1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Israel-Hamas war: IDF chief warns of prolonged war

Published December 27, 2023last updated December 27, 2023

The Israeli army chief says the war in Gaza will go on for "many more months." The UN makes a new aid appointment. Follow DW for the latest.

Israeli soldiers gather around tanks near the border with the Gaza Strip
Israel has launched heavy strikes across central and southern GazaImage: Menahem Kahana/AFP
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

  • The Israeli army chief says there are "no shortcuts" in dismantling Hamas
  • Erdogan criticizes Germany's 'silence' on civilian losses in Gaza
  • Israel strikes southern Lebanon after Hezbollah fires rockets
  • Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says current war worse than Palestinians' 1948 displacement  
Skip next section Macron urges for cease-fire in call with Netanyahu
December 27, 2023

Macron urges for cease-fire in call with Netanyahu

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday urged for a "lasting cease-fire" in the Gaza Strip, during a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Macron stressed the need to work toward a durable cease-fire "with the help of all regional and international partners."

"France will work in the coming days in cooperation with Jordan to carry out humanitarian operations in Gaza," the French presidency said in a statement.

Skip next section WHO warns of 'acute hunger' in Gaza
December 27, 2023

WHO warns of 'acute hunger' in Gaza

The United Nations' World Health Organization has warned of the hunger crisis in Gaza and the "grave peril" facing its population.

In a statement on Wednesday, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged the international community to take "urgent steps" to improve the situation, which is also "jeopardizing the ability of humanitarian workers to help people with terrible injuries, acute hunger, and at severe risk of disease."

"The safety of our staff and continuity of operations depends on more food arriving in all of Gaza, immediately," Tedros said.

Meanwhile, the WHO said "hungry people again stopped our convoys today in the hope of finding food."

The organization noted that its efforts to provide fuel, medicine and other medical supplies to hospitals was becoming "increasingly constrained by the hunger and desperation of people en route to, and within, hospitals we reach."

UN appoints aid coordinator to Gaza

Skip next section Netanyahu hits back at Erdogan over Hitler comparison
December 27, 2023

Netanyahu hits back at Erdogan over Hitler comparison

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has strongly rejected the comments of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the latter compared him to Adolf Hitler. Netanyahu also accused the Turkish leader of "committing genocide against the Kurds."

Erdogan said earlier that there was "no difference between the actions of Netanyahu and Hitler" during a ceremony in Ankara on Wednesday. 

In the same speech, Erdogan also criticized Germany, saying: "I say this clearly, look: Germany today still continues to pay the price for what Hitler did. That is why Germany is silent, it has its head bowed."

"We are not indebted to anyone. The West is indebted, they can't speak up, because they are indebted."

Berlin has maintained its position that it stands with Israel, but has called on Israel to better protect civilians in Gaza. 

The Turkish president has sharply criticized Netanyahu and Israel over the relentless bombardment of the Gaza Strip since the militant Islamist group Hamas carried out the October 7 terror attacks which killed around 1,200 in Israel. Hamas is designated a terrorist group in many countries.

Netanyahu dismissed Erdogan's comments in a social media statement. The Israeli prime minister accused the Turkish president of praising and hosting Hamas leaders, and said Israel's army is "fighting to eliminate the most abhorrent and brutal terrorist organization in the world."

"Erdogan, who is committing genocide against the Kurds and who holds the world record for imprisoning journalists who oppose his regime, is the last person who can preach morality to us," Netanyahu said.

Skip next section 'Israeli strike' in southern Gaza kills 20, Hamas-run Health Ministry says
December 27, 2023

'Israeli strike' in southern Gaza kills 20, Hamas-run Health Ministry says

An Israeli airstrike hit southern Gaza's Khan Younis city on Wednesday, killing 20 and injuring dozens more, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said in a statement.

The strike hit a building housing displaced individuals at the al-Amal neighborhood in Khan Younis, according to the statement.

The Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service also reported dozens of deaths and injuries due to the "bombing of a residential building in front of al-Amal hospital."

An Israeli army spokesperson said the reports were being investigated.

