In a continued assault on Gaza’s two largest cities on Monday, Israeli forces persist in their attacks, leaving civilians trapped in the conflict despite the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands to other parts of the besieged territory.
The United States has extended unwavering diplomatic and military support for the campaign, a move that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of Palestinian civilians and the displacement of nearly 85% of the territory’s 2.3 million residents.
The Biden administration has disclosed its bypassing of Congress to supply tank shells, raising concerns as it reportedly neglects continuous assessments of potential war crimes committed by Israel.
Recent reports indicate Israeli tanks reaching the centre of Khan Younis on Sunday, battling through stiff resistance in the overcrowded southern city, while Israeli airstrikes pounded city blocks west of the frontline.
Hamas’s armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, claims to have partially or fully destroyed 180 Israeli tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and bulldozers in the ongoing battles.
Residents report heavy fighting in and around Khan Yunis, where Israeli ground forces initiated a new line of attack last week. Battles persist in parts of Gaza City and the built-up Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, where extensive areas lie in ruins.
Furthermore, the Israeli army has withdrawn from the Jabaliya refugee camp and the Shejaiya area of Gaza City in the north after intense combat with Palestinian resistance.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza has reported 208 people killed and another 416 wounded, further underscoring the escalating humanitarian crisis.
UNGA Emergency Session upon request from Egypt, Mauritania
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is poised to convene an emergency special session on Gaza on Tuesday, responding to formal requests from Egypt and Mauritania. Monica Grayley, the spokesperson for UNGA President Dennis Francis, announced the 45th plenary meeting of the tenth Emergency Special Session, citing the urgency outlined in a letter invoking UN General Assembly Resolution 377, known as “Uniting for Peace.” This comes after the United States vetoed a Security Council draft resolution on the Gaza ceasefire.
The “Uniting for Peace” resolution empowers the Assembly to address international peace and security matters when the Security Council is unable to act due to unanimity among its five permanent members who possess veto power.
Global Strike for Gaza: A call for ceasefire
Palestinian organisations and grassroots activists have issued a global call for a strike on Monday, demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, which has endured over two months of Israeli bombardment.
The call, endorsed by a coalition of major Palestinian factions, urges people worldwide to participate in a strike affecting “all aspects of public life” to express solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza and call for an end to Israeli bombardment.
Participants are encouraged to skip school and work, stay home, avoid dining out, banking, and online transactions. The strike, as articulated by the coalition’s statement, opposes the perceived genocide in Gaza, ethnic cleansing, and colonial settlement in the West Bank, while rejecting attempts to undermine the just national cause of the Palestinian people.
Muwafaq Sahwil, Fatah’s secretary in Ramallah and el-Bireh, emphasises that the strike is a direct rejection of the United States’ recent veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.