Following a two-week exchange of hostilities, Israel’s military continues relentless strikes on Gaza despite urging Palestinians to evacuate north and seek ‘safe zones’ in the south.
According to the Gaza Health Ministry, 3,785 Palestinians have lost their lives since the Israeli strikes began on October 7. (Photo: AP)
Israeli airstrikes continued to pound Gaza, targeting areas that had been designated as safe zones, intensifying the fear among the more than 2 million Palestinians trapped in the region. In the wake of a devastating attack by Hamas on southern Israel almost two weeks prior, the Israeli military had maintained relentless assaults on Gaza.
This continued even after Israel had called for Palestinian evacuation from the northern regions to what they termed “safe zones” in the south. The strikes persisted across the densely populated territory, striking residential buildings, such as one in Khan Younis, leading to at least 12 fatalities and 40 wounded, as reported by medical personnel at Nasser Hospital.
The bombardments followed an agreement by Israel to allow limited humanitarian aid from Egypt into Gaza, providing some relief after 11 days of siege. This announcement came amid outrage over an explosion at Gaza City’s al-Ahli Hospital.
The source of the blast was contested, with Hamas blaming an Israeli airstrike, while Israel claimed it was due to a rocket misfire by Islamic Jihad, another militant group in Gaza. The authenticity of these claims remained unverified by The Associated Press.
The Gaza Health Ministry reported 3,478 deaths and over 12,000 injuries in Gaza since the start of the conflict, while violence also escalated in other regions, including Lebanon and the West Bank. Aid efforts remained precarious, and hospitals in Gaza were teetering on the brink of collapse.
Amid these circumstances, U.S. President Joe Biden visited Israel and pledged $100 million in humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, striving to strike a balance between supporting Israel and addressing the concerns of Arab allies. King Abdullah II of Jordan and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also engaged in diplomatic efforts to mitigate the ongoing crisis.