Israeli forces push into southern Gaza, as humanitarian crisis worsens

The ongoing conflict in Gaza has intensified as Israeli forces push further into the region, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis for Palestinian refugees.

The situation: Palestinian refugees’ plight has worsened due to increased Israeli combat operations in Gaza. The destruction of infrastructure and rise in civilian deaths has compounded their difficulties.
* More than 15,000 Palestinians, including over 6,000 children and 4,000 women, have died since the conflict began, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health.
* Over the past four days, the fighting has reportedly killed more than 300 Palestinians and wounded hundreds more.

Conflict escalates: Amid heightened tensions, Israeli tanks and soldiers are allegedly moving further south, targeting Hamas.
* On October 7, this Palestinian Islamist militant group launched a surprise attack on southern Israel, killing 1,200 people according to Israel.
* In response, Israel launched massive airstrikes and initiated a ground invasion of Gaza.

Humanitarian crisis: Israeli military’s instructions for Palestinians to move to “safer zones” have led to confusion and overcrowding, as many found the recommended online map difficult to access or understand.
* UNRWA has stated that 1.1 million internally displaced people are registered in 156 U.N. facilities across Gaza, with an estimated 191,000 staying in public schools, hospitals, and other venues.
* Larger communicable disease cases and initial reports of disease outbreaks, including hepatitis A, have been reported.

Israeli military efforts: Focused initially on the north of the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces’ actions are now increasingly shifting toward the south, forcing civilians into a smaller area.
* Israel’s military claims to have destroyed over 60% of the 800 Hamas tunnel shafts identified since the conflict began, many of which were reportedly discovered in or near civilian structures.

View original article on NPR
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