Global News

Israel ‘Intensifying’ Gaza Fighting Sparks Humanitarian Concerns

Story Highlights
  • The World Health Organization said that over the weekend, it sent teams to hospitals in northern Gaza that were barely working.
  • Authorities in Iran said that an Israeli airstrike in Syria killed Razi Moussavi, a senior general in Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Israel said on Monday that it was “intensifying the fighting” against Hamas in Gaza. In the 12th week of the war, constant attacks on Palestinian territory have made things even worse for civilians.

The “desperate humanitarian situation” in Gaza was called out by Pope Francis. As he always does at Christmas, he spoke at the Vatican and asked for an immediate end to the fighting and the release of all hostages.

In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, celebrations in Bethlehem, which Christians believe is where Jesus Christ was born, were put on hold while the war raged. The streets of the city, which are usually very busy, were empty except for a few tourists and worshipers.

The war started when Hamas militants crossed the heavily guarded border between Gaza and southern Israel on October 7. According to Israeli numbers, they killed about 1,140 people, most of whom were civilians.

It is also said that militants took 250 hostages.

Israel promised to destroy Hamas and responded by starting a military campaign in Gaza that included a heavy bombardment from the air and a siege. The health ministry of the Hamas-run territory says the campaign has killed at least 20,674 people, mostly women and children.

The ministry said that since Sunday, four major Israeli attacks have killed more than 100 people.

The Likud party of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that Netanyahu promised, “We’re not stopping,” after visiting Gaza on Monday.

He told his party members, “We’re going to fight harder in the next few days.”

Later, Netanyahu spoke to parliament in a special session about the 129 hostages Israel says are still in Gaza. Families who were waiting 80 days for their loved ones to return booed him.

Family members chanted “Now! Now!” as Netanyahu said that Israeli forces needed “more time” to put more military pressure on Hamas, which he said would help free the prisoners.

At least 70 people were killed in an Israeli air strike on Christmas Eve in Gaza at the Al-Maghazi refugee camp, which was set up in 1949.

AFP was not able to independently confirm the number of deaths.

Before a big funeral, rows of bodies wrapped in white bags were laid out on the ground at Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah, which is in the middle of Gaza.

The army said it was “looking into what happened” and that it was “committed to international law, which includes doing what it can to protect civilians as much as possible.”

Israel’s allies are putting more and more pressure on it to keep civilians safe during its military campaign.

The White House said that US President Joe Biden “emphasised the critical need” for this kind of protection when he talked to Netanyahu on Saturday.

Zeyad Awad, who lives in Al-Maghazi, said that there was no warning to leave before the attack, which he said caused “extensive, enormous destruction and panic in the hearts of my children.”

‘Real hunger’

Twelve people from the same family were killed in an Israeli attack in the Jabalia camp in northern Gaza, according to the health ministry. In the south, 18 people were killed in an overnight bombardment of Khan Yunis.

The army said it kept up its operations on land, in the air, and at sea on Christmas Day and hit several Hamas targets, including commanders.

The Gaza health ministry said that an Israeli attack “targeting a house” in the central Al-Zuwaida area, near Al-Mughazi, before dawn killed at least 12 people, most of whom were women and children.

An AFP reporter in the southern part of Gaza said that Khan Yunis and Rafah were hit by heavy bombing all night.

A lot of people from Gaza stood on a street in Rafah with empty containers while they waited for food to be given out.

“This is real hunger.” One of them, Nour Ismail, said, “My children are dying of hunger.”

A lot of Gaza is destroyed, and the 2.4 million people who live there are having a terrible time getting water, food, fuel, and medicine. Only a few aid trucks have been able to help.

The UN says that about 1.9 million Gazans have been forced to leave their homes. Many of them have fled south and are now living in shelters or makeshift tents in the cold winter months.

“A humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza is the only way to move forward,” Filippo Grandi, who is in charge of the UN refugees’ agency, said.

The World Health Organization said that over the weekend, it sent teams to hospitals in northern Gaza that were barely working. It talked about people who were getting more and more desperate and were stealing food from an aid truck.

“Everyone we talk to is hungry,” said Sean Casey, who is in charge of emergencies for WHO. “There’s the risk of famine.”

Israel decries ‘hypocrisy’

Jerusalem slammed the UN on Monday for how it handled the war. Eli Cohen, the foreign minister, called the UN “hypocritical” and said that Antonio Guterres, the head of the UN, “backed up war crimes.”

Cohen said on X, “We will stop working with people who spread the propaganda of the Hamas terrorist organization.” He also said that his ministry would not extend the entry visa of one UN worker and would refuse entry to another.

Pope Francis asked for peace to be restored.

“I beg for an end to the military operations with their terrible harvest of innocent civilian deaths,” he told the thousands of Christians who had gathered in Saint Peter’s Basilica.

“My heart grieves for the victims of the abominable attack of October 7, and I reiterate my urgent appeal for the liberation of those still being held hostage,” he told us.

Israel’s military was paying a “very heavy price” for the war on Sunday, according to Netanyahu.

There have been 156 soldiers killed since Israel’s ground assault began on October 27. On Monday, the army announced the deaths of two more soldiers.

The war has made things worse in the Middle East. Almost every day, there has been cross-border fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, which is a powerful group in Lebanon.

Also, Huthi rebels in Yemen, who are also backed by Iran, have fired at cargo ships in the Red Sea. This is why the US formed a naval taskforce to stop the missile and drone attacks.

On Monday, Iran denied that a drone strike off the coast of India that targeted a chemical tanker owned by Japan was launched from its own territory.

Authorities in Iran said that an Israeli airstrike in Syria killed Razi Moussavi, a senior general in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Because of the war between Israel and Hamas, Israel has been hitting targets in Syria more often.

Facebook Comments

Related Articles

Back to top button