The Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip has claimed the lives of 10,022 Palestinians as of Monday, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. The spokesperson for the ministry, Ashraf Al-Qudra, said that the Israeli forces committed 19 massacres in the last hours, killing 292 people.
Al-Qudra held a press conference and urged all parties to provide a safe and urgent humanitarian corridor for the delivery of medical supplies, fuel, and medical delegations to the Gaza Strip. He also called for the evacuation of thousands of wounded from the Gaza Strip to Egypt and other Arab countries.
He said that the medical teams in Gaza are facing a dire situation, as they lack food and basic necessities, like the rest of the people who have been under a genocidal war for the 31st day. He appealed to the United Nations and the world to act immediately to stop the aggression and restrain the occupier.
The media office of the Hamas-run government in Gaza reported that the Israeli army was bombing the vicinity of several hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip intensively. It said that the Israeli forces cut off telephone and internet services before the attack. The bombing was especially severe near Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest in the besieged Strip.
Palestinian media sources said that the Israeli aircraft targeted the solar energy units in the main building of Al-Shifa Hospital, which were the only source of electricity, as the Israeli forces had cut off the power supply since the beginning of the war. The Israeli forces also raided the area near the Indonesian Hospital, north of the Gaza Strip.
The media office said: “We have received dozens of reports and appeals about the presence of hundreds of bodies of martyrs in the streets in different areas of Gaza City, of those who tried to use the alleged safe passage, and of those who sought refuge from last night’s raids.”
It also stressed that any efforts to transport the wounded to the Rafah crossing must be accompanied by Red Cross and United Nations vehicles, to ensure their protection and safety, and to prevent them from being bombed, as happened in the previous convoy.
In a speech on Monday, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed his deep concern about the clear violations of international humanitarian law in Gaza and stressed the importance of protecting civilians. He also called for a humanitarian ceasefire, saying that the unfolding catastrophe makes it more urgent with every passing hour. Guterres added that more food, water, medicine, and fuel need to enter Gaza and that the Rafah crossing alone cannot handle aid trucks of the required size.
Also on Monday, the European Union foreign policy official Josep Borrell said that the tragedy taking place in the Middle East is the result of a collective political and moral failure. He said, “Everyone thought that normalization between Israel and Arab countries would bring peace, but that did not happen. The extremist forces in Israel want to end the Palestinian presence in the West Bank”. He added that the Europeans must provide more than humanitarian support. “We are facing a test of our credibility”.
Moreover, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen -who supports Israel-, said that forced displacement of Palestinians outside Gaza and permanent Israeli military presence there is not an option. She stated: “Hamas can not be allowed to continue ruling the Gaza Strip, introducing international troops led by the UN is on the table.”
She also announced that the Commission – which politically stands with Israel- will provide a further €25m in humanitarian aid. “This quadruples EU humanitarian assistance to over €100m for Gaza this year.”
Meanwhile, the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said that the Israeli occupation bombed about 50 schools and the agency’s facility in Gaza, which sheltered 700,000 displaced people. He also said that the number of trucks arriving in Gaza is “very small,” and the supplies that arrive are less than what should be provided.
On the other hand, Hamas leader Osama Hamdan accused the occupation army of spreading lies and fabricating audio recordings of movement members. He said that the occupation army was suffering a military failure in the battle and was broadcasting 10-year-old pictures from the Indonesian hospital website. He invited the United Nations to visit hospitals to verify the occupation’s lies. Hamdan affirmed that “Hamas will remain and no force on earth will be able to snatch it from its land and its people”.
For his part, the Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh said that any attempts to displace Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank are a red line and Jordan will consider them a declaration of war. He said that all options are on the table within the framework of his country’s “gradual position” in dealing with the war on Gaza and its repercussions.
Al-Khasawneh also said that “Israel’s impunity and silence over its violations against Palestinian civilians constitute a shameful double standard,” and that the “brutal attack” did not distinguish between civilian and military targets and even affected safe areas and ambulances.
In a related context, South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor announced the recall of South African diplomats from Israel to assess the relations between the two states. She expressed her country’s deep concern about the continued killing of children and innocent civilians in the Palestinian territories. “The nature of Israel’s response has become tantamount to collective punishment, and we call for a comprehensive ceasefire”.
Other countries, such as Chile, Turkey, Honduras, Jordan, Bahrain, and Venezuela, took similar steps, whether by withdrawing or recalling ambassadors.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), Abu Ubaida, announced that the brigades’ fighters had destroyed 27 Israeli military vehicles, either completely or partially, in the last 48 hours.
He said on Monday that the Israeli forces that had penetrated the northwest and south of Gaza City were also targeted with mortar shells and that direct confrontations occurred with the enemy forces. He mentioned that a group of Israeli soldiers near Erez was also hit with mortar shells.
Furthermore, the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement, also claimed that it had attacked a gathering of Israeli army vehicles and soldiers west of the Erez site with mortar shells. It said that it had shelled an infantry force in the Al-Samuni area and another one in the Al-Maqousi area in Gaza City with dozens of shells. It added that it had fired a barrage of “focused” missiles at the Israeli army near the Sufa site.
Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation aircraft continued to launch more than 100 intense raids on various areas of Gaza City since Sunday evening, especially the areas close to the incursion lines. Gunfire and violent clashes were heard on the fronts of the incursion between the Palestinian factions and the Israeli forces.