Israel-Hamas Conflict: Escalating Assault on Gaza Raises Alarms for Civilian Safety

Israel conducted airstrikes in the densely populated southern half of the Gaza Strip on Saturday, leading to an increased death toll. The Health Ministry in Gaza reported that at least 200 Palestinians have been killed since the fighting resumed Friday morning.

It was also reported that the overall death toll in Gaza since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October exceeded 15,200, with a large portion of the dead being women and children. The ministry indicated that over 40,000 people have been wounded over the past two months.

The United States and others have urged Israel to protect Palestinian civilians as the conflict intensified. Israel announced that it has hit more than 400 Hamas targets in Gaza, resulting in more appeals for surgical strikes from the United States.

The military released an online map dividing the Gaza Strip into numbered parcels with evacuation orders for certain areas, causing fear and confusion among residents. This has led to panic among the population, as there seemingly is no safe place to go.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military reported that Hamas militants fired rockets on southern Israel, leading to concerns for hostages who are still held by Hamas following the breakdown of the truce. There have been allegations that Israel is targeting Hamas operatives and that civilian casualties have occurred as a result of militants operating in residential neighborhoods.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, who was attending the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, was expected to address the next steps for the Gaza Strip after the conflict. Efforts are being made to emphasize the need for an eventual two-state solution.


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