GAZA CITY: Israeli forces continued their heavy bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip on Thursday, with the epicenter of the attacks shifting steadily south. Amid Israeli attacks, hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians are seeking refuge in the southern regions, particularly in and around the city of Rafah near the Egyptian border.
Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari confirmed the deployment of an additional brigade to Khan Younis, underscoring the intensity of the military campaign. More than 80% of Gaza’s 2.4 million residents have been forcibly displaced, living in overcrowded shelters or makeshift tents, facing dire conditions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued a stark warning, calling for urgent measures to address the grave peril faced by Gaza’s people. He highlighted the alarming prevalence of terrible injuries, acute hunger, and a severe risk of disease among the civilian population.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his deep concern over the heavy civilian toll in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Macron stressed the imperative need to work towards a lasting ceasefire, according to a statement from Macron’s office.
Israel Urged Stop Unlawful Killings of Palestinians in West Bank
Meanwhile, the United Nations raised alarms about the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied West Bank. The international organization urged Israel to stop unlawful killings targeting the Palestinian population. A UN report released on Thursday demanded an immediate halt to the use of military weapons and tactics during law enforcement operations, an end to arbitrary detentions and ill-treatment of Palestinians, and the lifting of discriminatory movement restrictions.
UN rights chief Volker Turk expressed profound concern about the intensity of the violence and repression, stating that such levels have not been witnessed in years. The report focused on the human rights situation in the occupied West Bank and annexed East Jerusalem since October 7.
Since October 7, Israel has conducted extensive aerial bombardments, initiated a siege, and launched a ground invasion in Gaza. The campaign has resulted in the killing of at least 21,110 Palestinian people, mostly women and children, according to Gaza’s health ministry.