The Israeli military has gained control over northern Gaza, capturing key buildings and symbols of power belonging to the ruling Hamas militant group. This development comes as Palestinian authorities call for a cease-fire to evacuate newborns and other patients trapped inside Gaza’s largest hospital. The situation in Gaza has reached a critical point, with the Israeli army encircling Shifa Hospital, where they claim Hamas is using civilians as shields. The dire conditions have led to the deaths of patients and the evacuation of other hospitals in the area.
Israeli forces have captured the legislature building, police headquarters, and military intelligence headquarters of Hamas. These buildings hold significant symbolic value but their strategic importance remains unclear. It is believed that Hamas fighters are hiding in underground bunkers, making it difficult for the Israeli military to completely eliminate their presence.
The ongoing bombardment of Gaza has had devastating consequences for its population. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, over 11,200 people, including women and minors, have been killed, with thousands reported missing. The majority of Gaza’s population has been forced into the southern part of the territory, where conditions continue to deteriorate. The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees has warned that its relief operations will soon come to an end due to the lack of fuel. This will have dire consequences for the hundreds of thousands of people seeking shelter in schools and other facilities.
The situation in Gaza’s hospitals is particularly dire. Shifa Hospital, which has been at the center of fighting, has been described as a cemetery by its director. The lack of fuel has led to the deaths of patients, including babies in incubators. The Israeli military claims to have started efforts to transfer incubators to Shifa Hospital, but without electricity, they will be useless. The Palestinian Health Ministry has proposed evacuating the hospital with the supervision of the International Committee of the Red Cross, but no response has been received.
While Israel claims that Hamas is using hospitals as command centers, the Gaza Health Ministry denies these allegations and has invited international organizations to investigate. The Palestinian Red Crescent has accused the Israeli army of bombarding another hospital, Al-Quds, and firing at those inside. The United States has stated that it has intelligence indicating that hospitals and tunnels are being used by Hamas for military operations and to hold hostages. However, the US does not support airstrikes on hospitals and wants to avoid any harm to innocent people seeking medical care.
The plight of the hostages held by Hamas has become a major concern for families and supporters. One hostage, 19-year-old Noa Marciano, was confirmed to have died in captivity. Families and supporters have started a protest march from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, calling on the government to do more to bring their loved ones home.
In Gaza City, independent accounts of the fighting have been difficult to gather due to communication breakdowns. The Israeli military claims to have completed the takeover of the Shati refugee camp and is moving freely throughout the city. Videos released by the Israeli military show troops engaged in battle with Hamas fighters and gradually dismantling their tunnel network.
The situation in Gaza remains dire, with the Israeli military aiming to crush Hamas rule. The international community must continue to monitor the situation closely and work towards a peaceful resolution that prioritizes the safety and well-being of civilians caught in the crossfire.