Palestinians ended a dark year on Sunday, with no end in sight to the deadly Israeli military offensive on Gaza which has so far killed more than 21,800 people.
As the world celebrated a new year with fireworks and festivities, Palestinians in Gaza were running for their lives and looking for places to shelter amid a relentless bombardment by Israeli warplanes in the central area of the Gaza Strip.
At least 150 Palestinians were killed and 286 wounded in the past 24 hours, the Palestinian health ministry said on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, launched M90 rockets towards Tel Aviv and its suburbs, the group announced on their Telegram channel.
The group said the attack was a response to “Zionist massacres of civilians” in Gaza.
According to reports from Anadolu Agency, citing the Israeli Army Radio, the rockets targeted not only Tel Aviv but also the cities of Rishon Lezion, Lod, Ramla, Bnei Brak, and Sderot.
The attacks extended to the Modi’in Illit Israeli settlement, located in the central part of the occupied West Bank.
As of the latest updates, there have been no reports of casualties, injuries, or significant damage resulting from these rocket attacks.
Meanwhile, an Israeli military spokesman has confirmed that Tel Aviv is withdrawing thousands of reservists from its invasion force in Gaza, but only “temporarily”.
Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari claimed that the withdrawal would allow the soldiers to “gain strength” for future attacks in the strip.
Hagari said the war on Gaza will continue throughout 2024, adding that tens of thousands of reservists would be needed for fighting.
The army “must plan ahead, understanding that we will be required for additional tasks and warfare throughout this year”, he said. “The objectives of the war require prolonged fighting and we are preparing accordingly.”
Hagari said the army is currently planning how to deploy troops in the months ahead and “some of the reservists will return to their families and employment this week” to ease the burden of the war on the Israeli economy and allow reservists to replenish their strength ahead of another deployment.
Israel’s military operations in the Gaza Strip since October 7 have killed at least 21,822 Palestinians and wounded 56,451 others, the ministry said, adding that 70 percent of the victims were women and children.