Israeli troops surround Gaza City and cut off northern part of the besieged Hamas-ruled territory

by Andrew Wright
Gaza-Israel conflict

Israeli forces have encircled Gaza City early on Monday, severing the northern section of the territory governed by Hamas under siege as the overnight communications blackout across Gaza began to recede.

It is anticipated that Israeli forces might begin urban operations in Gaza City by Monday or Tuesday, as reported by Israeli news outlets. The militants, who have spent years making preparations, are expected to engage in intense urban combat, utilizing an extensive tunnel network. The ongoing conflict, which has entered its fourth week, has already resulted in over 9,700 Palestinian deaths, as reported by the Health Ministry in Gaza.

Around 70% of Gaza’s population, equating to some 1.5 million Palestinians, have been displaced from their homes since the outbreak of hostilities that commenced with a violent Hamas offensive into Israeli territory resulting in over 1,400 fatalities, predominantly among civilians. Essentials like food, medical supplies, fuel, and water are in critical shortage. The United Nations-operated schools, now serving as overcrowded shelters, cannot accommodate everyone, leaving many to sleep on the streets.

The United States’ proposals for a temporary cessation of hostilities to permit humanitarian aid and the release of approximately 240 captives taken by Hamas during its incursion on October 7 have been turned down by Israel. Similarly, Israel has rebuffed appeals for a comprehensive truce from other Arab nations that are increasingly worried, including those who had previously made peace with it, such as Jordan and Egypt.

Further information reveals that in the latest events of the Israel-Gaza conflict, the average Palestinian in Gaza survives on merely two loaves of bread daily, as stated by a UN official. Meanwhile, the distressing images of suffering and devastation persist as the conflict enters its fourth week, marking it as the deadliest since 2007.

On Monday, a Jordanian military aircraft deployed medical supplies to a field hospital in northern Gaza via airdrop, as announced by King Abdullah II. This maneuver represents the first of its kind during the conflict and hints at potential new methods for delivering aid, aside from the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

The northern region of Gaza continues to face extreme adversity. Despite Israeli military orders to evacuate northwards, aerial bombardments have continued, with recent strikes in the supposed safe zones of central and southern Gaza claiming at least 53 lives on Sunday.

Hundreds of thousands remain in Gaza City and other northern areas. An estimated 2,000 individuals were seen evacuating on foot along the primary north-south highway of Gaza during a temporary cessation of military action. Accounts from the ground indicate that some civilians passed Israeli soldiers with raised hands and observed casualties along their path. A resident, who chose to remain anonymous, made an appeal for global empathy, reflecting the trauma experienced by those witnessing military operations for the first time.

A significant portion of Gaza’s population comprises descendants of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war that led to Israel’s establishment. They commemorate their displacement as the Nakba, meaning catastrophe, and there are now fears of a similar crisis as the current conflict has displaced hundreds of thousands more.

According to a late Sunday announcement by the Israeli military, it has successfully divided northern Gaza from the southern parts, describing this as a crucial phase in the conflict. However, it assured that a corridor for southern evacuation would remain open.

The Israeli military has reported 30 casualties among its troops since the commencement of the ground invasion more than a week ago. Despite most rockets being intercepted or landing in uninhabited areas, Palestinian militants persist with rocket fire into Israel, disrupting the lives of Israeli civilians and prompting evacuations near the tense Gaza and Lebanon borders.

Communication disruptions in Gaza have added to the difficulties, with the third outage reported by NetBlocks.org and the local telecom company Paltel since the beginning of hostilities. These blackouts severely impact civilians’ ability to seek safety or summon medical assistance.

With Gaza’s only power plant shut down since the war’s onset and no fuel allowed entry by Israel—citing potential military use by Hamas—the area’s hospitals and essential services are at risk. Northern Gaza, in particular, faces acute water scarcity due to the lack of fuel for municipal pumps and the closure of the main water line by Israel. The UN has reported that strikes have severely damaged seven water facilities across Gaza, raising the danger of sewage overflow, although Israel has reestablished two water pipelines in central and southern Gaza.

Since October 21, over 450 trucks with food, water, medicine, and other fundamental aid have been permitted entry into Gaza from Egypt, but this is deemed insufficient by aid workers given the escalating needs of the approximately 2.3 million residents.

The conflict has also heightened regional tensions, with cross-border exchanges of fire between Israel and the Hezbollah militant group in Lebanon.

Following an Israeli airstrike in southern Lebanon, which claimed the lives of four civilians, including three children, as reported by local civil defense and state media, the Israeli military stated it targeted Hezbollah in retaliation for anti-tank fire that resulted in an Israeli civilian death. In turn, Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for launching Grad rockets into Israel from southern Lebanon.

For comprehensive coverage of the Israel-Hamas war, please visit Big Big News.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gaza-Israel conflict

What is the current situation in Gaza City?

Israeli forces have encircled Gaza City and severed the northern section of the Hamas-ruled territory. A communications blackout occurred but is being restored. There are reports of an impending Israeli military operation into the city, and militants are prepared to engage in combat through a network of tunnels.

How many casualties have been reported in the ongoing conflict?

The conflict has resulted in more than 9,700 Palestinian deaths, as reported by Gaza’s Health Ministry. The hostilities began with a Hamas incursion into Israel that also killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians.

What are the living conditions like for the residents of Gaza?

The residents are facing severe shortages of food, medicine, fuel, and water, with many displaced people sleeping in overcrowded U.N.-run schools or on the streets. Around 70% of Gaza’s population has been displaced since the start of the conflict.

Has there been any progress in ceasefire negotiations?

Israel has rejected U.S. suggestions for a pause in the fighting and dismissed calls for a broader ceasefire from other Arab countries. Israel continues to express concerns over humanitarian aid deliveries and the handling of captives taken by Hamas.

What humanitarian aid efforts are being made for Gaza?

A Jordanian military plane has airdropped medical supplies to a field hospital in northern Gaza. Additionally, over 450 trucks of aid have entered Gaza from Egypt since October 21. However, aid workers report that this is insufficient to meet the needs of the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza.

What has been the impact of the conflict on regional tensions?

The conflict has exacerbated regional tensions, leading to exchanges of fire between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group. An Israeli airstrike in south Lebanon killed four civilians, and Hezbollah responded with rocket fire into Israel.

More about Gaza-Israel conflict

  • [Gaza City Encirclement]
  • [Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza]
  • [Middle East Conflict Escalation]
  • [Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Negotiations]
  • [Aid Efforts in Gaza]
  • [Regional Tensions in Middle East]

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Jane P November 6, 2023 - 10:53 am

Does anyone know how we can help? or donate, i feel so helpless just reading and not being able to do anything

MarkusR November 6, 2023 - 11:14 am

Israel seems to be in a tough spot, rejecting ceasefires isn’t going to look good internationally, but they must have their reasons right

SarahK November 6, 2023 - 2:29 pm

what about the people? trapped and low on supplies, it’s heartbreaking…

Gary87 November 6, 2023 - 10:36 pm

how come the UN isn’t stepping in more aggressively here? shouldn’t they be doing something more substantial?

Tom Jenson November 7, 2023 - 5:40 am

cant believe we’re seeing this level of conflict again, it’s like history just keeps on repeating itself


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