Gaza's Health Ministry has said 21,110 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the conflict on October 7, with 55,243 more injured.

Skip next section Abbas blames US for ongoing war
December 27, 2023

Abbas blames US for ongoing war

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has blamed the US for allowing the Israeli offensive against the militant  Hamas group to continue in the Gaza Strip.

"Our people have not seen [before] such a war even in the 1948 Nakba," Abbas told Egyptian TV, using an Arabic term that denotes the mass displacement of Palestinians during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

"Unfortunately, whenever the world, the [UN] Security Council and the General Assembly try to stop this war, the US uses the veto and refuses to stop fighting," he said. 

"If the US wanted, it could make a gesture to Israel and Israel would stop it," said Abbas, who is the head of the Palestinian Authority, based in the occupied West Bank.

Abbas said Israel intended to stay in Gaza after the war "but the whole world does not agree with it," and that the US could "order" Israel to agree that Gaza become part of a future Palestinian state.

The Palestinian Authority administers the occupied West Bank, while Hamas administers the Gaza Strip. 

Skip next section Over 21,000 killed in Israeli offensive: Hamas-run Health Ministry
December 27, 2023

Over 21,000 killed in Israeli offensive: Hamas-run Health Ministry

The Health Ministry in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip said Wednesday at least 21,110 people have been killed in the Palestinian territory since Israel began its offensive there.

The ministry said the toll included 195 people killed in the past 24 hours and that another 55,243 people had been wounded since the start of the war.

Various UN agencies have said that past figures given by the Hamas-run ministry have proved reliable, though they cannot be independently verified.

Israel has been seeking to destroy Hamas in response to the October 7 attacks by the militant Islamist group in southern Israel in which some 1,200 Israelis were killed, most of them civilians.

Skip next section Israeli strike kills three in Lebanese border town — reports
December 27, 2023

Israeli strike kills three in Lebanese border town — reports

Smoke billows over the southern Lebanese village of Meiss El-Jabbal near the border with Israel following Israeli bombardment on December 26, 2023, amid ongoing cross-border tensions as fighting continues between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza
The southern Lebanese village of Meiss El-Jabbal was also hit by Israel, on December 26, as tensions on the border grow.Image: -/AFP/Getty Images

An air strike on a town on the Lebanese-Israeli border has killed a Hezbollah fighter, the militant group said Wednesday.

Lebanese state media have reported two of his relatives — his brother and wife — were also killed in the attack on a house in the center of Bint Jbeil, some 2 kilometers (about 1.25 miles) from the border.

The border between Lebanonand Israel has seen escalating exchanges of fire, mainly between the Israeli army and Hamas ally, Hezbollah, since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7.

Exchanges of fire have been largely confined to the border area but Israel has conducted limited strikes deeper into Lebanese territory.

Since hostilities began, more than 150 people have been killed on the Lebanese side, most of them Hezbollah combatants but also at least 12 civilians, three of them journalists, according to the news agency AFP.

An Israeli strike killed a Reuters photojournalist and severly wounded an Agence France Presse photographer early in December, news agency Reuters has previously concluded. 

On the Israeli side of the frontier, at least four civilians and nine soldiers have been killed since October 7, according to the Israeli military.

Skip next section Israel's army chief warns of prolonged war
December 27, 2023

Israel's army chief warns of prolonged war

Israel's war with the Islamist militant group Hamas will go on for some time, according to the head of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Herzi Halevi.

"There are no magic solutions, there are no shortcuts in dismantling a terrorist organization, only determined and persistent fighting," Halevi told reporters at the Gaza border on Tuesday night.

"This war's objectives are essential and not simple to achieve," Halevi said. 

"Therefore, the war will continue for many more months," he added. "We will reach Hamas' leadership too, whether it takes a week or if it takes months."

Israel's leaders vowed to destroy Hamas in the wake of an October 7 attack by the group in southern Israel in which more than 1,140 people died.

Israel's bombardment and siege of the Gaza Strip, followed by a ground invasion, have killed more than 20,000 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry there. 

