In a significant development, Israel has announced the successful retaking of full control Control of Gaza Border, following a breach by Hamas fighters that led to a bloody confrontation. According to an IDF spokesperson, no new Hamas militants have infiltrated Israel since last night, although the possibility of further infiltrations remains.
Disturbingly, Israeli authorities have discovered the remains of approximately 1,500 Hamas militants inside Israeli territory, underscoring the significant force amassed by Hamas for its unexpected assault.
Meanwhile, the IDF has continued its bombardment of Gaza and urged local residents to evacuate the blockaded region, which now faces an Israeli-imposed Control of Gaza Border and the looming prospect of a ground operation. The logistics of this evacuation remain unclear.
As the overall death toll continues to rise, deadly clashes have erupted at Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, raising concerns about the potential for a broader regional conflict. President Joe Biden plans to address the ongoing war in a speech scheduled for 1 p.m ET.
Israel has also announced its intention to impose a comprehensive “siege” on the Gaza Strip, a move that has drawn significant criticism. This blockade, which has been in place for 16 years, is going to intensify, denying essential supplies such as food, water, electricity, and fuel to the 2.3 million residents of Gaza, half of whom are children. Experts and observers have described this action as morally reprehensible and a violation of humanitarian principles, as well as the Geneva Convention, which prohibits collective punishment. Civilians and aid workers in Gaza have already been grappling with dire living conditions, and the intensified Israeli airstrikes, coupled with the ‘complete siege,’ are expected to further exacerbate their suffering.
These developments come in response to a surprise attack by Hamas, a militant group classified as a terrorist organization by numerous countries, including the United States. Israel has reported over 900 casualties on its side, while the Palestinian Health Ministry has cited at least 687 deaths in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza and the West Bank.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, in a video statement, highlighted the severe closure of essential services, stating, “No electricity, no food, no water, no gas — it’s all closed.”
UNRWA, the U.N. relief agency for Palestinian refugees, has reported that approximately 75,500 people are currently seeking shelter in 64 schools. And the latest update reports that an airstrike one of them.
The Gaza Strip, a densely populated area approximately twice the size of Washington, D.C., faces dire challenges, with 80% of its population being refugees, half of whom are children.Less than 4% of the population has access to clean water, and the unemployment rate stands at 46%, making it one of the world’s most affected regions, according to UNICEF