Israeli Forces Progress Toward Gaza City Amid Rising Palestinian Casualties

by Michael Nguyen
fokus keyword: Gaza Conflict

As Israeli forces continued their march toward Gaza City on Thursday, the number of Palestinian casualties surpassed 9,000. Despite the ongoing intense conflict, both U.S. and Arab mediators are amplifying their efforts to alleviate Israel’s encirclement of the Hamas-governed region. They are urging an immediate and temporary cessation of hostilities to provide relief to the civilians caught in the crossfire.

On the previous day, U.S. President Joe Biden proposed a “humanitarian pause” to the conflict. This proposal coincided with an agreement involving the U.S., Egypt, Israel, and Qatar – who often mediates with Hamas – enabling several Palestinians possessing foreign passports and a number of injured individuals to exit Gaza. Further evacuations took place on Thursday.

While Israel has yet to formally respond to President Biden’s statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made his stance clear in the past, rejecting the possibility of a cease-fire.

Growing concerns about the conflict are evident among Arab nations, even those aligned with the U.S. or in peace accords with Israel. For instance, Jordan has withdrawn its ambassador from Israel and requested the Israeli ambassador stay out of Jordan until the war ceases and its accompanying “humanitarian catastrophe” is addressed.

The grim reality is that over 3,700 Palestinian children have lost their lives in the recent 25-day conflict. The ongoing bombings have displaced more than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents. Essential resources like food, water, and fuel are becoming scarce.

Israeli forces, after three weeks of extensive airstrikes, significantly increased their ground presence in Gaza over the past weekend. This conflict, the deadliest of its kind in Gaza, was triggered by a violent attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7th, resulting in the death of hundreds across various demographics.

The U.S. continues to stand firmly beside Israel in its endeavors to dismantle Hamas’ governance over Gaza and neutralize its military strength. However, the future roadmap after these actions remains undefined.

The White House posits that a break in the hostilities would allow enhanced humanitarian aid delivery and potentially lead to the release of hostages. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is anticipated to visit the region again by the end of the week.

Following prolonged discussions, Palestinians were allowed to pass through the Rafah crossing into Egypt on Wednesday. This marked a significant movement, apart from the release of four hostages by Hamas and one individual rescued by Israeli forces. While Israel has granted passage to over 260 trucks loaded with food and medicine, aid organizations argue that the provisions are insufficient.

On Wednesday and Thursday, a combined total of approximately 435 foreign passport holders exited Gaza. Additionally, 76 Palestinian patients, accompanied by their caregivers, were evacuated, as stated by Wael Abu Omar, the spokesperson for the Palestinian Crossings Authority. Concurrently, the U.S. has expressed its intent to evacuate 400 American citizens and their families from the region.

Egypt has made it clear that it will not absorb a sudden surge of Palestinian refugees, driven by concerns that Israel may prevent their return to Gaza post-conflict.

In northern Gaza, countless Palestinians remain exposed to the ongoing warfare, even with Israel’s consistent advisories to relocate to the southern region, which is equally under bombardment.

Israeli forces are making strides toward Gaza City via three primary pathways: from the northeast, the northwest alongside the Mediterranean, and from the south, post accessing the primary highway of the territory. Official statements regarding the troops’ movement remain ambiguous.

Recent airstrikes targeting the Jabaliya refugee camp near Gaza City led to the devastation of several apartment complexes. The exact casualty count from these airstrikes remains uncertain. Israel maintains that these strikes were aimed at militants and to destroy the extensive tunnel network of Hamas.

In a recent overnight encounter, Palestinian militants employed antitank missiles, explosives, and grenades against Israeli forces. The Israeli military reported retaliatory actions, encompassing artillery fire and targeted strikes. Independent verification of these events is yet to be secured.

As Israeli forces approach the populous zones of Gaza City, casualties are anticipated to surge. Israeli authorities highlight that Hamas’ critical military infrastructure, inclusive of their tunnel systems, is predominantly located in these areas. Furthermore, they accuse Hamas of utilizing civilians as protective shields.

The Gaza Health Ministry reported on Thursday that the ongoing conflict has resulted in the death of at least 9,061 Palestinians, primarily women and children. The number of injured individuals has crossed 32,000. This death toll is unparalleled in the history of Israeli-Palestinian confrontations, significantly surpassing the casualties of the 2014 Gaza war which spanned over six weeks.

In separate incidents in the occupied West Bank, four Palestinians, inclusive of three teenagers, were fatally shot early on Thursday. Over 130 Palestinians have succumbed in the West Bank since the inception of the war, predominantly during violent protests and exchanges during Israeli arrest operations.

On Thursday, an Israeli individual lost his life post an ambush on his vehicle near a West Bank settlement. On the Israeli side, the conflict has claimed over 1,400 lives, predominantly civilians during the initial attack by Hamas. Post the commencement of the ground offensive, 17 Israeli soldiers have been reported dead.

