LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN GAZA
Hamas Strikes Back as Hunger Spreads
Israel claims that dozens of Hamas fighters have surrendered in recent days, while Palestinians describe a growing desperation for food. The situation in Gaza has reached a critical point, with public order disintegrating and hunger spreading rapidly. This has fueled fears of a mass exodus to Egypt, as the narrow coastal strip has been under a full Israeli blockade for over two months.
Desperate Attacks and Sky-high Prices
The majority of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been driven from their homes and are struggling to find refuge and food in the densely populated enclave. Aid trucks are being attacked, and prices for basic necessities have skyrocketed. The situation has left many bewildered, as no one expected such a dire situation where people would die of hunger.
Fears of Epidemic Diseases and Increased Displacement
Hamas is striking back against Israeli forces across Gaza, preventing tanks from advancing further into the city. Despite the Israeli claims of Hamas fighters surrendering, the situation remains tense. Meanwhile, U.N. officials warn of a complete breakdown of public order and the possibility of epidemic diseases. This could lead to an even worse situation, including a mass displacement of people into Egypt.
Israel Denies Seeking to Empty Gaza
Israel denies accusations that it is seeking to empty Gaza of its people. While the border with Egypt is heavily fortified, Gazans were able to cross during a previous blockade in 2008. However, this time, Egypt has made it clear that it will not allow Gazans into its territory. Jordan, which absorbed many Palestinians in the past, also accuses Israel of attempting to empty Gaza. The Israeli government strongly refutes these claims and emphasizes its efforts to defend its population.
The Toll of the Conflict
The conflict between Israel and Hamas has taken a devastating toll. Since October 7th, at least 18,205 Palestinians have been killed and 49,645 wounded. Many people remain trapped under rubble, with limited access to aid and medical assistance. Israel insists that its instructions to move are aimed at protecting the population, as it accuses Hamas of using civilians as human shields and stealing humanitarian aid.
Urgent Humanitarian Concerns
The flow of aid into Gaza has been severely restricted, with Israel expressing concerns that it could be used to fuel Hamas attacks. The Israeli government is working to open the Kerem Shalom crossing, which processed most aid before the war. However, it blames international agencies for holdups at the crossing from Egypt. The situation has reached a crisis point, with urgent action needed to address the growing humanitarian concerns.
Ongoing Violence and Loss of Life
Violence continues to escalate in Gaza, with clashes between militants and Israeli forces intensifying. The death toll rises, and the situation remains volatile in various areas, including Khan Younis and Gaza City. The need for immediate intervention and a lasting solution is becoming increasingly urgent.
Reporting by Bassam Masoud in Gaza and Nidal al-Mughrabi in Cairo; Additional reporting by Maayan Lubell in Jerusalem, Tom Perry in Beirut, Clauda Tanios in Dubai, Suleiman al-Khalidi in Amman and Aiden Lewis in Cairo; Writing by Philippa Fletcher; Editing by Sharon Singleton and Angus MacSwan
Read More of this Story at www.reuters.com – 2023-12-11 15:33:40
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