Israeli forces and Hamas militants were engaged in close-range battles in Gaza City, causing thousands of civilians to flee south to avoid being trapped in the conflict. The Israeli military announced that its troops had advanced into the heart of Gaza City, while Hamas claimed to have inflicted heavy losses on the Israeli forces. Hamas released a video showing intense street battles and destroyed buildings in Gaza City. Israeli tanks faced strong resistance from Hamas fighters using underground tunnels for ambushes. Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza in response to a cross-border raid by Hamas, resulting in numerous casualties. Palestinian officials reported a high death toll, with a significant percentage being children, while Israel confirmed the loss of 33 soldiers. The authenticity of the footage released by Hamas could not be verified. Saleh al-Arouri, an exiled Hamas commander, stated that Israeli forces may gain control of some areas in Gaza but emphasized that the resistance would continue to fight. Israeli combat engineers were using explosive devices to destroy Hamas’ extensive tunnel network beneath Gaza. Israel accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields and operating from residential areas. Foreign reporters were taken to the outskirts of Gaza City, where they witnessed the devastation caused by the invasion.The landscape was devastated, with every building showing the scars of battle. Walls were destroyed, bullet holes and shrapnel covered the facades, and palm trees were torn and broken. Lieutenant Colonel Ido, deputy commander of the 401st Brigade, confirmed that all the families had left the buildings by the time the soldiers arrived. He stated that they knew everyone left in the area was their enemy, as they had not seen any civilians, only Hamas. The soldiers on the press tour mentioned that beneath the family apartment were two floors of weapon workshops, including drones found in wooden boxes. However, the claim could not be verified.
In the midst of the ongoing ground invasion against Hamas, around 50,000 Palestinian civilians left the north during a four-hour window of opportunity provided by Israel. According to Hagari, they left because they understood that Hamas had lost control in the north. However, thousands of people still remained in the encircled north, including those seeking shelter at Gaza City’s main Al Shifa hospital. Um Haitham Hejela, who was sheltering with her children in an improvised tent, described the worsening situation with no access to food or water. The Israeli military had repeatedly urged residents to evacuate the north to avoid being trapped in the violence. Many displaced people from Gaza’s population of 2.3 million were already crowded into facilities in the south.
Despite the focus on the north, the central and southern parts of Gaza also faced attacks. Palestinian health officials reported that an airstrike in the Nusseirat refugee camp killed 18 people, while another airstrike in Khan Younis killed six people, including a young girl. Witnesses described the sudden airstrike that destroyed multiple houses, resulting in civilian casualties. The international community expressed growing concern over the humanitarian impact of Israel’s offensive.In Geneva, Christian Lindmeier, a spokesperson for the U.N. health agency, expressed that death and suffering are difficult to comprehend. U.N. officials and G7 world powers have made increased appeals for a humanitarian pause in the war in Gaza to alleviate the suffering of civilians who are running out of essential supplies such as food, medicine, and fuel. Negotiations mediated by Qatar, where several Hamas political leaders are located, are underway to secure the release of 10 to 15 hostages in exchange for a temporary pause in Gaza. The interior ministry of the enclave reported that at least 19 people were killed in an Israeli airstrike near a hospital in Jabalia refugee camp. This would be the third reported attack on Gaza’s largest refugee camp in a week, but there has been no immediate comment from Israel or details from the scene. Palestinian authorities stated that at least 195 civilians were killed in the Israeli strikes, which targeted multi-storey dwellings. Israel claimed that its air attacks on Jabalia last week targeted operational tunnels beneath civilian districts and resulted in the deaths of two Hamas commanders and several militants. The article concludes with the reporting and editing credits, as well as information about the Thomson RushHourDaily Trust Principles.
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