After weeks of relentless bombing of Gaza in retaliation for the murderous Hamas invasion of Israel on Oct. 7, Israel Defense Force (IDF) ground troops advanced at least two miles into Gaza on Saturday, according to a CNN analysis of video shared by an Israeli media outlet.
The video reportedly shows IDF troops placing an Israeli flag on the roof of a Gaza hotel, with one soldier saying, “We will not forgive nor forget, and we’ll not stop until the victory.”
The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says more than 8,000 people, mostly women and children, have been killed in the territory in Israel’s bombing campaign began, which was launched after 1,400 people were killed and 200 were kidnapped by Hamas three weeks ago. The UN Relief and Works Agency warned on Sunday that “civil order is starting to break down” in Gaza, as thousands of “scared, frustrated, and desperate” people broke into UN facilities and took “wheat, flour, and other basic survival items.”
Gaza endured a near total communications blackout for a day and a half after an Israeli strike severed the area’s last internet link. On Sunday, phone and internet services were partially restored in Gaza. And Israel says it will allow 100 aid trucks per day to pass through its border crossing with Egypt, including a limited amount of fuel for UN workers to distribute for humanitarian purposes only.
Concerns that the war between Israel and Hamas could explode into a greater regional conflict continued to grow after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared Israel a “war criminal” and labeled its assault on Gaza as “genocide.” Israel responded by pulling its diplomats out of Turkey, which is a member of NATO.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi posted on X (formerly Twitter) that Israel’s “Zionist regime’s crimes have crossed the red lines, which may force everyone to take action” and referred to the “Axis of Resistance”—referring to the numerous militias it funds or controls throughout the Middle East, including Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, which has exchanged sporadic fire with Israeli troops since the conflict was re-ignited on Oct. 7.
On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference said, “Our allies in the Western world and our allies in the Arab world understand today that if Israel is not going to win today, they are going to be next.”
Netanyahu has been blamed by many Israelis for ignoring the country’s security while he was focused on his corruption trial and other political upheavals. On Sunday Netanyahu apologized for a post on X in which he appeared to blame Israeli security chiefs for allowing the Hamas attack to happen.