Israel has dramatically increased its strikes in Gaza, leading to renewed death and destruction across the Strip even as humanitarian organizations and international allies grow increasingly alarmed by the scale of the unfolding crisis, the Israeli military said.
The Israeli military announced on Friday that it had struck more than 450 targets in the past 24 hours — the highest number since the collapse of a ceasefire with Hamas last week. The escalation in strikes appears to have occurred on the same day that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed concerns about the “gap” between “Israel’s intention to protect civilians and the actual results we are seeing on the ground.”
Israel launched a new phase of its war this week, launching a new offensive in southern Gaza after weeks of intense bombardment and fighting in the north. The humanitarian situation was already desperate, with most of Gaza’s population displaced and unable to access aid at the same time as the local medical system reached breaking point due to the unprecedented influx of patients. It has now become more extreme.
“Civil order is collapsing in Gaza – the streets are deserted, especially after dark – some aid convoys are being looted and UN vehicles are being stoned,” wrote Thomas White, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Gaza. X Friday. “Society is on the verge of complete collapse.” He said that his organization continues “to serve the population with whatever.” [limited] The aid we have.”
The Israeli army and local residents say that fierce fighting is taking place in the north and south of the Gaza Strip. Reuters Reports, even after Israel claimed to have completed most of its military objectives in the north last month. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said 350 people died on Thursday, meaning more than 17,170 people have been killed in the conflict.
Israel launched its invasion of Gaza in response to the October 7 terrorist attacks that left 1,200 people dead, according to Israeli figures. Hundreds of others were kidnapped during the rampage, and many are still missing. Eitan Levy, the 52-year-old taxi driver who transported a passenger to a kibbutz that was attacked on October 7, was confirmed dead on Friday in Hamas captivity, according to the British newspaper the Daily Mail. The Times of IsraelAlthough it is not clear when his death occurred.
The vast majority of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been made homeless by the fighting over the past two months, with many local residents saying there is no safe place to seek shelter as the Israeli operation expands.
On Thursday, photos spread online showing Palestinian men being detained by Israel, with the footage apparently showing the captives stripped to their underwear and forced to kneel. Amid uproar over allegations of inhumane treatment, Israeli government spokesman Elon Levy told The Guardian BBC The men were arrested on Friday in Jabalia and Shuja’iya in northern Gaza, which Levy described as “Hamas’ strongholds and centers of gravity.”
He also said that the detainees were “men of military age” who were found “in areas that civilians were supposed to vacate weeks ago.”
in statement The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Observatory said on its website that “the Israeli army arrested and abused dozens of Palestinian civilians in the northern Gaza Strip.” The organization said that it “received reports that the occupation forces are launching random and arbitrary arrest campaigns against displaced people, including doctors, academics, journalists, and the elderly.”
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