Israeli Forces Move Closer to Gaza City Amid Escalating Palestinian Casualties

by Joshua Brown
Israel-Gaza Conflict

On Thursday, confrontations between Israeli forces and Hamas militants intensified near the outskirts of Gaza City as the Palestinian death toll surpassed 9,000. This escalation comes in the wake of nearly a month-long conflict, triggered by a violent episode initiated by Hamas in Israel. In response, international leaders, including those from the U.S. and Arab nations, have been pressuring Israel to lessen its blockade on Gaza and, at a minimum, temporarily halt its offensive to provide humanitarian relief.

Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, is slated for diplomatic discussions in both Israel and Jordan on Friday. This follows President Joe Biden’s proposal for a temporary cessation of hostilities in Gaza to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid for Palestinians and to enable foreign nationals to evacuate.

Over the past 48 hours, an estimated 800 individuals – a mix of Palestinians holding foreign passports and several injured individuals – have exited Gaza. This seems to be the result of collaborative efforts involving the U.S., Egypt, Israel, and Qatar, who often plays a mediating role with Hamas.

Tragically, an airstrike on Thursday decimated a residential structure located in the Bureij refugee camp, south of Gaza City. First responders raced to rescue wounded individuals, many of whom were transported on stretchers or wrapped in blankets for immediate medical attention. A local hospital was overwhelmed, particularly as they attended to a severely injured child. The airstrike reportedly resulted in a minimum of 15 casualties, according to a spokesperson from Gaza’s Civil Defense. Moreover, locals believe many more may still be trapped beneath the debris.

The Israeli government has yet to react to Biden’s call for a humanitarian respite. In the past, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed cease-fire propositions, emphasizing Israel’s determination to dismantle Hamas’s governance in the Gaza Strip. This comes in the wake of the tragic incident on October 7, where Hamas militants were responsible for the death of numerous civilians and the abduction of approximately 240 individuals.

Several Arab nations, even those allied with the U.S. or in peaceful relations with Israel, have voiced their growing concerns regarding the conflict. Notably, Jordan has withdrawn its ambassador from Israel and instructed Israel’s representative to remain outside Jordanian borders until the conflict ceases and the humanitarian crisis is addressed.

On Thursday, multiple explosions resulted in plumes of smoke above Gaza City. Reports from Al-Jazeera television indicate that Israeli airstrikes targeted residential complexes in the Tel al-Hawa district. These strikes were alarmingly close to Al-Quds Hospital, as reported by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. Although details about the casualties remain sparse, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have stated that their primary targets are Hamas militants and their infrastructure. The IDF further claims that Hamas jeopardizes civilian safety by operating within their midst and utilizing tunnels beneath populated areas.

The U.S. has consistently expressed its support for Israel in its campaign against Hamas. However, the Biden administration is advocating for an increase in humanitarian assistance to Gaza due to rising concerns about the extensive destruction and the ensuing humanitarian crisis.

Thus far, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 3,700 Palestinian children in just 25 days. Furthermore, the consistent bombing raids, which frequently raze entire neighborhoods, have displaced over half of Gaza’s 2.3 million population. Essential resources like food, water, and fuel are becoming scarce due to Israel’s blockade. The absence of a coherent strategy from both Israel and the U.S. on the aftermath of potentially ousting Hamas from power in Gaza remains a pertinent issue.

Earlier in the week, Blinken proposed that the governance of Gaza should be transferred to the Palestinian Authority, which currently holds limited power in certain regions of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Regarding the evacuation from Gaza, on Thursday, 342 Palestinians, along with 21 injured individuals and their companions, transitioned into Egypt via the Rafah crossing. On Wednesday, a similar evacuation took place. While Israel has permitted the entry of over 260 trucks laden with food and medicine, humanitarian workers argue that this is insufficient given the scale of the crisis.

As Israeli forces progressively encircle Gaza City, concerns about further casualties on both sides grow. Dense residential areas in Gaza City are anticipated to be the next focal points of conflict. Israeli authorities assert that Hamas’s military installations, including intricate tunnel networks, are primarily located within the city, accusing Hamas of strategically positioning themselves amongst civilians.

As of Thursday, the Gaza Health Ministry reported that the conflict has resulted in the death of at least 9,061 Palestinians, with a majority being women and children, and injured over 32,000 others. This death toll is unparalleled in the history of Israeli-Palestinian confrontations and is approximately four times higher than the casualties from the 2014 Gaza conflict, which spanned over six weeks.

In the occupied West Bank, violent skirmishes and Israeli raids have led to the deaths of more than 130 Palestinians since the onset of the war.

On the Israeli side, over 1,400 individuals have perished, predominantly civilians, a number also without historical precedent. Since the initiation of the ground operation in Gaza, 20 Israeli military personnel have been reported dead.

Rocket launches from Gaza into Israeli territories, coupled with daily altercations between Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, have significantly impacted the daily lives of millions of Israelis and resulted in the evacuation of an estimated 250,000 from towns near the border.

