In Gaza, Israel’s revengeful air campaign has resulted in the deaths of at least 1,900 Palestinians. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have initiated ground raids into Gaza, with Israeli troops and tanks launching attacks on Palestinian rocket crews and gathering information on hostages. This marks the first official account of ground operations in Gaza during the ongoing crisis. Among the deaths are 614 children and 370 women, the ministry claims.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that this campaign of retaliation had just begun, vowing to crush Hamas following their movement into southern Israel a week ago. In response, Israel imposed a complete siege on the Gaza Strip, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, and subjected it to intense airstrikes.
On Friday, more than one million residents in northern Gaza received evacuation notices from Israel, instructing them to move south within 24 hours. Hamas, however, encouraged residents to stay and resist. Israel’s military stated that its goal was to target underground Hamas hideouts in and around Gaza City.
As the situation unfolded, many Palestinian civilians began moving towards the southern part of Gaza. Israeli reserve soldiers were prepared for the next stage of operations, deployed around the Gaza Strip, indicating their readiness for various tasks.
While several thousand Gaza residents tried to leave the northern part of the strip, an exact count was difficult to determine. Tragically, reports indicated that 70 people were killed and 200 wounded as Israel targeted vehicles carrying those fleeing the north.
Many Palestinians chose not to leave, expressing the sentiment that staying was preferable to leaving. Mosques broadcast messages urging people to hold onto their homes and land.
The Hamas Interior Ministry encouraged people in northern Gaza and Gaza City to remain in their homes and locations. Families loaded their belongings into cars, trucks, and donkey carts, heading southward from Gaza City, even as Israeli airstrikes continued to pound the territory. Hamas’s media office reported that warplanes struck vehicles fleeing south, resulting in the deaths of more than 70 people.
According to the Hamas health ministry, Israeli airstrikes since the conflict began on October 7 have claimed the lives of 1,900 Palestinians and left 7,696 wounded. Among the casualties, there are 614 children and 370 women.
The United Nations revealed that over a week of relentless Israeli bombardment has led to the destruction of more than 1,300 buildings in Gaza. The UN’s humanitarian agency, OCHA, reported that 5,540 housing units were destroyed, with an additional 3,750 homes severely damaged and rendered uninhabitable.
More than 1,300 buildings in the Gaza Strip have been destroyed, the United Nations says, after nearly a week of fierce bombardment by Israeli forces.
The UN’s humanitarian agency OCHA says “5,540 housing units” in those buildings were destroyed and nearly 3,750 more homes were so badly damaged they were uninhabitable.