Nearly three dozen vehicles carrying aid have entered Gaza, making this the most significant humanitarian convoy since the conflict between Israel and Hamas began. As thousands of people break into warehouses to steal wheat and essential hygiene goods, humanitarian workers believe the aid is still inadequate.
Israeli tanks and troops followed what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “second stage” of the war launched by Hamas’ barbaric onslaught on October 7. The Health Ministry in Gaza states the death count among Palestinians has surpassed 8,000, primarily women and minors. Over 1,400 Israelis have been murdered, mainly in the first days of the conflict when attacks were concentrated in residential areas.
The Israeli bombing, regarded by locals as the most powerful of the war, knocked out most communication late on Friday but was mainly restored early Sunday. Only 33 relief vehicles could pass into Israel from Egypt at the single crossing point Israel has opened. The International Criminal Court’s top prosecutor has condemned the “deep” suffering of civilians but has been prevented from entering Gaza.
Over 450 militant targets, including Hamas command centers and anti-tank missile launching points, were reportedly bombed by the Israeli force in the past 24 hours. The UNRWA maintains that at least 40 of its trucks need to cross into Gaza every day only to fulfill expanding food needs and that these trucks are necessary to provide essential services to hundreds of thousands of people.
Residents of the Shifa Hospital area in Gaza have reported damage and blocked roadways as a result of the recent uptick in airstrikes. Israel has claimed that Hamas has a hidden command center beneath the hospital but has offered little in the way of proof.
More than a week ago, Israel ordered the hospital to evacuate, but the hospital and other medical facilities have resisted, arguing that doing so would result in the deaths of patients who rely on ventilators.
Most people in Gaza have followed the government’s orders to evacuate to the south of the beleaguered region, but hundreds of thousands are still living there because of Israeli airstrikes on civilian areas.
As Israeli police and Palestinian terrorists fight in dense residential areas, casualties on both sides are expected to rise substantially.