Israel’s Escalating Attack on Southern Gaza Raises Alarm for Civilian Casualties

Israel resumed pounding southern Gaza Strip targets Saturday, launching an intensified offensive that sparked renewed concerns about civilian casualties following the collapse of a week-long truce with Hamas. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed since the fighting resumed Friday morning, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

Amid the ongoing violence, U.S. leaders have urged Israel to take every precaution to protect civilians. Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the importance of this issue, stating, “We’re going to be looking at this very closely.” On Friday, the Israeli military warned residents of the Khan Younis area to evacuate. However, there have been no reports of a significant number of people leaving this region.

More than 400 targets across Gaza were hit by Israel’s military. The entire population of nearly 2 million people is crammed into the territory’s south, with few options for escape. The Israeli military has released an online map to provide guidance for safe evacuation, though its effectiveness is unclear.

The latest offensive has caused continued concern about the rising number of hostages levelled by Hamas. The collapse of the truce reversed any hopes held by families of those held captive.

The conflict has cut off humanitarian aid to Gaza, resulting in widespread shortages of food, water, and other supplies, further compounding the humanitarian crisis affecting the territory.

The severe impact of the renewed hostilities has been catastrophic for Palestinian civilians and threatens to undo any progress made during the truce. The death toll from the conflict continues to rise, with more than 13,300 Palestinians killed in the assault, while Israel reports 77 soldiers killed in the ground offensive in northern Gaza.


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