Rockets launched from Gaza into Israel and continuous altercations between Israeli forces and Lebanon’s Hezbollah have created unrest for millions in Israel, prompting roughly 250,000 to leave border towns. A significant proportion of these rockets have been neutralized or have landed in non-residential areas.

The conditions in Gaza continue to deteriorate, exacerbated by a complete power outage across the region. The World Health Organization has emphasized the acute scarcity of fuel for hospital generators. This shortage threatens the lives of thousands, including those requiring kidney dialysis, premature infants in incubators, and patients reliant on life-support systems.

Israel has declined fuel deliveries into Gaza, asserting concerns over potential diversion by Hamas for military objectives. A controversial audio clip released by the Israeli military alleges a Hamas official commandeering fuel from a hospital. The authenticity of this recording remains unverified.

Gaza City’s primary healthcare facility, Shifa Hospital, is on the brink of a complete power shutdown, as per its director, Mohammed Abu Salmia. He earnestly appeals for fuel donations from the public.

Gaza’s sole specialized cancer treatment center, the Turkish-Palestinian Hospital, was compelled to cease operations due to fuel shortages, leaving 70 cancer patients in a precarious state.

The Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza, currently treating numerous victims of the recent Jabaliya airstrikes, has had to minimize its power consumption, affecting even its mortuary refrigeration systems.

Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesperson for the Health Ministry, cautioned about the impending catastrophe if the electricity and fuel crisis persists.

Additional reporting from Beirut by Chehayeb. Contributions also from Wafaa Shurafa in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip, and Amy Teibel in Jerusalem.

For comprehensive coverage, visit: AP coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: Gaza Conflict

What event led to the advance of Israeli troops toward Gaza City?

Israeli troops advanced toward Gaza City as the Palestinian death toll rose above 9,000, amid weeks of heavy fighting with no clear end in sight.

Has there been any international intervention to pause the hostilities?

U.S. President Joe Biden suggested a humanitarian “pause”, and efforts by U.S. and Arab mediators have been intensified to ease Israel’s siege of the Hamas-ruled enclave.

How have Arab countries responded to the ongoing conflict?

Arab countries, even those allied with the U.S. and at peace with Israel, have expressed unease with the war. Jordan recalled its ambassador from Israel and asked Israel’s envoy to remain out of the country until there’s a halt to the war.

What is the status of Palestinian children in this conflict?

Over 3,700 Palestinian children have been killed in the 25 days of fighting.

What initiated this war?

The war began when Hamas launched an attack into Israel on October 7, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of men, women, and children.

How has the U.S. positioned itself in this conflict?

The U.S. has pledged unwavering support for Israel as it seeks to end Hamas’ rule over Gaza and diminish its military capabilities.

What are the conditions for Palestinians remaining in Gaza?

Those still in Gaza are facing a worsening situation due to a territory-wide blackout, with many hospitals running out of fuel for generators, putting patients at significant risk.

Has Israel allowed any aid to enter Gaza?

Israel has permitted over 260 trucks carrying food and medicine to enter through the Rafah crossing, though aid workers claim it’s insufficient.

What are the reported death tolls for both Palestinians and Israelis?

At least 9,061 Palestinians, mainly women and minors, have been killed, and more than 1,400 people have died on the Israeli side, primarily civilians killed during Hamas’ initial attack.

What is the main concern of hospitals in Gaza?

The primary concern is the lack of fuel for hospital generators, which puts numerous patients, including those on kidney dialysis, premature babies in incubators, cancer patients, and those on ventilators, at grave risk.

More about fokus keyword: Gaza Conflict

  • History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • The Role of Hamas in Gaza
  • Humanitarian Efforts in Conflict Zones
  • The U.S. Stance on the Middle East Conflicts
  • The Impact of Wars on Civilian Populations
  • The Role of Mediators in International Conflicts
  • Arab Nations’ Relations with Israel
  • The Situation of Hospitals in War Zones

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Danny K. November 2, 2023 - 5:29 pm

didnt we have enough of wars already… whats wrong with our world today? why cant we have peace for a change.

Tasha Y. November 2, 2023 - 5:52 pm

when will the big nations realize that wars dont solve anything? just cause pain and destruction. i hope they find a solution soon.

Sarah G. November 2, 2023 - 10:48 pm

this is so sad… how can so many children be killed and the world just watches? it doesn’t make sense.

Lana R. November 2, 2023 - 11:27 pm

i just saw this in the news too. makes you wonder how politics and power can blind humanity.

Gregory Peters November 3, 2023 - 1:31 am

it seems like history repeating itself over and over again. when will we ever learn?

Riya Sharma November 3, 2023 - 5:34 am

its always the innocent that suffer most. the numbers here are shocking, and it feels like a never-ending cycle.

Mike Landon November 3, 2023 - 5:55 am

I can’t believe whats happening there… it’s heartbreaking. why can’t the world leaders just get together and sort it out?

Alex B. November 3, 2023 - 11:09 am

Reading things like this make me wanna take a break from news for a while. its too much. how do journalist even cope?


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