KHAN YOUNIS (Gaza Strip) – Medics in Gaza warned Sunday that thousands could die due to severe shortages of fuel and basic supplies in hospitals crowded with wounded. Palestinians in the besieged coastal strip are facing difficulties in finding food, water and safety before the expected Israeli ground attack on the Gaza Strip. The war sparked by the deadly Hamas attack.
Israeli forces, supported by an increasing deployment of US warships in the area, were stationed along the Gaza border and conducted training exercises in preparation for what Israel said was a large-scale campaign to dismantle the militant group. A week of violent air strikes destroyed entire neighborhoods, but failed to stop rockets being fired into Israel.
The Gaza Ministry of Health said that 2,670 Palestinians were killed and 9,600 wounded since the outbreak of fighting, a higher number than in the 2014 Gaza war, which lasted more than six weeks. This makes this war the bloodiest of the five Gaza wars for both sides.
More than 1,400 Israelis were killed, the vast majority of them civilians Hamas attack on October 7. Hamas arrested at least 155 others, including children, and transferred them to Gaza, according to Israel. It is also the bloodiest war for Israel since the 1973 conflict with Egypt and Syria.
The US State Department said that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will return to Israel on Monday after completing a hectic tour that included six countries through Arab countries aimed at preventing the fighting from igniting a broader regional conflict.
Fighting along the Israeli border with Lebanon, which has raged since the start of the latest war in Gaza, intensified on Sunday, with Hezbollah fighters firing rockets and an anti-tank missile, and Israel responding with air strikes and shelling. The Israeli army also reported that gunfire had been fired at one of its border positions. The fighting led to the death of at least one person on the Israeli side and the injury of several people on both sides of the border.
The National News Agency reported that an Israeli drone fired two missiles on Sunday evening at a hill west of the town of Kafr Kila in southern Lebanon. There were no reports of casualties in the raids that occurred near a Lebanese army center.
The Israeli army said in a post on the X website, formerly known as Twitter, that it struck Hezbollah targets, but did not specify what they were.
Hezbollah said in a statement that it fired missiles towards an Israeli military site in the northern border town of Shtoula in response to the Israeli bombing that led to the killing of Reuters videographer Issam Abdullah on Friday and two Lebanese civilians on Saturday.
Hezbollah spokeswoman Rana Al-Saheli said that the increased fighting represents a “warning” and does not mean that Hezbollah has decided to enter the war.
As the situation in Gaza grew more desperate, the United States appointed David Satterfield, a former US ambassador to Turkey with years of experience in Middle East diplomacy, as special envoy for humanitarian issues in the Middle East. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement on Sunday that Satterfield will focus on delivering humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in Gaza.
Gaza hospitals are expected to run out of generator fuel within two days, putting the lives of thousands of patients at risk, according to the UN, as Gaza’s only power plant has been closed due to fuel shortages after Israel completely closed the 40-kilometre Gaza crossing. (25 miles). ) Long area following the Hamas attack.
At Nasser Hospital, in the southern town of Khan Yunis, intensive care rooms were crowded with wounded patients, most of them children under the age of three. Hundreds of people suffering from serious injuries as a result of the explosions have arrived at the hospital, where the fuel is expected to last. Dr. Muhammad Qandil, a consultant at the Critical Care Complex, said that he will be discharged by Monday.
There are 35 patients in the ICU who require ventilators and another 60 who require dialysis. If the fuel runs out, “it means the entire health system will shut down,” he added, as children groaned in pain in the background. “All these patients are at risk of death if the electricity is cut off.”
Dr. Hossam Abu Safiya, head of the pediatrics department at Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, said that the facility was not evacuated despite Israeli orders. He said that there were seven newborns in the intensive care unit connected to ventilators. Evacuation “would mean death for them and for other patients in our care.”
Ahmed Al-Mandhari, the regional director of the World Health Organization, said that hospitals were able to transfer some ambulatory patients out of the north, but most patients could not be evacuated.
Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, the largest in the Strip, said it would bury 100 bodies in a mass grave as an emergency measure after… The morgue was overflowing. Tens of thousands of people seeking safety gathered in the hospital complex.
Gaza was already suffering from a humanitarian crisis because of this Increasing water shortage And medical supplies resulting from the Israeli siege.
“An unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding before our eyes,” said Philippe Lazzarini, head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.
Sullivan told CNN that Israeli officials told him they had reopened water in southern Gaza. Israeli Energy and Water Minister Israel Katz said in a statement that water had been restored at a “specific point” in Gaza. A spokesman said the site was outside Khan Yunis. Aid workers in Gaza said they had not yet seen evidence of water returning.
Israel ordered the deportation of more than a million Palestinians – nearly half of the Strip’s population – To move south. The army says it is trying to evacuate civilians ahead of a major campaign against Hamas in the north, where it says the militants have extensive networks of tunnels, bunkers and rocket launchers.
Hamas urged people to stay in their homes, and the Israeli army published photos that it said showed a Hamas roadblock preventing traffic from moving south.
However, more than 600,000 people have been evacuated from the Gaza City area, said Israel’s chief military spokesman, Admiral Daniel Hagari.
About 500,000 people, nearly a quarter of Gaza’s population, have taken shelter in UN schools and other facilities across the Strip, where water supplies are dwindling, said Juliette Touma, a spokeswoman for the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency. “Gaza is drying up,” she said.
The agency says that an estimated one million people were displaced in Gaza within one week.
The US is trying to broker a deal to reopen Egyptian Rafah crossing with Gaza To allow Americans and other foreigners to leave and bring in the backlog of humanitarian aid on the Egyptian side. The crossing, which was closed due to air strikes early in the war, has not yet been opened.
Israel said that the siege would not be lifted until the prisoners were returned.
Hamas rocket attacks on Israel continued on Sunday, prompting a wider evacuation of the southern Israeli city of Sderot. The city, with a population of about 34,000, is located about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from Gaza and has been a frequent missile target. “The children are in shock, and they cannot sleep at night,” Yossi Edri told Channel 13 before boarding the bus.
An airstrike in southern Gaza killed a Hamas commander accused of killing Nirim, one of several towns attacked by Hamas in southern Israel, the military said Sunday. Israel said it struck more than 100 military targets overnight, including command centers and missile launchers.
Israel summoned about 360,000 reserve soldiers and mobilized its forces and tanks along the border with Gaza. Israeli officials did not provide a timetable for the ground invasion.
Kallab reported from Baghdad, and Nisman reported from Jerusalem. Associated Press writers Julia Frankel and Amy Table in Jerusalem, Abby Sewell in Beirut and Sami Magdy in Cairo contributed to this report.
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