Gaza Struck Heavily as Israel Announces Potential Ground Invasion

by Madison Thomas
Gaza airstrikes

In the wake of intensified airstrikes, Palestinians in Gaza found themselves queuing outside bakeries on Thursday, having endured a night enveloped by darkness amidst the remnants of destroyed neighborhoods. As the strikes persisted, Israel announced its potential plans for a ground incursion.

International humanitarian organizations are raising alarms that the death toll in Gaza might surge as Israel hampers the delivery of essential goods. This conflict, triggered by a significant Hamas attack on Israel, has already resulted in approximately 2,400 casualties on both sides.

Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, a spokesperson for the Israeli military, informed the media on Thursday that while the military is gearing up for a potential ground operation, no such directive has come from the political hierarchy. If it proceeds, this would mark the first ground offensive in Gaza since 2014, potentially leading to an uptick in casualties due to close-quarters combat.

In the midst of these airstrikes, numerous Palestinians can be seen seeking refuge, with a large number taking shelter in U.N.-affiliated schools or residing with kin and even benevolent strangers.

The civilian situation worsens as essential amenities like bakeries and grocery outlets operate for limited hours due to safety concerns. There’s a looming threat of these establishments closing due to power and fuel shortages.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with the backing of a newly formed war cabinet which includes a longstanding opponent, has made his intentions clear to decisively counteract Hamas. In a public address, he made a profound statement, indicating the impending danger to every Hamas member.

The U.S., standing firm in its support for Israel, sent Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Tel Aviv on Thursday to engage in discussions with Netanyahu and other Israeli dignitaries.

In a recent development, Israeli forces targeted elite units of Hamas, the Nukhba forces, aiming at their command hubs and the residence of a top-tier Hamas naval officer, alleged to be housing undisclosed armaments.

Concurrently, another strike eliminated a commander affiliated with the Islamic Jihad faction in Beit Lahia.

Lt. Col. Hecht underlined the strategic focus on neutralizing key leadership figures within Hamas, emphasizing that the reach extends to top-tier officials.

However, reports from the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry state that the Israeli airstrikes resulted in the decimation of residential structures, leading to a considerable number of casualties, predominantly civilians. Israel’s stringent restrictions have further exacerbated the situation in Gaza by blocking the entry of essential supplies like food and water. By Tuesday, Gaza’s sole power station ceased operations due to fuel depletion.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has underscored the gravity of the situation, highlighting the impending threat to medical institutions due to power outages.

Meanwhile, in Israel, Benny Gantz, an opposition leader and prior defense minister, has joined the new wartime cabinet. Israel has augmented its forces near the Gaza perimeter, even as Israeli citizens demand stern action against Hamas in response to its violent onslaught.

There are claims from Prime Minister Netanyahu about the nature of these attacks, although independent verification remains pending.

Militants in Gaza reportedly hold around 150 Israeli hostages, spanning various demographics, and have launched a significant number of rockets into Israel in the recent days.

A potential ground offensive in the densely populated Gaza could see an escalation in casualties. Recent UN reports suggest that the displaced population has increased substantially, with many taking refuge in U.N. establishments.

Furthermore, the Egyptian government declined a U.S. proposition to permit Palestinians to exit Gaza amid the bombardment, citing concerns for the Palestinian cause.

With the situation escalating, there are fears of the conflict widening, as evidenced by the Lebanese militant faction, Hezbollah, backed by Iran, launching an attack on an Israeli military position.

The Palestinian health ministry recently updated the death toll in Gaza, and the medical situation is reaching a critical point with major hospitals nearing their operational limits.

The atmosphere in Israel is tense, with heightened sentiments against Hamas. Meanwhile, the West Bank also witnessed violence, with Israeli settlers attacking a village resulting in Palestinian casualties.

Israel has now shifted its strategy, focusing on evacuating whole neighborhoods in Gaza before launching airstrikes. This change in approach highlights Israel’s intent to deal significant blows, as opposed to its earlier emphasis on precision.

However, there are reports of strikes happening without any prior warning, leading to tragic losses for many families.

According to the Israeli military, the death toll on their side has reached unprecedented levels, unseen since the 1973 conflict with Egypt and Syria. They estimate a significant number of these casualties to be Hamas militants.

The article credits Shurafa for reporting from Gaza City, with contributions from Big Big News writers including Amy Teibel and Isabel DeBre in Jerusalem; Sam McNeil in Be’eri, Israel; Jack Jeffrey and Samy Magdy in Cairo; and Kareem Chehayeb in Beirut.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gaza airstrikes

What areas are most affected by the airstrikes?

Gaza has been heavily impacted by intensified airstrikes, with many Palestinians seeking refuge in U.N.-affiliated schools or with relatives.

Is Israel considering a ground operation in Gaza?

Yes, Israel has announced its potential plans for a ground incursion, marking a significant escalation since the last ground offensive in 2014.

How has the U.S. responded to the situation?

The U.S. has expressed unwavering support for Israel. Secretary of State Antony Blinken even visited Tel Aviv to engage in discussions with Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

What are the major concerns of international humanitarian organizations?

International humanitarian organizations are raising alarms that the death toll in Gaza might surge as Israel hampers the delivery of essential goods. They also highlight the impending threat to medical institutions due to power outages.

Has there been any engagement from neighboring countries?

Yes, the Egyptian government declined a U.S. proposition to allow Palestinians to exit Gaza amid the bombardment. Additionally, the Lebanese militant faction, Hezbollah, backed by Iran, launched an attack on an Israeli military position.

What is the situation with hospitals in Gaza?

The Gaza Strip’s biggest hospital, Al-Shifa, has limited fuel reserves, and other hospitals’ generators are predicted to run out in five days. The health system is nearing a critical point with major hospitals nearing their operational limits.

What sentiments are prevalent in Israel regarding the situation?

Shock, grief, and demands for vengeance against Hamas are running high in Israel. The Israeli government is under intense public pressure to take decisive action against Hamas after its violent onslaught.

More about Gaza airstrikes

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Trevor B October 12, 2023 - 3:56 pm

Hospitals running out of supplies… children at risk… it’s all too much 🙁

Mike O'Sullivan October 12, 2023 - 4:20 pm

I can’t believe what’s happening in Gaza… it’s heartbreaking to see innocent lives lost in this conflict.

Linda K. October 12, 2023 - 6:53 pm

the geopolitics in the middle east is always so complicated. just wish for peace for all people there.

Nick V October 12, 2023 - 7:12 pm

Heared about this on the news but this article really paints the whole picture. Thanks.

Sophia T. October 12, 2023 - 9:54 pm

Egypt’s decision seems harsh, but then politics is never black n white.

Rahul P October 12, 2023 - 11:17 pm

it’s 2023 and still the same issues…when will this end…

Allie Q October 13, 2023 - 4:01 am

Reminds me of 2014. History repeating itslef sadly.

Samantha J. October 13, 2023 - 5:58 am

wow, didn’t know the situation was this bad, thanks for the detailed article.


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