Israeli Forces Intensify Attacks on Gaza Cities as Palestinians’ Death Toll Surges to 17,487

Fri Dec 08 2023
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

GAZA CITY: Israeli forces have escalated their devastating attacks on Gaza’s main cities, leaving the Palestinian territory in ruins and prompting an extraordinary United Nations bid for a ceasefire. The weeks-long Israeli bombing campaign has resulted in the killing of more than 17,487 Palestinians, mostly women and children, in Gaza, according to the latest figures from the Gaza health ministry.

Since October 7, Israel has continued its relentless bombardment of Gaza, deploying tanks and ground troops, resulting in vast areas of the region being reduced to wasteland. The UN reported that approximately 80 percent of the Palestinian population has been displaced, facing severe shortages of food, fuel, water, and medicine, along with the looming threat of disease.

On Friday, the Gaza health ministry reported an additional 40 Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes near Gaza City, with dozens more casualties reported in Jabalia and Khan Younis. Israeli forces instructed Palestinian residents of Jabalia, Shejaiya, and Zeitun districts of Gaza City to move west, heightening fears and exacerbating the dire humanitarian situation.

The death toll also rose in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where six Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces, according to the territory’s health ministry.

Meanwhile, an attack in Iraq targeted the US embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone, raising fears of wider conflict. US officials noted that this was the first attack against the US mission in Baghdad since the war began.

Thousands of Jordanians demonstrated near the US embassy in Amman, denouncing US support for Israel. In Gaza, Israeli airstrikes targeted cities in the central and southern regions, causing widespread destruction and several casualties. The fighting has displaced Gazans further south, turning Rafah near the Egyptian border into a vast camp for many of the 1.9 million displaced Palestinians.

Biden Urges Netanyahu to Protest Civilians in Gaza

US President Joe Biden, in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, emphasized the critical need to protect civilians and called for the creation of corridors to allow safe movement.

Later on Friday, the UN Security Council convened after Secretary-General Antonio Guterres invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter, seeking a “humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza to avert a catastrophe with potentially irreversible implications for Palestinians and the entire Middle East.

The World Health Organization reinforced the urgency of the situation, warning that civilization is on the brink of breaking down. The Gaza war has also claimed the lives of 91 Israeli soldiers.

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp