Israeli Forces Clash with Hamas in Southern Gaza, Humanitarian Concerns Rise
Israeli forces and Hamas engaged in fierce battles in southern Gaza, particularly in Khan Younis, prompting Palestinian civilians to seek refuge amid diminishing safe areas.
Israeli warplanes conducted heavy bombardments across the densely populated coastal territory, marking one of the most intense phases of the conflict in the past two months. Palestinian medics reported hospitals overflowing with casualties, including women and children, while supplies were running low. Hundreds of thousands of displaced individuals sought shelter in the diminishing safe areas designated by Israel in the south.
The UN human rights chief characterized the situation as “apocalyptic,” expressing concerns about the potential for serious rights violations by both sides in the conflict. Additionally, the UN highlighted the impracticality of delivering aid through the Rafah border crossing from Egypt.
Following the collapse of a seven-day truce last week, Israeli troops and tanks advanced further south, encircling Khan Younis. The escalation in fighting resulted in increased casualties, with tanks engaging Palestinian fighters north and east of Khan Younis. The bombing intensified overnight, causing civilian deaths and injuries, with residents describing lucky escapes from destroyed homes.
Tanks, naval boats, and warplanes continued to pound areas in Gaza’s north, including the Jabalia refugee camp. The ongoing conflict has led to a dire humanitarian situation, with hospitals overwhelmed, displaced populations seeking shelter, and limited access for aid delivery.
The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War reported a shift in tactics by Hamas fighters, including the use of improvised explosive devices and anti-personnel mines, as ground combat intensified. International concern has grown as the conflict persists, with calls for an end to hostilities and efforts to address the worsening humanitarian crisis.