Biden Tells Israel To Wrap Up War By January As An Estimated 80% Of Gazans Displaced

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Dec 07, 2023 - 01:00 AM

With a ground war now raging in the Gaza Strip's second largest city of Khan Younis in the south, civilians have nowhere left to go. The Strip's southern half was initially declared a 'safe zone' by Israel's military, but it now says top Hamas commanders are hiding out there.

The United Nations has issued a fresh statement estimating that more than 80% of Gaza's population has been displaced. The UN issued a figure of 1.87 million people who have been driven from their homes.

Further the AP cited that UN as saying "fighting is now preventing distribution of food, water and medicine outside a tiny sliver of southern Gaza" and that the latest military evacuation orders are "squeezing people into ever-smaller areas of the south."

Via CNN/Getty Images

And the ground war and aerial bombardment is expected to continue with great intensity through at least January. "We are in a high-intensity operation in the coming weeks, then probably moving to a low-intensity mode," an Israeli official told CNN.

The Biden administration last week reportedly warned Israel that the clock is ticking on its military operation, and that it's unlikely to have even "months" to fight given domestic and international pressure is ratcheting in response to the soaring death toll (which according to Palestinian sources has surpassed 16,000 killed in Gaza).

According to details of the message delivered to Israeli leaders:

Officials from the Biden administration have marked the start of 2024 as the target date for ending Israel’s massive military campaign against terror group Hamas.

Officials have told their Israeli counterparts that this is not a deadline but a target. According to the administration, Israel is close to exhausting the extensive ground invasion it launched in late October in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 massacre and should switch to more focused efforts to bring down Hamas.

"The gap between us and the Americans is around three weeks to a month — nothing that cannot be resolved," an Israeli diplomatic source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity.

Israel reportedly wants a timeline of at least till the end of January and not the month's start. Some observers have warned it could in reality take "years" to fully dismantle Hamas.

According to analysis in The Washington Post, Hamas is still intact and its numbers have been barely dented. "At least 5,000 Hamas militants have been killed, according to three Israeli security officials, leaving the majority of the group’s estimated 30,000-strong military wing intact," the report says based on Israeli defense sources.

Scenes of Rashid Street west of Gaza City show an entire large area obliterated...

"This is going to be a long haul," a spokesman for the Israeli military, Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, told the Post. "We need the time," he said while acknowledging the growing international pressure.

But as WaPo underscores, "The cost has already been devastating, with nearly 16,000 Palestinians killed, including more than 5,000 children, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health." By comparison there hasn't been this many civilian deaths in all of the Ukraine war, which is approaching two years of fighting.