflict Intensifies

The Gaza Strip finds itself engulfed in one of the deadliest phases of the current conflict as Israel broadens its offensive, defying a recent U.N. Security Council resolution urging immediate steps toward a sustainable ceasefire and increased humanitarian aid.

Late on Sunday, Israeli airstrikes resulted in the death of more than 100 people in the heart of the besieged Palestinian territory. 

Among the casualties, at least 70 individuals lost their lives in bombings targeting a residential block in the Maghazi refugee camp near Deir al-Balah, according to Gaza health officials.

Despite being labeled as an “evacuation zone” by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Deir al-Balah was struck overnight, adding to the mounting civilian casualties.

Footage from al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital revealed the grim aftermath, with dazed and bloodied children amidst the rubble; the scene at Maghazi saw desperate attempts to rescue survivors from collapsed buildings, underscoring the indiscriminate impact on civilians.

The death toll follows an earlier announcement by the Gaza health ministry, reporting 166 Palestinian fatalities from Israeli airstrikes within 24 hours – marking one of the deadliest days in the 12-week-old conflict. 

Since Israel’s declaration of war in response to Hamas’s October 7 attack, more than 20,400 Palestinians have lost their lives.

Subdued Celebrations

As the conflict rages on, this year’s Christmas celebrations across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories were cancelled in solidarity with Gaza, with the traditional festivities in Bethlehem, where Jesus is believed to have been born, gave way to subdued masses with hymns and prayers for peace, reflecting the sombre mood in the region.

The toll on Israel has been significant, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledging a “very heavy cost” as intense ground skirmishes with Hamas have claimed the lives of 15 Israeli soldiers since Friday, bringing the total combat losses to 156.

Despite a recent U.N. Security Council resolution urging a ceasefire, the ground fighting has escalated, with Israel expanding operations into the southern half of the Gaza Strip. 

The U.N.’s warning of a quarter of the population facing starvation remains unaddressed, as aid delivery is hampered by the ongoing conflict, fuel shortages, and impassable roads.

More On the Ceasefire Proposal

Efforts for a ceasefire proposal from Egypt have been tabled, with talks mediated by Qatar stalling; however, the rejection of the Egyptian plan by Hamas and Islamic Jihad has further complicated the diplomatic efforts, leaving the fate of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents hanging in the balance.

In the face of international criticism, Netanyahu remains resolute in pursuing what he terms “complete victory” over Hamas, rejecting calls to shift away from large-scale operations. 

This even as families of over 100 Israeli hostages in Gaza, watching Netanyahu’s speech, implored their government to seek a resolution. 

The Needed Humanitarian Aid

Meanwhile, in what can be called heroic, Nvidia, the U.S. chipmaker, and its employees have successfully raised $15 million for non-profit organisations aiding civilians affected by the Israel-Hamas conflict. 

The contribution from over 30 countries raised $5 million, which Nvidia matched and doubled to reach a significant $15 million donation; the initiative represents the largest humanitarian fundraiser in Nvidia’s 30-year history.

The funds will support various non-profit organisations in the region, including Asor Fund (JGive), American Friends of Magen David Adom, Doctors Without Borders, Friends of United Hatzalah, IsraAID (U.S.) Global Humanitarian Assistance, Jewish Agency for Israel, World Central Kitchen, and Zaka.

In addition to the financial contribution, Nvidia has also donated hundreds of computers to families evacuated from the north and south of Israel. 

The company further provided thousands of hot meals from its Yokneam office cafeteria, demonstrating a comprehensive effort to assist those impacted by the conflict.

The Last Bit, As the Gaza conflict persists, Netanyahu’s insistence on the destruction of Hamas prolongs the suffering of the Palestinian population, with a death toll that continues to rise. 

Simultaneously, tensions between the U.S. and Iran-backed militants further complicate the geopolitical scene, with the international community facing a challenging task in mediating a resolution to the crisis as diplomatic efforts struggle to gain traction and the humanitarian conditions in Gaza deteriorate. 

The tragic consequences of the conflict, including the loss of innocent lives and the displacement of thousands, stress the urgency for a sustainable and just peace in the region and an end to this conflict.

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