The UN said Friday that “many more” people would “soon die” in the Gaza Strip because of the siege imposed by Israel, which is preparing a ground offensive after three weeks of bombing on the Palestinian territory in response to the bloody attack by Hamas.
For the first time since the start of the war on October 7, a team of doctors from the International Committee of the Red Cross entered the Palestinian territory from Egypt on Friday, accompanying a humanitarian convoy.
The Israeli army carried out an overnight raid with ground troops supported by aircraft against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, where hundreds of thousands of civilians are trapped in disastrous humanitarian conditions.
“Many more” people “will soon die” in the Gaza Strip, warned in Jerusalem the director of the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, due to the siege imposed by Israel in retaliation for the Hamas attack.
Gaza is in urgent need of “significant and continued” humanitarian aid, added Philippe Lazzarini, confirming the deaths of 57 agency employees since the start of the war.
“Basic services are collapsing, supplies of medicine, food and water are running out, sewers are starting to overflow into the streets of Gaza,” he described.
The Health Ministry of Hamas, the ruling organization in the Gaza Strip, said that 7,326 people, mostly civilians including more than 3,000 children, were killed in the territory by bombings launched by Israel in response to the the deadliest attack in its history.
Around 1,400 people were killed in Israel, according to authorities, including a thousand civilians killed by Hamas commandos on the day of the attack as well as 310 soldiers.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Friday it was “concerned” by the fact that “war crimes” have been and are still being committed in this war, adding that “no place “is safe in Gaza.”
Hamas sites destroyed
The Israeli army announced on Friday that it had carried out a new “targeted raid” against Hamas with ground forces supported by combat planes and drones in the center of the Gaza Strip.
Black and white images released by the military showed a column of armored vehicles as a thick cloud of smoke rose into the sky after strikes.
Hamas sites were simultaneously bombed “across the entire Gaza Strip”, according to the army.
A first raid with tanks had been carried out the day before in the north of the territory.
Hamas also claimed to have foiled an Israeli incursion from the coast, near Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip. The army said its navy had carried out “a targeted raid from the sea”.
The army is carrying out these incursions in anticipation of a probable ground offensive against Hamas, mentioned on multiple occasions by Israeli political and military leaders.
The prospect of such an offensive in this overpopulated territory worries the international community and calls for Israel to spare civilians are increasing.
Israel said it wanted to “annihilate” Hamas after the October 7 attack. That day, in the middle of Shabbat, the weekly Jewish rest, and on the last day of the Sukkot holiday, hundreds of fighters from the Islamist movement infiltrated Israeli soil from the Gaza Strip, sowing terror.
According to the Israeli army, 229 hostages, Israeli, binational or foreign, were taken to the Gaza Strip by Hamas, which has released four women to date.
Hamas estimated Thursday that “nearly 50” hostages were killed in Israeli bombings.
” Crumbs “
Since October 21, 74 trucks of humanitarian aid have arrived from Egypt in the Gaza Strip, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on Thursday evening, when at least a hundred are needed per day, according to the ‘UN.
“These few trucks are nothing more than crumbs which will make no difference” for the population, launched Philippe Lazzarini.
The UN is calling for the urgent delivery of fuel to operate hospital generators, overwhelmed by the influx of thousands of injured people, who lack medicines and anesthetics in particular.
UNRWA announced that it had already “significantly reduced its operations” due to bombing and lack of fuel, while 12 of the 35 hospitals in the Gaza Strip were forced to close.
This poor territory of 2.4 million inhabitants and 362 square kilometers, subject to an Israeli land, air and sea blockade since Hamas took power there in 2007, has been placed since October 9 in a state of “total siege » by Israel, which cut off water, electricity and food supplies there.
Faced with this situation, European Union leaders on Thursday called for “pauses” in the conflict as well as the opening of humanitarian corridors to facilitate the delivery of international aid.
Since October 15, the Israeli army has called on the population of the north of the territory, where the bombings are the most intense, to evacuate to the south. At least 1.4 million Palestinians have fled their homes since the start of the war, according to the UN.
But the strikes also continue to affect the south, where several hundred thousand civilians are massed near the closed Egyptian border.
According to the UN, however, some 30,000 displaced people have returned to the north of the territory in recent days.
“We return to die in our homes. It will be more dignified,” said Abdallah Ayyad, who after taking refuge in a hospital in Deir el-Balah, returned to Gaza City, with his wife and their five daughters, squeezed into the trailer of a scooter.
In Israel, a new rocket attack hit Tel Aviv, in the north, where sirens sounded as residents took shelter. Three people were injured, according to emergency services.
The international community fears a conflagration in the region, while Iran, a powerful supporter of Hamas, has issued several warnings to the United States, Israel’s ally.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced that the United States carried out strikes on Thursday against two facilities used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and “affiliated groups” in eastern Syria.
Tension is also very high in the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, as well as on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, where there are daily exchanges of fire between the Israeli army and Hezbollah, supported by the Iran and ally of Hamas.
In the West Bank, more than a hundred Palestinians have been killed in violence since October 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
And in Jordan, at least five thousand people demonstrated on Friday in Amman to demand the cancellation of the peace treaty with Israel and denounced the bombings carried out by Israel against the Gaza Strip.