New Delhi: As Israel's war against Hamas continues, the Embassy of Israel in India has joined the "Balloons of Hope: Bring the Hostages Home" campaign in a touching display of solidarity with the families of those held hostage by Hamas since the October 7 assault.

This moving ceremony included the release of 229 balloons into the Delhi sky, with each balloon representing the innocent lives apprehended and currently held in the Gaza Strip, according to the Israel Embassy in New Delhi.

These balloons serve as a symbol of the fervent wish for the safe return of the hostages, the Embassy said.

Notably, the "Balloons of Hope" campaign has attracted involvement from more than 15 countries worldwide in an unprecedented display of international unity against the Hamas offensive. The picture below shows the campaign being carried out in Tbilisi, Georgia.

This coordinated action serves as a powerful reminder of the universal human rights that underpin all of humanity and shows that the situation of the hostages is not limited to a regional issue.

The picture below is from Belgrade, Serbia.

It was on October 7 that Hamas launched a deadly terrorist attack on Israel.

The aftermath of this incident continues to weigh heavily on the hearts of the nation, with over 200 innocent individuals still being held hostage, evoking a profound sense of collective concern and sadness.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) on Saturday said it had killed Rateb Abu Sahiban, the commander of Hamas' naval forces within the Gaza City Brigade, in a targeted overnight airstrike.

This operation came in response to his involvement in planning and leading a Hamas infiltration attempt via the sea on October 24, which was thwarted by the Israeli Navy. The IDF has also shared footage of the overnight strike on social media platform, X.

"The Air Force eliminated Ratab Abu Tshaiban, the commander of the naval force of the Gaza Brigade, at the end of a joint intelligence effort by the Navy, Air Force, Amman and Shin Bet. Tshaiban planned and commanded the naval penetration attempt that took place on October 24 in the area of the Zikim coast by sea," posted Israeli Air Force on X.

Meanwhile, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, IDF Spokesman, has stated that the military is "advancing through the stages of the war" in Gaza, with ground forces actively conducting operations in the Strip.

"Infantry, armoured, engineering and artillery forces are participating in the activity, accompanied by heavy (air) fire," he says, adding, "The forces are still on the ground and continue the fighting."

No soldiers have been hurt in the expanded ground operation, he also said.

The conflict in Gaza escalated after the October 7 attack by Hamas, where about 2,500 terrorists breached the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip, leading to casualties and the seizure of hostages. Israel has characterised its Gaza offensive as targeting Hamas' infrastructure with the goal of eliminating the entire terror group while making efforts to minimize civilian casualties, The Times of Israel reported.

At least 7,326 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks since October 7. More than 1,400 people were killed in the Hamas attack on Israel.