An Israeli attack on central Gaza killed 68 civilians. This brings the total number of Israeli soldiers killed in the conflict over the weekend to 15. Smoke was billowing in the beleaguered region on Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, Bethlehem's Christmas celebrations have been halted by the West Bank. In neighbouring Egypt, preliminary efforts to organize another hostage swap for Palestinians detained by Israel are ongoing. The Israelis are committed to destroying Hamas' administrative and military capabilities and liberating the remaining 129 detainees.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's leader, Ziad al-Nakhla, has arrived in Egypt for discussions. The terrorist organization, which was also involved in the October 7 attack, stated that it would consider releasing the captives only when the conflict was over. Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's top leader, recently travelled to Cairo for discussions.