As the war continues, fears are growing of a wider regional conflict amid incidents linked to other Iran-backed groups in the Middle East. Iran also supports Hamas logistically and financially.

IDF chief says Israel-Gaza war will last 'for many months'

Skip next section West Bank Health Ministry says 6 dead in overnight Israeli raid
December 27, 2023

West Bank Health Ministry says 6 dead in overnight Israeli raid

Six people were killed in the  West Bank city of Tulkarm in an Israeli raid, the Health Ministry in Ramallah said on Wednesday. It also reported several others wounded. 

Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that the six people were killed by Israeli airstrikes on the Nur Shams refugee camp near Tulkarm. It said that Israeli soldiers were also deployed in the area. 

Israel's military has yet to comment on the reported operation. 

The Israeli-occupied West Bank has witnessed increased violence amid the conflict in Gaza, albeit not on the same scale. According to Ramallah authorities, more than 300 Palestinians in the West Bank have been killed either by Israeli forces or settlers since Hamas' October 7 attack on Israel.

The West Bank is one of two Palestinian territories along with the Gaza Strip. It has been under military occupation by Israel since 1967. Many countries, including Germany, consider the growing number of Israeli sttlements there illegal.

Palestinians relate fatal cost of West Bank settler violence

Skip next section Biden discusses 'urgent' need to release remaining hostages with Qatar's emir
December 27, 2023

Biden discusses 'urgent' need to release remaining hostages with Qatar's emir

US President Joe Biden and Qatari leader Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani discussed the release of remaining hostages on Wednesday, the White House said in a readout of a call between the two.

The pair discussed "the urgent effort to secure the release of all remaining hostages held by Hamas, including American citizens," the statement said.

"The leaders also discussed the ongoing efforts to facilitate increased and sustained flows of life-saving access to humanitarian aid into Gaza," it added.

The Qatari state news agency said Al Thani received a phone call from Biden to discuss the latest developments and the current joint mediation efforts for calming the situation in the besieged enclave to reach a permanent cease-fire.

Qatar had helped mediate the last hostage release deal which saw the release of some 110 hostages held by Hamas militants in Gaza. 

Israeli families campaign for safe return of Gaza hostages

Skip next section Gaza authorities bury 80 unidentified bodies
December 27, 2023

Gaza authorities bury 80 unidentified bodies

Gazan authorities buried the bodies of 80 unidentified Palestinians on Tuesday after they were handed over by Israel through the Kerem Shalom border crossing, the Health Ministry in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip said.

According to the Islamic Waqf — or religious affairs ministry — the bodies were collected from the northern part of the Gaza Strip. They were buried in a mass grave in the south.

"Pictures are being taken to identify them later," a representative of the Gaza Islamic Waqf said during the burials.

Amputations common in Gaza amid war, health care crisis

Skip next section Israel steps up offensive in central Gaza, as UN appoints new humanitarian coordinator
December 27, 2023

Israel steps up offensive in central Gaza, as UN appoints new humanitarian coordinator

Israeli forces have stepped up their offensive in central Gaza, as they continue trying to root out Hamas militants in the Palestinian territory.

Hamas — classified a terrorist organization by the US, the EU and several other governments — attacked southern Israel on October 7, killing over 1,100 people.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  has vowed to destroy the militant group in retaliation for the attacks.

On Tuesday, AP news agency cited residents in reports that there had been shelling and airstrikes on the Nuseirat, Maghazi and Bureij camps in central Gaza.

The UN said the continued bombardment of central Gaza had claimed more than 100 Palestinian lives since Christmas Eve. The UN noted that Israel had ordered some residents to move there.

Also on Tuesday, the UN announced that Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Sigrid Kaag was the new special humanitarian coordinator for Gaza.

The appointment comes after the UN Security Council approved a resolutionlast week to step up the delivery of aid to residents in the besieged strip.

Tuesday also saw Israel’s minister for strategic affairs, Ron Dermer, meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US national security adviser Jake Sullivan. 

More than 20,900 Palestinians, many of them women and children, have been killed since the start of the war, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza.

Gaza death toll climbs as Israeli strikes continue

rm/kb (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)