The Israel-Gaza conflict has reached a critical juncture as the death toll surges to a devastating 1,300, with no signs of a resolution in sight. Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has declared a “complete siege” on the besieged Gaza Strip, leaving its 2.3 million inhabitants facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with no access to electricity, food, water, or gas.
Here are the top 10 key developments in this unfolding crisis:
- Israeli Control: Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari announced, “We are in control of the communities,” though cautioning that individual Hamas fighters may still be in the region. Israel also reported the elimination of gunmen who had infiltrated from Lebanon.
- Mounting Casualties: Over the past three days, Israel has reported over 800 casualties, while Palestinian officials have cited a staggering toll of 560 in Gaza. The conflict has claimed the lives of nine US citizens.
- Complete Siege: Defence Minister Yoav Gallant confirmed Israel’s intent to impose a “complete siege” on Gaza, where the population faces the grim reality of life without basic necessities.
- Ground Offensive: Palestinians in the densely populated coastal enclave are bracing for a possible Israeli ground offensive aimed at defeating Hamas and rescuing around 100 hostages.
- Continued Attacks: On the third day of the war, Gaza’s skies were shrouded in smoke as fighter jets roared overhead. Hamas continued to fire rockets, even reaching as far as Jerusalem, prompting air raid sirens and explosions.
- Intensive Strikes: The Israeli Defense Forces announced that they had carried out airstrikes, artillery shelling, and attacks on more than 500 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip.
- Warnings to Civilians: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has issued warnings to Gaza civilians to distance themselves from Hamas sites, which he vowed to reduce to rubble.
- Border Breach: On Saturday, over 1,000 Hamas fighters breached the Gaza border fence, infiltrating nearby Jewish communities. In these areas, they went door-to-door, causing casualties and abducting people back into Gaza.
- Hostage Crisis: Israeli officials reported that the hostages taken into Gaza included children and a Holocaust survivor in a wheelchair. The nation has been left in shock, drawing parallels with the 9/11 attacks.
- Multi-Front Threat: Israel now faces the added complexity of a multi-front war, as Iran-backed Hezbollah launched guided missiles and artillery shells “in solidarity” with Hamas, further escalating regional tensions.
The situation in Israel and Gaza remains highly volatile, with international calls for de-escalation growing louder. As the conflict enters a critical phase, the world watches closely, hoping for a swift resolution and an end to the devastating human toll on both sides.
Sources By Agencies