The most recent updates about the Israel-Hamas conflict
The Israeli army has agreed to implement daily breaks lasting a few hours in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. The purpose of these breaks is to provide an opportunity for Palestinian civilians to evacuate the area.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized on Thursday evening, during an interview with the Fox News channel, that a ceasefire with Hamas would equate to surrender. He stated that his objective remains the eradication of Hamas, the governing authority in Gaza, and that nothing will deter them from this goal.
Nonetheless, Israel has agreed to allow humanitarian pauses each day, starting from Thursday, enabling civilians to move from the north, where intense fighting is taking place, towards the south of the territory. This information was relayed by the United States.
The White House spokesperson, John Kirby, announced that these pauses, lasting four hours in certain parts of the northern Gaza Strip, will be officially declared three hours in advance. Furthermore, Washington has received assurances that there will be no military operations in these areas for the entire duration of the pauses.
On Sunday, the Israeli army established an evacuation corridor. However, Palestinians have reported ongoing clashes along this route, which has been utilized by approximately 100,000 people since Wednesday, according to statistics provided by the Israeli army.Israel has agreed to ‘breaks’ in the fighting, and the situation in Gaza is worsening as food supplies are depleting rapidly. The war has inflicted severe damage on the Palestinian economy, causing significant devastation.
Food supplies are depleting rapidly in the region of Gaza
Hundreds of thousands of refugees find themselves in dire circumstances, densely packed in the southern region of Gaza.
Expressing the gravity of the situation, Oum Alaa al-Hajin, who sought safety at al-Nasser Hospital in Khan Younes after embarking on a journey spanning several days, lamented, “We are devoid of water, functioning toilets, and even a bakery to sustain ourselves.”
Moreover, the allocation of bread is a scarce occurrence, with rations only available once every three to four days, resulting in arduously long queues endured by the desperate people.
Providing a distressing statistical overview, OCHA reveals that out of Gaza’s total population of 2.4 million, a staggering 1.6 million individuals are currently displaced.
Echoing concerns in the northern region, the United Nations conveys profound apprehension regarding the increasing scarcity of food. They regretfully state that their ability to offer assistance has been compromised for a duration of eight days.
While a handful of hospitals remain operational, their stores of medicine and fuel for generators are rapidly depleting.
Painting a desolate picture, Dr. Ahmad Mhanna, employed at Al-Awda Hospital in Jabaliya, characterizes the situation as nothing short of “tragic”.
Under such trying circumstances, maternity wards function without proper illumination, and surgeons are left with no choice but to administer “local anesthesia” to patients, further intensifying their suffering.
Devastating economic collapse in Gaza, states the United Nations
A new report by the United Nations presents a stark depiction of the dire state of the Palestinian economy following a month of war and the near-total blockade of Gaza by Israel.
During the initial month of the conflict, the gross domestic product of the West Bank and Gaza contracted by 4%, resulting in over 400,000 individuals being plunged into poverty.
The UN noted that such a substantial economic downturn has not been observed in previous Israel-Hamas wars or in the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine. Released on Thursday, this rapid assessment, conducted by the UN Development Program and the UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia, is the inaugural report by the United Nations to demonstrate the devastating consequences of the conflict, particularly for the Palestinian population. Should the war persist for another month, the international organization predicts an 8.4% decrease in Palestine’s GDP, amounting to a loss of $1.7 billion (€1.6 billion).
Prior to the commencement of the war, Palestine’s GDP stood at $20.4 billion (€19.1 billion). If the conflict extends into a third month, the Palestinian GDP is projected to plummet by 12%, resulting in losses of $2.5 billion (€2.3 billion) and pushing over 660,000 individuals into poverty.
The report raises apprehensions about the long-term repercussions of the war, pointing to the likelihood of sustained poverty and marginalization faced by the Palestinians in the years to come.
Netanyahu stated that Israel has no intention of occupying Gaza following the war
Israel’s Prime Minister emphasized that the conflict in Gaza will persist until Hamas is vanquished. However, he firmly stated that his country has no intention of assuming control over the territory after the hostilities cease.
In a recent interview with Fox News, which was broadcasted on Thursday evening, Netanyahu clarified that while Israel does not plan to occupy Gaza, it envisions a transformed and reconstructed region that is completely rid of Hamas.
“Our objective is to ensure Gaza becomes demilitarized, free from radicalism, and reconstructed,” he affirmed.