The war on the besieged Gaza Strip has entered its 23rd day, with Israeli raids killing dozens of civilians in different areas of the Strip. The death toll has risen to more than 8,005, including 3,342 children, 2,062 women, and 460 elderly people, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. Nearly 20,000 people have been wounded as well.
The Israeli aggression has ignored the resolution of the UN General Assembly to launch a ceasefire and allow basic needs and humanitarian aid to reach the besieged strip.
Meanwhile, the Al-Qassam Brigades – the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) – announced that they had repelled a new Israeli incursion attempt into northern Gaza and that their members had carried out a landing operation behind the Israeli army’s lines, near the Erez crossing. They also engaged in clashes with Israeli soldiers and destroyed military vehicles.
The Al-Qassam Brigades had previously stated that the release of their detainees would only be possible in exchange for the liberation of all Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. The head of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, declared that the movement was ready for a deal to swap Israeli prisoners for all Palestinian prisoners.
As the humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens, the communications and Internet networks have been partially restored in the past few hours.
On the other hand, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his forces had started the second phase of the war by launching ground operations. However, he and other Israeli officials also hinted at ongoing talks regarding a possible prisoner exchange.
As the aggression continued, the director of Al-Quds Hospital, Bashar Murad, said that they had received calls from the Israeli army asking them to evacuate the hospital since the morning. He added in media statements that about 14,000 displaced people were sheltering inside the hospital.
The spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf Al-Qudra, warned of the Israeli occupation’s deliberate intentions to target Al-Quds Hospital in the Gaza Strip, after its repeated bombing of its surroundings and causing multiple damages to it.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said on Sunday that it had received “strongly worded” threats from Israel to evacuate Al-Quds Hospital immediately, amid repeated warnings to hospitals in the Gaza Strip, and the targeting of medical centres. It also reported that the vicinity of Al-Quds Hospital had been witnessing continuous Israeli raids since the early hours of the morning, which led to the destruction of nearby buildings within a 50-metre radius.
On Saturday, the Israeli bombing targeted the vicinity of the Indonesian Hospital in the Gaza Strip, which is the largest medical centre in northern Gaza, resulting in parts of the hospital being damaged.
In addition, the Government Information Office in Gaza said that “the Israeli occupation forces were threatening to bomb the Orthodox Cultural Center, which had 1,000 displaced people, and the Rum School, which had 500 displaced people.”
Moreover, according to an Israeli security source quoted by Israeli TV Channel 13, about 50 aid trucks will enter from Egypt into the Gaza Strip on Sunday as part of an increase in humanitarian aid. The channel indicated that Israel’s policy was clear in this context: as it expanded its war efforts, it also increased its aid to Gaza, to avoid harming its “international legitimacy,” referring to the strong international support for Israel in its war on Gaza.
Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) said that fuel shortages and communication disruptions in the Gaza Strip could jeopardize humanitarian operations. The UN program added that it aimed to feed one million people in Gaza, but there was an urgent need to increase access and supplies.
Furthermore, the WFP Director Cindy McCain said that the situation for civilians in Gaza was catastrophic and people were desperately trying to feed their families. McCain reiterated the call for safe and unhindered access to aid and fuel.