Israel intensified its military operations against Hamas on Sunday, following a devastating attack that occurred a month earlier. The Palestinian group reported significant casualties, including over 38 deaths, due to Israeli strikes on a Gaza refugee camp and a water reservoir. Despite international calls for a ceasefire, Israel continued its offensive, urging Gazans to evacuate northern areas.
The conflict has resulted in a high number of Palestinian casualties, with over 9,488 fatalities, predominantly comprising women, children, and the elderly. Israel’s comprehensive military campaign, which includes air strikes and ground operations, began in response to a surprise raid by Hamas on October 7, claiming 1,400 Israeli lives and resulting in the capture of 240 individuals.
Israel’s military has consistently targeted various locations in Gaza, including hospitals, residential areas, and aid centres. The Israeli army has confirmed engaging in close-quarters combat and conducting air and naval strikes, aiming to dismantle Hamas’ capabilities. Despite the heavy bombardment, Hamas has continued to resist Israeli forces’ attempts to advance further into Palestinian territory.
Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza
Deteriorating Conditions and Global Humanitarian Concerns
The ongoing conflict has significantly worsened living conditions in Gaza. The scarcity of food, limited access to clean water, and the collapsing medical infrastructure have raised global concerns about the humanitarian situation. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates nearly 1.5 million people in Gaza are internally displaced.
Calls for Ceasefire Amidst Rising Global Alarm
International pressure for a ceasefire has been mounting, with various countries and global leaders urging to halt the hostilities. The United States, while supporting humanitarian pauses, has not endorsed a full ceasefire, citing concerns that it might benefit Hamas. Protests and demonstrations worldwide have called for immediate action to stop the violence and provide aid to Gaza.
Escalating Violence in West Bank and Lebanon Border
The conflict has raised alarms about the potential spread of violence to the West Bank and the Lebanese border. The United States and other international actors have emphasized the need for accountability and a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
International Diplomatic Efforts and Stances
Countries like Turkey have taken strong stances against Israel’s actions, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan holding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally responsible for the civilian casualties in Gaza. Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts continue, with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visiting the Middle East to engage with key regional stakeholders in pursuit of de-escalating the situation.