The ongoing conflict in Gaza has escalated into a severe humanitarian crisis, with the United Nations warning of widespread famine across the region. As the Israeli military operation intensifies, the citizens of Gaza face not only the horrors of conflict but also the looming threat of starvation and disease.
A Rapid Descent into Famine
Martin Griffiths, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, expressed alarm at the speed at which famine is engulfing Gaza. In a recent statement, Martin Griffiths highlighted that a significant portion of the 400,000 Gazans, previously identified as at risk of famine, are already experiencing it.
This alarming situation is a direct consequence of the ongoing Israeli bombardment in response to the Hamas-initiated terror attacks on October 7. This military response has led to tragic losses, with more than 24,000 fatalities reported by the Hamas-run Ministry of Health.
The bombardment has not only resulted in loss of life but also caused extensive destruction, leaving civilians in a perpetual state of fear, facing threats from airstrikes, starvation, and disease.
Military Movements and Withdrawal Signs
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant provided an update on the military operations in Gaza.
He indicated that the "intensive manoeuvring stage" of the campaign in the northern and southern regions of Gaza is nearing its conclusion. According to Yoav Gallant, the Israeli military is focused on eliminating resistance in northern Gaza through a combination of raids, airstrikes, special operations, and other activities.
Initially, the plan was for this phase of the operation to last about three months. However, Yoav Gallant emphasized that the Israeli military adapts its strategies based on ground realities and intelligence inputs. In a significant development, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced the withdrawal of its 36th division from Gaza.
This division, comprising armored, engineering, and infantry companies, had been operating in various areas of Gaza for 80 days. The withdrawal is seen as a shift to a new phase of the conflict, although the IDF has not provided specific details regarding the reasons for this move or the number of troops involved.