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U.S. advises Israel to change nature of operation in the Gaza Strip

U.S. advises Israel to change nature of operation in the Gaza Strip Israel urged to shift to a more precise operation in the Gaza Strip (photo: Getty Images)

Israel's campaign to root out Hamas from the Gaza Strip should transition from a large-scale military attack to a more precise operation to reduce the number of casualties among the Palestinian civilian population, states U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The head of U.S. diplomacy stated that the conflict between Israel and Hamas should transition to a phase of lower intensity to preserve civilian lives in the Gaza Strip.

"We expect to see and want to see a shift to more targeted operations with a smaller number of forces that’s really focused in on dealing with the leadership of Hamas, the tunnel network, and a few other critical things," said Blinken.

The U.S. Secretary of State added that reducing the intensity of Israeli operations would lead to less harm to the civilian population.

Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg, U.S. officials, at least publicly, do not seek to dictate to Israel what to do. U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recently stated at a press briefing that the U.S. would not dictate terms or conditions to Israel but could provide advice on counterterrorism operations and transitioning to more surgical operations.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant, standing alongside Austin, said that once the military achieves its goals in the Gaza area, we can gradually move on to the next stage and start working on the return of the local population.

According to the health ministry controlled by Hamas, approximately 19,500 Palestinians have died in the Gaza Strip.

War in the Middle East

On October 7, Palestinian militants from the Hamas movement invaded Israeli territory. During the attack, they killed, kidnapped, and tortured both military and civilians, as well as targeted key cities in the country with rocket fire. In response, Tel Aviv declared the start of a large-scale ground military operation in the Gaza Strip.

In late November, Israel signed a ceasefire agreement with Hamas, including the release of hostages. The ceasefire lasted until December 1 but was disrupted by militants' shelling of the country's territory.

On December 20, Israel proposed a one-week ceasefire to the Palestinians. Tel Aviv suggested releasing 40 individuals, including women, children, and elderly men in urgent need of medical assistance. However, Hamas leadership rejected this proposal.

Meanwhile, Israel issued an evacuation order for the territories of the main city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. Tel Aviv will gradually move on to the next phase of operations in the region.