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Major events during war in Gaza

Major events during war in Gaza
Major events during war in Gaza

اخبار العرب-كندا 24: الثلاثاء 27 فبراير 2024 02:00 صباحاً

(Reuters) - Israel and Hamas have been at war in Gaza since gunmen from the Palestinian militant group that runs the enclave ran amok in southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and capturing 253 hostages.

Israel responded with a military campaign in which almost 30,000 Palestinians have been confirmed killed, according to medical officials in the enclave.

In comments published on Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden said Israel had agreed not to engage in military activities in Gaza during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which starts around March 9.

The comments came after talks between negotiators in Paris and Doha that aimed at halting fighting before a threatened Israeli assault on the Gazan city of Rafah, where more than half the enclave's 2.3 million people are sheltering.

Here is a timeline of the war:

Oct. 7, 2023: Hamas gunmen storm into southern Israel from Gaza and rampage through communities in the deadliest day in Israel's history.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is at war and retaliatory airstrikes on densely populated Gaza begin, along with a total siege of the coastal enclave.

Oct. 13: Israel tells residents of Gaza City, where more than 1 million people live, to evacuate and move south. Over the course of the next weeks, Israel will push for the evacuation of the entire north. Hundreds of thousands of Gazans will flee their homes, beginning a process that will soon uproot nearly the entire population of the Gaza Strip, with families often forced to flee several times as Israeli forces advance.

Oct. 19: A U.S. navy warship intercepts missiles and drones launched from Yemen over the Red Sea in the direction of Israel. Yemen's Houthi group, like Hamas an Iranian ally, will continue sporadic long-range attacks on Israel and against Red Sea shipping in what it describes as solidarity with Gaza.

Oct. 21: Aid trucks are allowed through the Rafah border crossing from Egypt into Gaza after days of diplomatic wrangling. It is only a small fraction of what is required in Gaza, where food, water, medicines and fuel are running out. The issue of securing adequate supplies through Israel's blockade persists through coming months as the humanitarian crisis worsens.

Story continues

Oct. 27: A week after mounting limited incursions, Israel launches a broad ground offensive in Gaza, beginning with an assault on the north, and vows to free all its hostages and eradicate Hamas.

Nov. 1: Evacuations begin from Gaza through the Rafah crossing for an estimated 7,000 foreign passport-holders, dual nationals and their dependents, and people needing urgent medical treatment. The overwhelming majority of Gaza residents are not permitted to leave.

Nov. 15: Israeli troops enter Gaza's biggest hospital, Al Shifa in Gaza City, after a siege of several days during which medical staff say patients including newborn babies died from a lack of power and supplies. The Israelis say the hospital had been used to conceal an underground headquarters for Hamas fighters, which staff deny. Within a few more weeks, all hospitals serving the northern half of Gaza will have ceased functioning.

Nov. 21: Israel and Hamas announce the first truce of the war. Fighting is initially paused for four days - later extended to seven - to exchange women and children hostages held in Gaza for Palestinian women and teenagers detained by Israel on security grounds, and let in more aid.

One hundred and five hostages are freed in exchange for 240 Palestinian detainees, before the truce collapses and war resumes on Dec. 1.

Around Dec. 4: Days after the truce expires, Israeli forces launch their first big ground assault in southern Gaza, on the outskirts of the main southern city, Khan Younis.

International organisations say the next phase of the war, which extends the military campaign from the north to the entire length of the enclave, including areas already sheltering hundreds of thousands of displaced people, drastically worsens the humanitarian situation.

Dec. 12: Biden says Israel's "indiscriminate bombing" of Gaza is costing it international support, a shift in rhetoric from Israel's closest ally, the United States.

Over the coming weeks, several senior U.S. officials visit Israel, urging it to do more to protect civilians, scale down the war, and shift to a more targeted campaign against Hamas leaders.

Dec. 15: Israeli forces mistakenly kill three hostages in Gaza. The incident leads to some of the most pronounced criticism of the conduct of the war within Israel although the campaign still has widespread domestic support.

Around Dec. 26: Israeli forces launch a major ground assault on areas in the central Gaza Strip, preceded by a campaign of airstrikes that again sends hundreds of thousands of people to flight, most of them already displaced.

From Jan. 1, 2024: Israel signals it will start withdrawing some troops from parts of Gaza in a more targeted new phase of its campaign. Officials say this transition in tactics will begin in the north, while intense fighting continues in southern areas.

Jan. 11: U.S. and British warplanes, ships and submarines launch dozens of airstrikes across Yemen in retaliation against Houthi forces for their attacks on Red Sea shipping.

Late January: Israeli forces intensify their effort to encircle Khan Younis, again sending large numbers of Palestinians fleeing, most of them already displaced from elsewhere. Following this campaign, more than half of Gaza's population will end up sheltering in Rafah.

Jan. 23: Israel reports 24 soldiers killed in Gaza, its worst losses of the war.

Jan 26: The International Court of Justice in the Hague, also known as the World Court, hearing a case brought by South Africa accusing Israel of a state-led genocide in Gaza, orders Israel to prevent acts of genocide but stops short of ordering a halt to fighting.

It says some of the actions alleged by South Africa could plausibly be violations of the genocide convention enacted after the Holocaust, and rejects Israel's demand to throw out the case.

Feb. 7: After weeks of diplomacy led by the United States and mediated by Qatar and Egypt, Netanyahu rejects a Hamas counteroffer for a four-and-a-half month ceasefire, describing the terms as "delusional". Hamas says it will agree to a truce and release of hostages only if the proposal ends with an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. Israel says it will not pull out until Hamas is eradicated.

Alongside the collapse of the ceasefire talks, Israeli officials say they intend to press on with their assault and threaten to attack Rafah. U.S. and U.N. officials say any such assault would lead to high civilian casualties.

Feb. 20: Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh visits Egypt for talks, in a sign of renewed diplomacy to reach agreement on a ceasefire and head off an Israeli assault on Rafah.

Feb. 27: After talks in Paris and the region between negotiators from the U.S., Israel, Qatar and Egypt, Biden says Israel has agreed not to engage in military activities during Ramadan in the Gaza Strip, while a senior source close to the talks says Hamas has received a draft proposal that includes a 40-day pause in fighting.

(Compiled by Peter Graff; Editing by Timothy Heritage and Clarence Fernandez)

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