Desperation Grows in Gaza as death toll reaches 8000, as civil order starts to lose control in Gaza

Desperation Grows in Gaza as death toll reaches 8000, as civil order starts to lose control in Gaza

Amid escalating tensions and violence in the ongoing conflict between Israel and the militant group Hamas in Gaza, thousands have forcibly entered aid storage facilities in search of essential goods, according to a UN agency report from Sunday. This development underlines the mounting desperation and the crumbling state of civil order as the conflict enters its third week.
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Amid escalating tensions and violence in the ongoing conflict between Israel and the militant group Hamas in Gaza, thousands have forcibly entered aid storage facilities in search of essential goods, according to a UN agency report from Sunday. This development underlines the mounting desperation and the crumbling state of civil order as the conflict enters its third week.

The recent military manoeuvre by Israel saw a combination of tanks and infantry enter Gaza during the weekend, signalling the commencement of what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu terms the "second stage" of the conflict. This latest stage follows Hamas' incursion into Israel on October 7. Israel has continued its assault on Gaza through aerial, naval, and land-based means.

According to figures from Gaza's Health Ministry, over 8,000 Palestinians, primarily women and children, have lost their lives, marking this period as one of the deadliest in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel, on the other hand, has reported the death of over 1,400 people, most of whom were civilians during the early stages of Hamas' offensive.

The recent bombardments, particularly over the weekend, have been described by Gaza locals as the most severe, resulting in significant communication disruptions. Thankfully, by early Sunday, a large portion of Gaza had their communications restored.

The Israeli military disclosed that within the last day, they targeted over 450 sites associated with militants, which include command bases and missile launch sites for Hamas. Additional military personnel and equipment have been moved into Gaza.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, highlighted the growing concern for civil order in Gaza. Thomas White, Gaza's UNRWA director, noted the urgency of the situation, stating that the populace is "scared, frustrated, and desperate." UNRWA, which offers fundamental services to a vast portion of Gaza's population, has converted its educational institutions into makeshift shelters to house those displaced by the ongoing hostilities.

Though Israel has permitted some aid to pass through Egypt into Gaza, it has been minimal. UNRWA reported that some of this aid was stored in one of the breached warehouses.

UNRWA spokesperson Juliette Touma confirmed that multiple facilities were broken into on Saturday, emphasizing that these warehouses did not contain fuel. This is significant, as Gaza has faced a severe fuel shortage since the onset of the conflict.

In a positive development, Israeli officials have announced plans to increase the flow of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, though specifics remain undisclosed.

Thousands break into aid warehouses in Gaza as deaths top 8,000 – NECN

Elad Goren of COGAT, the Israeli body overseeing Palestinian civilian affairs, mentioned the establishment of a "humanitarian zone" in the vicinity of Khan Younis. He encouraged Palestinians to seek refuge there but remained vague on the exact location and aid availability.

Reports also surfaced about Israeli airstrikes near Gaza's primary medical facility, Shifa Hospital. The Israeli government has previously claimed the existence of a concealed Hamas command base beneath the hospital, though solid evidence remains pending. Hamas has rejected these claims.

Mahmoud al-Sawah, currently taking shelter in the hospital, mentioned the increasing challenges of accessing the facility. He stated, "It seems they want to cut off the area." Abdallah Sayed, a Gaza City inhabitant, commented on the heightened intensity of the bombings in recent days.

Thousands break into aid warehouses in Gaza as deaths top 8,000 and Israel  widens ground offensive | WPBN

The Palestinian Red Crescent highlighted the increased risks faced by another medical facility, Al-Quds Hospital, which currently shelters 12,000 people. The hospital has reportedly received evacuation orders from Israel, but the staff have declined, noting that this would endanger patients requiring life support.

The Israeli government did not provide an immediate response concerning the evacuation orders or the reported strikes near Shifa.

Reports suggest that while many have heeded Israeli evacuation warnings, a large number of people remain in the northern part of Gaza. The situation remains tense, with even so-called safe zones facing bombardments. One such incident occurred in Khan Younis, where an Israeli airstrike hit a residential building, leading to numerous casualties, including a single-family losing ten members.

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