It has taken slightly more than a week for the IDF to establish a perimeter around Gaza City, which includes areas where Hamas military presence is concentrated, including potentially high-ranking commanders.

The IDF has also acknowledged in the past 24 hours it has taken action against 450 military targets associated with Hamas.

According to IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Hagari, IDF troops have made significant progress in their operations, including reaching the beach in the southern part of Gaza City and establishing a perimeter around the city. “IDF troops… have reached as far as the beach in the southern part of Gaza City and they have encircled Gaza City. Essentially, today there is north Gaza and south Gaza.”

IDF Chief of Staff Lt Gen Halevi recently paid a visit to the Northern Command and acknowledged the concerns expressed by the residents in the north, and stated that the IDF is prepared to engage with incursions from the North, such as an attack by Hezbollah in Lebanon. “We have heard a great deal about the feelings of the residents in the north. We are ready at any moment to switch to an offensive in the North.”

US Secretary of State Blinken recently engaged in diplomatic efforts and visited Baghdad yesterday, where he had a productive meeting with the Iraqi prime minister. Later in the day, Prime Minister al-Sudani travelled to Tehran and had a meeting with Iranian President Raisi, potentially to discuss matters of mutual interest. The US has chosen to enhance its military presence and recently deployed a nuclear submarine to the region.

Hagari has expressed that the operation in Gaza is progressing according to plan, with commanders emphasising the importance of allowing sufficient time to successfully achieve their objectives. Gaining access to Gaza City may present significant challenges in terms of safety and security. Due to the presence of narrow alleys, it may be challenging for Israeli armour to navigate through them effectively. As a result, it might be necessary for troops to consider alternative methods of entry, such as proceeding on foot. Due to operational requirements, IDF forces adopt a deliberate and cautious approach when engaging with Hamas command and operational structures, many of which are located underground.

Israel has expressed its position that a humanitarian ceasefire will only be considered once there is significant progress made in addressing the situation of the hostages. This raises concerns about the potential misuse of fuel supplies, as there is a possibility that it could be diverted by certain groups for purposes that may not align with the intended objectives. However, the possibility of a temporary halt remains, but with the hope that it would be conditional on progress in the release of hostages.