The Israeli army has intensified its attacks in southern and central Gaza, resulting in some of the heaviest fighting in the two-month conflict. The attacks have targeted homes sheltering displaced Palestinians, refugee camps, and have left thousands of people with no safe place to evacuate to.
According to Al Jazeera’s Hani Mahmoud, Israeli tanks have pushed deeper into the center of Khan Younis city, forcing hundreds of people to flee the area. The entire city of Khan Younis is under heavy bombardment, despite earlier indications that only the eastern areas would be targeted.
Israel’s military is preparing for days of intense battle in Khan Younis, which it views as a key Hamas stronghold. The military believes that many Hamas leaders could be stationed in the area, and it is also concerned about the presence of captives.
The situation in Gaza is dire, with more than 1.5 million people squeezed into a small pocket of land. There are limited options for Palestinians to go anywhere, and crossing into Egypt seems very difficult given the current circumstances.
In central Gaza, there have been relentless assaults on Deir el-Balah, with non-stop explosions, artillery shelling, and clashes. Multiple homes have been bombed, and the number of wounded being brought to the hospital is massive.
At least six people were killed and 14 wounded in an Israeli air strike on the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. People were trapped under the rubble of a building that was hit, and relief organizations have warned that supplies are running perilously low.
The international medical charity Doctors Without Borders has raised concerns about the situation at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir el-Balah, where essential supplies are running out. The hospital is currently treating 700 patients, with new patients arriving all the time.
The death toll in Gaza since October 7 stands at 16,248 Palestinians, while in Israel, the official death toll is about 1,200. The next few days could bring the heaviest fighting of the two-month war, and the situation for civilians in Gaza is extremely challenging.
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