The turbulent situation in Gaza has escalated further as Israeli forces have intensified their military operations within the densely populated Gaza City. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the military action has resulted in the elimination of "thousands of terrorists, from above and under the ground." This operation comes amidst increasing calls from the international community for Israel to consider a humanitarian truce.
In a brief respite from the violence, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) permitted a four-hour window for civilians to evacuate to safer regions of the enclave. Videos circulating online show people marked by white flags, emblematic of their plea for protection, making their way towards the south of Gaza City.
Despite growing international pressure for a ceasefire, the IDF has maintained a firm stance against Hamas, asserting a readiness to continue their strikes "wherever necessary," which may include civilian sites utilized by the militant group.
The IDF's recent statements have detailed their strategic operations, claiming to have targeted over 14,000 terrorist sites in the past month, significantly disrupting Hamas's infrastructure and command.
The Strain on Health Care
The conflict has severely impacted Gaza's health care system.
Reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that medical professionals in Gaza have been compelled to perform surgeries, including amputations, without anesthesia due to the dire shortages. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also faced a perilous situation when delivering medical supplies, coming under fire in the process.
Furthermore, a staff member of Doctors Without Borders and his family were tragically killed in an explosion in the Al Shati refugee camp.
Exodus and Casualties
The Rafah border crossing into Egypt has seen a significant movement, with an Egyptian official reporting the evacuation of 637 foreign nationals and the transport of 15 injured Palestinians into Egypt for medical care.
This marks the highest daily number of evacuations since the conflict's intensification. The human toll of the ongoing operations is grim. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, over 70% of the casualties in Gaza since October 7 are children, women, and the elderly—a statistic that has been substantiated by UNICEF's spokesperson James Elder, aligning closely with figures from the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza.