Gaza Conflict: Israeli Army Prepares for Ground Battles
Intense Bombardment in North Gaza
The Israeli army has severed northern Gaza from the rest of the besieged territory and is currently conducting airstrikes, preparing for expected ground battles with Hamas militants in Gaza’s largest city. The war has become the deadliest Israeli-Palestinian violence since Israel’s establishment 75 years ago, with casualties expected to rise sharply as the conflict moves to close urban combat. Troops are expected to enter Gaza City soon, and Palestinian militants are likely to fight street by street, launching ambushes from a vast network of tunnels.
Hamas Blamed for Civilian Casualties
The Palestinian death toll has surpassed 10,000, with the Health Ministry of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip reporting that it does not distinguish between fighters and civilians. In Israel, about 1,400 people have died, mostly civilians killed in the incursion by Hamas that started the war. Israel blames civilian casualties on Hamas, accusing the militants of operating in residential neighborhoods.
Impact on Northern Gaza Residents
Several hundred thousand people are believed to remain in northern Gaza, in the path of the assault. A one-way corridor for residents of Gaza City and surrounding areas to flee south remains available, although many are afraid to use it due to Israeli troop presence. In recent days, airstrikes have hit U.N. facilities and hospitals, causing further devastation and overwhelming medical resources.
Widespread Destruction and Humanitarian Crisis
The war has led to widespread destruction, with homes being crushed and unknown numbers of people buried underneath. Around 70% of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have fled their homes, and essential resources such as food, medicine, fuel, and water are running low. U.N.-run schools-turned-shelters are beyond capacity, and many people are forced to sleep on the streets.
No Sign of Headway on Pause
U.S. President Joe Biden has raised the need for humanitarian pauses with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but no agreement has been reached. Israel has rejected suggestions for a pause and calls for a broader cease-fire from Arab countries. Efforts to secure a pause, negotiate the release of hostages, and plan for a post-Hamas Gaza are still a work in progress.
Escalation of Tensions and Unrest
The war has stoked wider tensions, with Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group engaging in border clashes. There have also been incidents of violence in other areas, such as a stabbing attack in east Jerusalem and the killing of Palestinian men in the West Bank. The situation remains volatile and unpredictable.
Inadequate Aid Delivery
Humanitarian aid delivery to Gaza remains insufficient to meet mounting needs. While some aid has been allowed to enter Gaza from Egypt, it falls short of the requirements. A Jordanian military cargo plane recently air-dropped medical aid to a field hospital in northern Gaza, potentially providing another avenue for aid delivery.
Ongoing Violence and Devastation
Despite Israeli military orders to flee to southern Gaza, continued strikes in central and southern Gaza have claimed more lives. The death toll in Gaza has reached over 10,000, including thousands of children and women. The conflict shows no signs of resolution, with both sides continuing to engage in violence.
The Gaza conflict has resulted in immense devastation and loss of life. The Israeli army’s preparations for ground battles and ongoing airstrikes have significantly impacted the civilian population. The urgent need for a humanitarian pause and increased aid delivery cannot be overstated. International efforts must be intensified to bring an end to the violence and address the humanitarian crisis.
Full AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war
Read More of this Story at apnews.com – 2023-11-07 02:34:00
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