Israeli Bombing Intensifies Overnight
Residents in the Gaza Strip have reported intensified Israeli bombing overnight, resulting in a number of casualties. Tanks have also engaged in battles with Palestinian militants north and east of Khan Younis.
Residents Fleeing Khan Younis
Amid the escalating violence, residents of Khan Younis continue to flee their houses, seeking refuge either to the west or to Rafah further south.
Gaza Conflict: Israeli Troops Engage in Fierce Battles with Hamas
Israeli troops are engaged in fierce battles with Hamas in southern Gaza. After reaching the heart of the city of Khan Younis, Palestinian civilians are being forced to seek refuge elsewhere as the number of safe areas decreases.
Israeli warplanes have also bombarded targets across the densely populated coastal territory, marking one of the heaviest phases of fighting since the beginning of Israel’s military campaign to eliminate the Palestinian militant group.
Hospitals in Gaza are overwhelmed with dead and wounded, including women and children, and supplies are running critically low. Hundreds of thousands of displaced people are seeking shelter in the few remaining safe areas designated by Israel.
After gaining control of northern Gaza, Israeli troops and tanks have pushed further south, encircling Khan Younis. This comes after a week-long truce collapsed last week.
According to Israeli authorities, their forces have struck hundreds of targets, including a militant cell near a school in the north. Hamas’ armed wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, has described the combat as fierce.
Tanks are stationed on the edge of the Khan Younis refugee camp, near the house of Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Yehya Al-Sinwar. It remains unclear whether anyone is there.
Lucky Escapes and Continued Bombardment
Some Palestinians have described lucky escapes after their homes were destroyed in Israeli air strikes. Hamdi Tanira, a survivor, recounts a miraculous rescue after an attack on a house where he and about 30 others, including 20 children, were sleeping.
The fighting has not spared the north, where tanks, naval boats, and warplanes continue to pound areas of the Jabalia refugee camp, as well as roads and houses.
The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War reports a shift in Hamas’ tactics, with fighters now using improvised explosive devices and anti-personnel mines as the combat moves to close ground combat.
International Concerns and Humanitarian Crisis
The global community is deeply concerned about the plight of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Jan Egeland, the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, has stated that the current assault on Gaza ranks amongst the worst attacks on any civilian population in modern times.
Israel claims it is making efforts to avoid harming non-combatants, asserting that Hamas is using civilians as human shields and preventing them from seeking safety in designated areas. However, these claims are denied by the militant group.
The United States, Israel’s closest ally, has called on Israel to allow more aid, including fuel, into Gaza and to minimize harm to civilians.
The humanitarian situation in Gaza is dire. The few remaining hospitals are barely functioning, with critically low levels of fuel and medical supplies. The Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza is overwhelmed with patients in need of emergency care.
Reflecting the gravity of the situation, the truce collapse has left Gazans with no safe place. The towns and shelters are overwhelmed, and Israel continues to bomb the areas it advises people to evacuate to.
Hostages and Final Thoughts
Israel claims that women and children remain in the hands of Hamas. During the pause in fighting, Hamas released over 100 hostages, but 138 captives are still held.
The conflict in Gaza continues to escalate, with no immediate end in sight. The situation remains a cause for international concern and raises questions about the long-term consequences for the region.
Read More of this Story at www.reuters.com – 2023-12-06 11:00:00
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