According to the health ministry run by Hamas, over 700 Palestinians have lost their lives as a result of Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in the last 24 hours.
Over the same time period, the Israeli military claimed to have killed several Hamas commanders and struck 400 “terror targets”.
It further declared that even after Hamas released two more hostages, it would not abate its attacks.
Meanwhile, UN relief organizations warned they were “on their knees” and begged for continued, secure humanitarian access.
The lack of staff, electricity, and medicine has caused a third of Gaza’s hospitals to close, and the scarcity of clean water is now a serious problem.
Israel began bombing Hamas, which it, the US, the UK, and other countries consider to be a terrorist organization, in retaliation for an unprecedented cross-border attack on October 7 that resulted in the deaths of at least 1,400 people and the kidnapping of 222 more.
The health ministry reports that since then, almost 5,800 people have died in Gaza.
Overnight, hundreds of locations throughout Gaza were targeted by intense Israeli airstrikes.
According to local officials, some of the people killed in the southern cities of Khan Younis and Rafah were internally displaced people who had left the north after receiving an order from the Israeli military to leave the area for their own safety.
Among them were thirteen members of a single Gaza City family who had been residing in a house in Qarara, a neighborhood on the northeastern edge of Khan Younis, where the population has increased from 400,000 to 1.2 million.
“We were sleeping and suddenly a big explosion happened,” a survivor related. My family has all passed away.”
As the bodies were removed from the mortuary and taken away for burial on Tuesday morning, the city’s hospital was met with sadness, shock, and rage, according to Rushdi Abu Alouf of the BBC. In Gaza, mourners declared, there was “no safe place”.
Later, a strike on a residential building in Khan Younis’ densely populated Amal neighborhood is said to have killed about 20 people.
According to the health ministry run by Hamas, it was the bloodiest day of the conflict so far, with 704 deaths reported, including 305 children, 173 women, and 78 elderly people. That increased the number of deaths in Gaza to 5,791 overall.
Tuesday morning, the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF, announced that its aircraft had hit “dozens of terror infrastructure and Hamas staging grounds” in and around Gaza City’s northern neighborhoods. Additionally, the IDF said that its jets had struck a “Hamas operational tunnel shaft” close to the Mediterranean coast.
It continued by saying that aircraft also hit dozens of Hamas gunmen who were preparing to launch rockets towards Israel, as well as Hamas command centers and staging areas housed in mosques, killing the deputy commanders of three battalions of the organization’s military wing.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt Gen Herzi Halevi told commanders on Monday, “We want to bring Hamas to a state of full dismantling – its leaders, its military branch, and its working mechanisms.” “The path is a path of unrelenting attacks, damaging Hamas everywhere and in every way.”
Additionally, he stated that the Israeli forces gathered close to the Gaza perimeter fence were “well prepared for the ground operations,” alluding to the impending invasion.
The general’s speech was preceded by the release by Hamas of two elderly Israeli women, Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, and Nurit Cooper, 79, who had been kidnapped on October 7 from the Nir Oz kibbutz near Gaza. The husbands of the women are still being detained, and other residents were slain.
As 1.4 million people have fled their homes, the humanitarian situation in Gaza is becoming more and more dire due to a lack of food, water, and shelter.
Twelve of Gaza’s thirty-two hospitals were closed as the health ministry issued a warning that the region’s healthcare system might implode. Only the most basic services were being provided by the others since they were running out of fuel.
The largest humanitarian operation in Gaza is managed by UNRWA, a UN agency for Palestinian refugees. A spokeswoman for UNRWA cautioned that the organization was on the verge of running out of fuel.
“If we do not get fuel urgently, we will be forced to halt our operations in the Gaza Strip as of Wednesday night,” Juliette Touma stated to the BBC.