Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Israeli forces surrounded Gaza City and cut off its northern part

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Communications across Gaza were gradually restored after hours lost as Israeli troops encircled Gaza City and cut off the northern part of the besieged territory early Monday.

Israeli media reported that troops would enter the city on Monday or Tuesday, and the fighters, who have been preparing for years, are expected to fight street by street. It uses a vast network of tunnels. Casualties on both sides could rise in a month-long war that has already killed more than 9,700 Palestinians. According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health.

About 1.5 million Palestinians, or about 70% of the population, have fled their homes since the war began. Bloody Hamas incursion into Israel It killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians. Food, medicine, fuel and water are running low, and the U.N. Shelters converted by run schools are beyond capacity, with many sleeping outside on the streets.

Israel has ever existed Rejected US suggestions for a moratorium In fighting to deliver humanitarian aid and free some of the approximately 240 prisoners captured in an October 7 attack by Hamas. Israel has also rejected calls for a broader ceasefire by increasingly fearful Arab states, including Jordan and Egypt, which made peace with it decades ago.

King Abdullah II said early Monday that a Jordanian military cargo plane dropped medical supplies to a field hospital in northern Gaza. It appeared to be the first airdrop of the war, raising the possibility of another route of aid delivery besides crossing Egypt’s Rafah to Gaza.

The situation is even worse in the north. About 800,000 people obeyed Israeli military orders and fled to southern Gaza, despite continued Israeli airstrikes. Sunday’s strikes in central and southern Gaza – the safe zone – killed at least 53 people.

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Hundreds of thousands remain in Gaza City and other parts of the north. About 2,000 people, many carrying only what they could hold in their arms, walked along Gaza’s main north-south highway on Sunday during a one-hour window when the army encouraged them to flee.

One said he walked 500 meters (yards) with his hands raised as he passed Israeli troops. Another described seeing bodies on the side of the road. “The children saw the tanks for the first time. Oh world, have mercy on us,” said one Palestinian, who declined to give his name.

The majority of Gaza’s population are descendants of Palestinian refugees whose exodus Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or catastrophe. Many are afraid again Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by the recent war.

The Israeli military said late Sunday it had cut off northern Gaza from the south, calling it a “significant phase” of the war. It said the corridor would remain a one-way escape route for residents to the south.

The military says 30 troops have been killed since the ground offensive began a week ago. Palestinian militants continue to fire rockets into Israel, most intercepting and landing in open areas, disrupting daily life. Tens of thousands of Israelis have fled communities near the volatile borders with Gaza and Lebanon.

Communications in Gaza were down late Sunday for the third time in the war, according to an Internet access advocacy group. NetBlocks.org and Palestinian telecommunications company Baltel. The outages make it difficult for the public to seek safety or call ambulances, aid workers say.

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The first Gaza outage lasted 36 hours, coinciding with the ground invasion, and the second for a few hours. Baldel said service was gradually being restored on Monday.

The food, water and fuel required for the generators that supply electricity to the hospitals have dwindled. Gaza’s only power plant was forced to close shortly after the war broke out and Israel allowed any fuel to enter, which Hamas said it would steal for military purposes.

Northern Gaza is facing severe water shortages as there is no fuel to pump from municipal wells and Israel has closed the territory’s main road. The UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs said seven water facilities across Gaza had been attacked in the past two days, causing “extensive damage” and raising the risk of sewage flooding. UN says Israel has recovered two water pipelines in central and southern Gaza.

450 trucks carrying food, water, medicine and other basic aid have been allowed into Gaza since Oct. 21, but aid workers say that is not enough to meet the growing needs of the region, home to 2.3 million Palestinians.

The war has fueled wider tensions with Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group Trade fire At the border.

Four civilians were killed Israeli airstrikes in southern Lebanon late Sunday killed three children, including three children, a local civil defense official and state-run media reported. The Israeli military said it struck Hezbollah targets in response to anti-tank fire that killed an Israeli civilian. Hezbollah said it fired Grad rockets at Israel from southern Lebanon.

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Magdy reported from Cairo. Associated Press reporters Najib Zoban in Khan Younis, Amy Diebel in Jerusalem and Karim Chehayeb in Beirut contributed to this report.

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Full AP coverage https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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