While its tanks reached the gates of Gaza City in a gradual ground offensive to end the Hamas fundamentalist group in the Gaza Strip, Israel announced this Monday the rescue of soldier Ori Meguidish, 19, kidnapped in the attack. Palestinian on October 7. The Israeli Black Saturday that has turned October into a hellish month for Gazans.

After several days of preparation, the special operation by the army and the internal secret service (Shabak) was carried out on Sunday night and ended in an exchange of fire with militiamen linked to Hamas. The soldier, who served at the Nahal Oz border base, had been alone with the terrorists in the Gaza Strip for more than three weeks. “Ori spoke amazingly with a great memory. We will not reveal anything here as it is information we must use,” the army revealed. The rescue, unprecedented in the Palestinian enclave, raises spirits in an Israel traumatized after the worst attack in its history (1,400 dead), gives hope to the families of the remaining 238 kidnapped people and raises doubts in the ranks of Hamas, which was in euphoria after its attack defined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “the worst savagery our people have seen since the Holocaust.”

“This is a turning point for leaders and nations. It is time for all of us to decide whether we are willing to fight for a future of hope and promise or surrender to tyranny and terror,” Netanyahu told foreign press in a intervention in which, after mentioning the beheadings, massacres and violations of 7-O and the “terrorist use of hospitals and mosques”, he assured that he would not accept a truce because it would be “surrendering to barbarism and terror.” “Since October 7, Israel has been at war. Israel did not start this war nor did it want it, but it will win it,” he concluded.

The ground offensive is accompanied by drones, helicopters and fighters that hit any Hamas commando that tries to surprise the soldiers in the north of the Strip. According to Palestinian testimonies, Israeli troops sometimes reached the strategic Salahadin highway, located three kilometers from the border and which runs through the Palestinian area from north to south.

The ground operation, which began on Friday afternoon without an official declaration and under the ambiguous concept of “expansion of incursions”, unprecedented bombings and a communications blackout in Gaza, is more cautious than expected and includes fighting with the arm armed Hamas.

“I tell the terrorists that you only have two options: die in combat with the soldiers or surrender,” warned Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, while military spokesman Daniel Hagari declined to give details about the location of his forces, revealing only that they are increasingly numerous and that “dozens of terrorists have died in the last day.”

As Israeli tanks, armored cars and bulldozers advance along a path “prepared” from above with bombs in areas such as Beit Janun or Beit Lahia, the division of the military and humanitarian situation in the Strip becomes clearer. On the one hand, the north, semi-destroyed, with hundreds of thousands of inhabitants evacuated and which includes the so-called “Gaza Metro” (the network of tunnels of the armed wing of Hamas). On the other, the south, hit but with better conditions from a health and humanitarian point of view. At least 132 trucks loaded with water, medicine and food have arrived here from the Egyptian Rafah border crossing. According to Hamas authorities in Gaza, the Israeli offensive has caused more than 8,300 deaths.

Israeli military superiority is notable in open areas, where it is easier to detect in time the exit of militiamen from tunnels or urban ambushes. The armed wing of Hamas hopes to confront the forces in more comfortable and safe situations for its people. To greater blows received, Hamas responded with projectiles of greater range and symbolism such as those fired this Monday and intercepted in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Their other arsenal is kidnapped people. This Monday he released the video in which three Israeli women kidnapped in two kibbutzim appear criticizing Netanyahu for not accepting the truce that would have meant his release and the mistake of 7-O.

The Gaza war diverted but did not put out the fire that threatened to ignite a new Intifada in the West Bank. After noting that 121 Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire – mostly soldiers but in some cases settlers – in this period, the Palestinian National Authority denounces Israel’s “bloody escalation.” While many of its forces were deployed to the borders of Gaza and Lebanon, Israel extended its campaign against Hamas to the West Bank with the arrest of more than 700 militants and an increase in raids that often end in armed clashes. Last night, at least four militants were killed in an airstrike in the raid in Jenin, north of the territory occupied by Israel in the ’67 war.

Yesterday, a Palestinian from East Jerusalem stabbed and seriously injured a police officer and was shot dead after trying to flee. An example of how small Israel continues to be, especially around 7-O: one of the police officers who responded to the attack in Jerusalem was the veteran Meir Gabai, who this Monday returned to the street after the murder of his daughter in the attack of Hamas in southern Israel.