Despite increasing international calls for a ceasefire, Israel has intensified its military operations in Gaza, engaging in significant strikes against Hamas forces, according to AFP.
The ongoing conflict has resulted in a catastrophic humanitarian crisis, with over 1.5 million people in Gaza being displaced in their desperate search for safety.
Israeli troops are engaged in intense house-to-house combat in the densely populated regions of Gaza.
The Israeli army spokesman, Jonathan Conricus, stated that their goal is to dismantle Hamas stronghold by stronghold. He reiterated the army's strategy to take the fight to Hamas, be it underground or above ground, while urging civilians to evacuate the northern urban war zones.
The severity of the situation was further highlighted by Alaa Abu Hasera, a resident of Gaza City, who likened the strikes to an earthquake, with entire blocks reduced to rubble. This intensified military action follows a devastating attack by Hamas on October 7, where over 1,400 people, mostly civilians, were killed, and more than 240 were taken hostage.
Despite the dire situation, Israel has resisted international pressure to halt the fighting. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, while touring the region, called for "pauses" in the conflict but stopped short of supporting a full ceasefire, as demanded by several Arab countries.
The Israeli military strategy has effectively split the Gaza territory in two, with troops now encircling Gaza City. The army spokesman, Daniel Hagari, indicated that the strikes are set to continue, with internet and telephone lines cut shortly before the latest strikes.
In response to this escalation, the United Nations agencies, including UNICEF, the World Food Programme, and the World Health Organization, have jointly called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.
They expressed outrage at the civilian death toll and emphasized the urgent need to stop the violence, which has now lasted for almost a month.
The conflict has also affected the West Bank, where Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi was arrested on suspicion of inciting violence. Tamimi, known for her resistance against Israeli forces, has become a symbol of the Palestinian cause.
As the conflict continues, the international community watches with growing concern, hoping for a resolution that brings an end to the suffering and devastation in the region.