Hamas has announced its intention to maintain a 'permanent state of war' with Israel, calling on Arab allies to support Gaza amidst concerns of a regional conflict. Taher El-Nounou, a Hamas media adviser, stated that the recent events in the Middle East are necessary to change the current situation. He expressed hope for a permanent state of war with Israel on all borders and called for the Arab world to stand with Gaza.
The Palestinian Health Ministry, managed by Hamas, reported that since October 7, 10,569 Palestinians, including 4,324 children, have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza, while over 1,400 Israelis have died, primarily during Hamas' initial incursion into southern Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that Israel could assume 'security responsibility' over the Gaza Strip if the conflict subsides. He emphasized the need for security to prevent further Hamas terror. Netanyahu also stated that there would be no general ceasefire without the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas.
Qatar is currently mediating negotiations between Israel and Hamas for the potential release of more hostages in exchange for a short ceasefire. However, Netanyahu's comments on 'security responsibility' over Gaza have drawn questions from the United States and others who believe that reoccupation by Israeli forces would not be beneficial. Concerns have also been raised about the potential for the war to escalate into a wider regional conflict, with Iran supporting Hamas allies in Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen against Israel.
The conflict has already led to clashes between Israel and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon, as well as missile boat deployments by Israel in the Red Sea to counter potential strikes from Iran-backed forces in Yemen. Israel has made significant advances in the Gaza Strip, with troops now fighting intense battles in Gaza City. The Israel Defense Forces claim to have killed a Hamas weapons leader and cornered the mastermind behind the October 7 attacks.