Gaza’s residents are grappling with an increasingly precarious situation, compounded by a complete blackout across the territory. The World Health Organization has highlighted the potential health risks due to a lack of fuel for hospital generators. Patients requiring dialysis, premature infants in incubators, and those reliant on ventilators are particularly vulnerable.

Israel has resisted allowing additional fuel supplies into Gaza, alleging that Hamas reserves fuel for its military operations and would likely misappropriate any new supplies.

Israel’s military chief of staff, Herzi Halevy, mentioned that once they are convinced that Gaza’s fuel reserves have been depleted, they might consider allowing new shipments, provided they are closely monitored to ensure they do not benefit Hamas. However, Prime Minister Netanyahu indicated that no such decision has been made by the war cabinet.

This article includes contributions from Jeffery and Keath in Cairo, Najib Jobain in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Kareem Chehayeb in Beirut, and Amy Teibel in Jerusalem.

For comprehensive coverage on this issue, please visit: https://bigbignews.net/israel-hamas-war.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Israel-Gaza Conflict

What is the current situation between Israeli troops and Gaza City?

Israeli troops have engaged with Hamas militants on the outskirts of Gaza City, with the Palestinian death toll surpassing 9,000 due to the ongoing conflict.

How long has this conflict been ongoing?

The war has been ongoing for nearly four weeks, triggered by Hamas’ aggressive actions in Israel.

What efforts are being made by the U.S. and Arab leaders regarding this situation?

U.S. and Arab leaders are pressuring Israel to reduce its siege on Gaza and momentarily halt its attacks to assist civilians. U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken is traveling to the region for discussions.

Has there been any humanitarian efforts or pauses in the fighting?

President Joe Biden has suggested a humanitarian “pause” in the Gaza conflict to allow aid for Palestinians and facilitate the exit of foreign nationals. Approximately 800 individuals, including Palestinians with foreign passports and the wounded, have been permitted to depart from Gaza in the last two days.

What was the impact of the recent airstrike on the Bureij refugee camp?

An airstrike devastated a residential building in the Bureij refugee camp, located several miles south of Gaza City. A minimum of 15 people died, and local residents believe many more are trapped under the rubble.

How have Arab countries reacted to the ongoing war?

Several Arab nations, even those in alliance with the U.S. and at peace with Israel, have demonstrated growing concerns about the war. Jordan, for instance, has recalled its ambassador from Israel.

What are the current conditions in Gaza due to the conflict?

Over 3,700 Palestinian children have been killed in 25 days of fighting. The continuous bombings have forced over half of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents to leave their homes, and there’s a significant shortage of food, water, and fuel due to Israel’s siege.

What was U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s proposition regarding governance in Gaza?

Earlier in the week, Blinken proposed that the Palestinian Authority should govern Gaza. However, Hamas had ousted the authority’s forces from Gaza in 2007.

What’s the position of Egypt in this crisis?

Egypt has expressed reluctance to accept a surge of Palestinian refugees, fearing Israel might not allow them to return to Gaza post-war.

How have the civilians in both Israel and Gaza been affected?

Residents of Gaza are experiencing severe hardships due to a territory-wide blackout, with hospitals running out of fuel for generators, which endangers many patients. Meanwhile, rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and daily confrontations with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militants have disrupted life for millions of Israelis, forcing an estimated 250,000 to vacate border towns.

More about Israel-Gaza Conflict

You may also like


Greg Halpert November 2, 2023 - 9:02 pm

Antony Blinken’s visit, is it really gonna change anything? Seems like the same old diplomatic dance to me.

Elaine V. November 3, 2023 - 3:05 am

sometimes i just dont get politics… so many innocent people suffering because of power plays. It’s not right.

Linda Turner November 3, 2023 - 5:54 am

Why does this have to keep happening? I remember reading about similar conflicts 10 years ago. Can’t there be peace?

Anna K. November 3, 2023 - 6:59 am

So many innocent lives lost…it breaks my heart. Praying for peace and safety for all.

Samantha L. November 3, 2023 - 7:08 am

reading things like this always remind me to be grateful for the peace and safety i take for granted. It’s easy to forget what others go through.

Mike O'Reilly November 3, 2023 - 8:57 am

The numbers are just staggering. Thousands dead? Can’t imagine what its like for families over there.

John Mckenzie November 3, 2023 - 11:31 am

Man, this situation never seems to get any better. Always saddens me to hear about civilians, especially kids, caught up in this.

Rob T. November 3, 2023 - 5:55 pm

This is complex and i think there’s alot of history here that a lot of folks dont know or understand. Not simple at all.


Leave a Comment


BNB – Big Big News is a news portal that offers the latest news from around the world. BNB – Big Big News focuses on providing readers with the most up-to-date information from the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, health, and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest News

© 2023 BBN – Big Big News