New Delhi – The ongoing month-long conflict between Israel and Hamas has escalated into a dire humanitarian crisis, with civilians bearing the brunt of rising casualties. In a recent report, the health ministry in Gaza, administered by Hamas, lamented that more than 200 individuals lost their lives during intense Israeli airstrikes conducted overnight.
Israeli military forces have intensified their strikes on the besieged Palestinian enclave, claiming to target Hamas installations. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported that they have conducted strikes on approximately 450 Hamas targets through aerial bombardments, concurrently with their ground troops securing a militant compound within Gaza over the past 24 hours.
Additionally, pressure has been mounting on Israel due to the worsening humanitarian conditions. The Israeli offensive, initiated in response to surprise attacks by Hamas militants on October 7, has resulted in significant civilian casualties. The IDF, however, has intermittently provided short windows of opportunity for civilians to evacuate southern areas of Gaza, as the majority of their operations are concentrated in the north, where they believe Hamas maintains a significant presence.
Amid these developments, several nations have called for a ceasefire, citing the escalating humanitarian crisis. Nonetheless, Tel Aviv has vehemently opposed such appeals and has demanded the release of approximately 200 hostages as a precondition for considering a ceasefire. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserted, “There will be no ceasefire without the return of the hostages.”
IDF spokesperson Jonathan Conricus revealed on Monday that Hamas has actively obstructed Palestinian movement towards the southern regions. In response, the Israeli military instituted a four-hour evacuation window on Sunday, aiming to intensify operations in the northern areas.
Conricus stated, “We have observed the establishment of roadblocks by Hamas, a deliberate effort to impede the movement of Palestinians southward. Their intent is to dissuade evacuations from the northern areas, preferring to retain civilians in densely populated zones where the most intense and challenging confrontations occur. This strategy aims to utilize civilians as a human shield atop their underground tunnel networks.”
The Israeli military’s senior official, Daniel Hagari, further disclosed that Israeli forces have encircled Gaza City, a pivotal zone within the coastal enclave, effectively dividing it into north and south sectors.
Hagari stated, “Our troops have reached the coastline and secured it. There are currently widespread offensives targeting terrorist infrastructure, both subterranean and above ground.”
The situation remains tense, and the international community watches with increasing concern as the conflict’s humanitarian toll continues to rise.
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