GAZA CITY: The health ministry in Gaza has reported that at least 21,672 Palestinian people have been killed in ongoing Israeli air and ground attacks since October 7 in the besieged Gaza Strip. In the past 24 hours alone, 165 Gazans were killed, with a total of 56,165 others wounded in the ongoing Israeli aggression in the region.
The devastating toll of the Israeli attacks has drawn attention internationally, with the American Wall Street Journal stating that the destruction in Gaza is comparable in scale to the most devastating warfare in modern history. The report highlighted that, by mid-December, Israel had dropped 29,000 bombs, munitions, and shells on the besieged enclave, resulting in the destruction or damage of nearly 70% of Gaza’s homes.
Criticism has been directed towards the Joe Biden administration’s handling of the conflict. Luciano Zaccara, an associate professor of Gulf Politics at Qatar University’s Gulf Studies Center, noted that the US policy in Gaza appears to be contradictory.
Despite expressing concern about civilian casualties, the administration approved the sale of more weapons to Israel. Zaccara emphasized the perplexing nature of this dual-track approach, especially considering mounting pressure within the US, including among Democrats, against the war as Palestinian civilian casualties continue to rise.
Israeli Forces’ Aggression in Gaza and West Bank
As the conflict continues, Israeli forces are intensifying their aggressive activities in the region. Al Jazeera has confirmed heavy fire and artillery shells being fired east of the Rafah border crossing in southern Gaza. The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth revealed Israel’s plans to build an underground wall in Rafah, Egypt, allegedly to prevent weapon smuggling into the Gaza Strip.
In response to the ongoing crisis, Hamas’ head of International Relations, Basem Nail, released a statement condemning the international community for failing to stop a “genocidal war” in Gaza. He held the Biden administration and the broader international community accountable for their roles in sponsoring and orchestrating the ongoing Israeli attacks.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces have arrested 15 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, intensifying tensions and adding to the complex and dire situation in the region.