On Monday, dozens of Israeli military vehicles entered the southern Gaza Strip, towards which the Israeli army expanded its ground operations, despite the presence of hundreds of thousands of civilians there, many of whom had previously been displaced from other areas in the besieged Strip.
The Israeli army has been launching ground operations in the northern Gaza Strip since October 27, that is, 20 days after the outbreak of the war with Hamas. The ground operations were concentrated in the north of the Gaza Strip, which the army asked its residents to evacuate and head towards the southern regions, according to Agence France-Presse.
Since the resumption of fighting on Friday, after the end of a week-long truce with Hamas, the Israeli army has focused mainly on air strikes, with intense bombardment of areas in the south.
The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Mirjana Spolijaric, who arrived in Gaza on Monday, said that the suffering of the population in the besieged Palestinian Strip is “unbearable.”
Spoliatric confirmed on the “X” platform: “It is unacceptable that civilians do not have a safe place to go in Gaza, and with a military blockade in place, there is no adequate humanitarian response possible currently.”
She also insisted that “the hostages must be released and the International Committee of the Red Cross allowed to visit them safely.”
The Israeli army said on Monday that it was “acting forcefully against (Hamas) and terrorist organizations” in the Gaza Strip, especially in the southern city of Khan Yunis.
Witnesses told Agence France-Presse that dozens of Israeli tanks, troop carriers, and military bulldozers entered the town of Al-Qarara, northeast of Khan Yunis.
Amin Abu Houli (59 years old), a resident of the Al-Qarara area, said that “dozens of tanks, troop carriers, and military bulldozers entered about 2,000 meters into the town of Al-Qarara,” explaining that the tanks entered “from the Israeli military gate of Kissufim… and they are stationed in the Abu area.” Holly, west of Salah al-Din Road, which connects the north and south of the Strip.
Moaz Muhammad (34 years old), a shoe store owner who lives in the town, said: “We fled on Sunday afternoon, me, my wife, my three children, my father and my mother. Tanks are now located on both sides of Salah al-Din Road, completely blocking it at the Mills Junction between Deir al-Balah and Khan Yunis, and firing shells and bullets at any car or any citizen moving in the area.”
Smoke rose into the sky after bombing of northern Gaza and above Rafah in the south, according to photos taken by Agence France-Presse.
Nearly 16 thousand dead
The Hamas attack led to the death of 1,200 people in Israel, most of them civilians, the majority of whom died on the first day of the attack, according to the Israeli authorities.
The Israeli army announced, on Monday, the killing of 3 soldiers, on Sunday, in the northern Gaza Strip, bringing the death toll of soldiers to 75 soldiers since the start of the ground operation, and to 401 soldiers since the start of the war, including the soldiers who died in the Hamas attack, reserve soldiers and members. security.
According to the army, 137 hostages are still being held in the Gaza Strip after the release of 105 hostages, including 80 who were released in exchange for the release of 240 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons during the truce.
The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office announced on Monday that Hamas is holding hostage the bodies of 15 people: 11 civilians and 4 soldiers, including a senior officer.
Hamas says that the Israeli bombing caused the death of a number of hostages in the Gaza Strip.
Clashes broke out on Monday in Gaza City, which was targeted by air strikes. Witnesses reported that Israeli tanks opened fire and entered the Old City market for the first time. Where dozens of kiosks were destroyed.
A raid on the entrance to Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza City, on Monday, resulted in a number of deaths, according to the Palestinian News Agency (Wafa).
In a statement, the Hamas government accused the Israeli army of committing a “serious violation” of international humanitarian law.
In response to a question from Agence France-Presse, the Israeli army did not immediately confirm whether it had bombed the vicinity of the hospital. Since the outbreak of the war, Israel has accused Hamas of setting up centers in or under hospitals and using civilians as human shields, which the movement strongly denies, accusing the Hebrew state of waging a “hospital war.”
Chaos in hospitals
According to photographers and correspondents of the French Press Agency, the bombing affected Khan Yunis and Rafah in the south, Deir al-Balah in the center, and other areas, leading to many deaths and injuries.
The Israeli army daily warns residents via leaflets dropped by air of an “imminent terrible attack” in Khan Yunis and its environs, calling on them to leave.
Since the beginning of the war, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been displaced to the south of the Gaza Strip. Hoping to escape the fighting, or in response to the orders of the Israeli army, which now controls several areas in the north.
They live in difficult conditions and under the weight of bombing in the south, and are sheltering in large numbers in temporary shelters, schools, and tents, and sleeping in the open or in their cars.
While most hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip are out of service, hospitals in the south are suffering from complete chaos in light of the influx of large numbers of wounded beyond their capacity, while their fuel stocks have run out to operate electricity generators.
In a destroyed area in the city of Rafah, there were survivors searching through the rubble on Monday.
Abu Jaher Al-Haj, a resident of Rafah, said: “We were sitting in the house and we heard a huge and terrifying sound, and pieces of cement started falling on us, as if an earthquake had occurred. We have never seen anything like this before. “The ground shook violently.”
To the north in Deir al-Balah, wounded people on the ground wait for a place in Al-Aqsa Hospital.
Palestinian Walaa Abu Libda said: “My 4-year-old daughter is under the rubble. I don’t know if she is alive or dead.” Stop the war, we are tired of war.
The Israeli army announced on Sunday that it had carried out “about 10,000 air strikes” on Gaza since the beginning of the war, destroying or damaging more than half of the residential units, according to the United Nations.
The needs have become enormous in the Strip, which is subject to an applied Israeli siege, where, according to the United Nations, 1.8 million people have been displaced due to the war, out of a total population of 2.4 million people in the Strip.
With the exception of the seven days of the truce, during which hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian aid entered through Egypt, the Rafah border crossing is only partially opened to allow the passage of a small number of trucks, or the evacuation of foreigners in very limited numbers.
Dead in the West Bank
In parallel, several hotspots of tension in the Middle East are arousing concern to the international community, after Sunday’s events in the Red Sea and Iraq, while acts of violence are increasing in the occupied West Bank and on the border between Israel and Lebanon.
At dawn on Monday, the Israeli army launched operations in various areas of the West Bank, especially in Jenin, where about 30 military vehicles were deployed, according to the Palestinian Wafa Agency.
Three Palestinians were killed by Israeli bullets during army military operations in various areas in the West Bank, according to what was announced by the Palestinian Ministry of Health and the army, which said it was responding to gunfire targeting it.
The Ministry confirmed that “two young men were killed by Israeli occupation bullets, and their bodies were detained during the aggression against Qalqilya,” in the northern West Bank, without additional details.
The Israeli army said in a statement: “Gideon unit fighters, reserve fighters, and army special forces, under the guidance of the Shin Bet, thwarted a terrorist group that opened fire several times on our forces in Qalqilya.” He added: “The forces pursued the wanted persons, and an exchange of fire took place during which two terrorists were killed and others were injured.”
In the Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem, the Ministry of Health announced, “The young man Ali Ibrahim Alqam (32 years old) was martyred by a bullet in the heart fired at him by Israeli occupation soldiers.”
The West Bank has witnessed an escalation in tensions since the outbreak of war in Gaza. Since October 7, more than 250 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army or settler fire in various areas of the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
On the other hand, the trial of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption-related charges resumed Monday in Jerusalem after it was suspended for about two months due to the war. Netanyahu, leader of the right-wing Likud Party, is accused of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, and he denies these accusations.
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