New Delhi, Nov 7: It has been one month since the initial attack on Israel by an unknown group, which took place on October 7, resulting in the loss of more than 1,400 lives and the kidnapping of over 200 individuals. In response, the Israeli military launched a comprehensive campaign that included airstrikes and ground operations, leading to the deaths of more than 10,000 Palestinians including children and women and significant property damage.
Israel has stated that it conducted multi-pronged attacks on targets associated with Hamas in Gaza, utilising air, sea, and ground forces. Reports of explosions and images of destroyed buildings emerged in the international media reports, particularly from the southern city of Khan Younis.
According to Reuters, local authorities confirmed at least 23 casualties in separate overnight strikes in the southern Gazan cities of Rafah and Khan Younis. Following Israeli warnings to evacuate the northern areas, hundreds of thousands of Gazans have relocated to the southern region.
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) are facilitating intermittently the movement of civilians from the north of Gaza to the south, with a specified route via the Salah al-Din Road open between 10:00 and 14:00 local time. IDF spokesperson emphasised, “For your safety, take this next opportunity to move south beyond Wadi Gaza.” The IDF initially advised northern Gaza residents to head south on October 13.
IDF troops say that they have seized a stronghold associated with Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip, uncovering anti-tank missiles, launchers, weaponry, and machinery. Israeli naval forces have also targeted Hamas installations, including those housing “technological assets.”
In another development, IDF troops identified Hamas fighters in a building near Gaza City’s Al-Quds Hospital. An airstrike led to “secondary explosions,” indicating the presence of a “Hamas weapons depot in a civilian area,” according to Israeli officials.
The toll on the people of Gaza is devastating with the health ministry reporting that more than 10,000 individuals have lost their lives, including over 4,100 children. The administration of Al-Rantisi Children’s Hospital has been asked to evacuate by Israeli troops, despite the facility sheltering around 1,000 displaced people in northern Gaza. Al-Rantisi Hospital is the sole pediatric cancer ward in Gaza and receives funding from the United States.
While Israel has asserted that it is targeting military assets, there have been reports of civilian casualties as collateral damage. Officials maintain that they have warned civilians through announcements and the dropping of leaflets from the air to ensure their safety.
The violence has not been limited to the northern regions of Gaza, as safer areas, particularly the southern half of the Gaza Strip, have also witnessed attacks. Last night, the city of Rafah, located on the border with Egypt and serving as a gateway for many Gazans trying to flee, experienced another attack. The situation remains volatile, with uncertainty about when the conflict will come to an end.
CONCERNS RISE OVER CIVILIAN CASUALTIES AMID ISRAELI MILITARY OPERATIONS
Amid ongoing Israeli military operations, reports indicate the use of powerful munitions in attacks targeting what Israel claims are military installations. However, these actions have raised concerns as reports reaching the media houses suggest that several civilians have tragically lost their lives as collateral damage during these blasts.
Official spokespersons, when questioned by the media about these incidents, assert that they have undertaken efforts to minimize civilian harm. These measures include warning civilians to evacuate through public announcements and airdropped leaflets. Nevertheless, the situation remains fraught with risks for those caught in the conflict’s crossfire.
Even in areas considered relatively safer, such as the southern half of the Gaza Strip, there have been instances of attacks. Just last night, the city of Rafah, located on the border with Egypt and serving as an escape route for many Gazans, witnessed another attack, highlighting the persistent security challenges faced by residents in the region.
HUMANITARIAN AID REACHES GAZA VIA THE RAFAH BORDER AS FOREIGN NATIONALS DEPART
On Tuesday, seventy trucks loaded with international humanitarian aid crossed into Gaza through the Rafah border. The contents of these trucks, including crucial medical supplies, food, and water, underwent thorough inspection before being allowed to enter from Egypt.
The situation in Gaza has grown increasingly dire, with the United Nations indicating that approximately 1.2 million people in the territory already rely on food aid to meet their basic needs.
In parallel, a group of foreign nationals is set to depart from Gaza through the Rafah crossing into Egypt. This move comes as a new list of individuals was published by the General Authority for Crossings and Borders, encompassing around 600 foreign passport holders from various countries, including the UK, Germany, Romania, France, the Philippines, Ukraine, Canada, and Moldova.
The Rafah crossing had initially opened for select foreign passport holders and injured Palestinians on November 1, following more than three weeks of closure. Subsequently, it was temporarily closed again on Saturday, only to reopen once more on Monday, underscoring the ongoing challenges and changes in access to and from Gaza.
CROSS BORDER FIRE CONTINUES
US military bases in Iraq and Syria have been targeted on 38 occasions since a wave of attacks began on October 17, as confirmed by the Pentagon. These attacks primarily involved rockets and drones and are believed to be the work of groups with links to Iran, as stated by Pentagon spokesperson Brig Gen Pat Ryder. It’s worth noting that Iran supports Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The attacks on US installations have resulted in injuries to at least 45 US personnel, with 24 individuals reporting traumatic brain injuries. The United States has outlined four primary objectives in the Middle East, according to Ryder.
These objectives include safeguarding US forces and citizens in the region, providing “critical security assistance” to support Israel’s defence against the Hamas group, assisting Israel in securing the release of hostages, and bolstering its “force posture” in the region to deter the crisis from escalating beyond Gaza.
Cross-border exchanges of fire between northern Israel and southern Lebanon have been recurring since October 7. Both Hezbollah and Hamas claim responsibility for attacks on Israel from Lebanese territory. According to the IDF, the squad attempted to launch an anti-tank missile towards the Shatula area. Daniel Hagari, a military spokesperson, shared the information on social media, stating, “Earlier today IDF forces attacked a position of the terrorist organisation Hezbollah, to remove a threat.”
ONE MONTH SINCE ATTACKS, ISRAELIS PAY TRIBUTES TO VICTIMS
In a ceremony in Jerusalem last night, a gathering of people lit 1,400 candles, while the faces of hostages were projected onto the Western Wall. This occasion marked the one-month anniversary of the attacks initiated by Hamas on Israel on October 7. Israelis from all corners of the country are coming together to honour the memory of the victims.
At precisely 11:00 local time, a minute of silence was observed as a gesture of remembrance. These photographs capture the scene in Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv, where individuals congregated, displaying posters featuring the faces of hostages currently held in Gaza. The display served as a reminder of the ongoing humanitarian crisis and the toll it has taken on innocent lives. Families of abducted and missing Israelis were planning to protest outside the Knesset in Jerusalem this evening, showing anger at Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his government.