Abbas and Netanyahu
Last year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke during an event about the Middle East peace talks at the White House. Jim Young/Reuters

According to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza, as the world was busy celebrating Christmas, Israel continued its assault on the besieged enclave. At least 241 people were killed in just 24 hours, reported Gaza's Health Ministry.

The ministry also said that almost 400 civilians, 382, had been injured within the same 24 hours.

In a statement, the Chief of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), Herzi Halevi, warned that without Hamas' surrender and the release of all of the Israeli captives, Israel's war with the proscribed terrorist organisation will continue for "many more months".

As the death toll continues to mount in Gaza, the ministry has reported that more than 20,915 Palestinian civilians have been killed as a result of the 11 weeks of fighting.

Israel will continue to bombard the Strip to "eliminate" Hamas militants, making sure that the nation's "achievements are preserved for a long time", Halevi added.

"There are no shortcuts when it comes to thoroughly dismantling a terrorist organisation except being stubborn and determined in the fighting," the Chief of the IDF continued, going on to declare: "There are no magic solutions."

According to Halevi, the IDF was close to eliminating all Hamas battalions in the north of Gaza.

In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, medical sources said that six Palestinians were killed in an overnight drone strike on the Nur Shams refugee camp, located in Tulkarem.

While Israel has repeatedly accused Hamas of using civilian infrastructure as a base, a spokesperson for the IDF, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, announced that the Israeli force has since "expanded the combat to the area known as the Central Camps".

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who obtained leadership over the West Bank in 2005, called the conflict a "grave crime" against the Palestinian people.

Medical sources in the West Bank reported that six Palestinians were killed in an overnight drone strike on the Nur Shams refugee camp.

In his first interview since the war started, President Abbas said that the assault on Gaza was unprecedented in the history of the Palestinian people.

The damage to the Palestinian territory has made it unrecognisable, President Abbas added, going on to warn that the Palestinian control of the West Bank could collapse at any time.

While the comment is yet to be verified, the Israeli military said that the assault came as part of a ground operation that carried out "counterterrorism activity".

The IDF reported that its aircraft had hit "terrorists who hurled explosive devices at the forces".

As of this week, according to Israel's armed forces, around 8,000 Hamas fighters have been killed. The IDF estimate that 25,000 to 40,000 militants make up the entire Hamas group.

This week, the IDF reported that it had hit more than 100 sites in Gaza and claimed that they were being used as Hamas bases.

Since Hamas launched its unprecedented kidnapping and on-the-ground massacre of Israeli nationals on October 7, which resulted in at least 1,200 people being killed, Israel says that 129 people remain unaccounted for.

This week, pointing the finger at Israel's military, Hamas said that it had lost contact with a group of militants who were responsible for five of the Israeli hostages who were being held captive in Gaza.

Since the fighting began, Hamas has released a string of gruesome videos that show Israeli hostages being killed by the militants in Gaza – including 19-year-old Noa Marciano and 86-year-old Ayre Zalamanovich.

While both Israel and Hamas have resisted the calls for a lasting ceasefire, Israeli and Arab media outlets reported that Egypt has proposed a concrete agreement for a ceasefire.

The ceasefire plan would facilitate the slow release of all Israeli captives and an undecided number of Palestinian prisoners. The lasting deal would also see Israel's offensive halted immediately.

The Egyptian agreement did not make any references to Hezbollah's assault on the north of Israel.