Thousands of Palestinians Flee as Israel Obliterates Gaza Tunnel Network

357
Thousands of Palestinians Flee as Israel Obliterates Gaza Tunnel Network

Israel targeted the Hamas-Gaza tunnel network beneath the besieged Palestinian enclave, causing more Palestinians to flee south.

Israeli forces now encircle Gaza City as troops advance to the heart of the densely populated city.

Meanwhile, thousands of Gaza residents were leaving northern areas and heading south during a four-hour window proclaimed by Israeli forces for civilians to leave.

However, thousands still remain inside the encircled area, including Gaza City’s main Al Shifa hospital, where Um Haitham Hejela was sheltering with her young children.

“The situation is getting worse day after day,” she said.

“There is no food, no water. When my son goes to pick up water, he queues for three or four hours in the line. They struck bakeries, we don’t have bread.”

As the war enters its second month, UN officials called for a humanitarian pause to prevent more casualties.

More than 10,000 people have been killed, 40% of them children, according to Palestinian officials.

Health agency spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said the death and suffering is “hard to fathom.”

Israel’s strikes on Gaza came in response to the Hamas attack in which gunmen killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians, taking about 240 hostages.

Holy war

Israel’s stated intention is to wipe out Hamas, which has escalated responses from Iran, who vowed to wipe out the Jewish state as fierce fighting continues.

Watch

As Reuters reported:

“The Israeli military said on Wednesday two separate strikes eliminated a leading Hamas armorer, Mahsein Abu Zina, and fighters engaged in anti-tank or ground-to-ground rocket fire.

Palestinian media reported clashes between militants and Israeli forces near al-Shati (Beach) refugee camp in Gaza City.

Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said its fighters had destroyed an Israeli tank in Gaza City.

There was no further word from Israel on the possible fate of Yahya Sinwar, the most senior Hamas leader in Gaza and believed to be a key planner of the Oct.7 attacks. Israel said on Tuesday he had been cornered in his bunker.

Chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said combat engineers were using explosive devices to destroy a tunnel network built by Hamas that stretches for hundreds of kilometers (miles) beneath Gaza.

Israeli tanks have met heavy resistance from Hamas fighters using the tunnels to stage ambushes, according to sources with Hamas and the separate Islamic Jihad militant group. Israel says 33 of its soldiers have been killed.”

Israel says it will not agree to a ceasefire until hostages are released.

But Gaza said it would not stop fighting while Gaza is under attack.

“I challenge (Israel) if it has been able, to this moment, to record any military achievement on the ground other than killing civilians,” senior Hamas official Ghazi Hamad told Al Jazeera television.

The news comes just days after the House of Representatives passed legislation to send $14.3 billion in emergency aid to Israel.

The House bill would provide $4 billion for Israel’s Iron Dome and David’s Sling missile defense systems.

Another $3.5 billion would be provided for advanced weapons systems and other defense services.

A further $1 billion would be provided to bolster artillery and critical munitions productions, and $1.2 billion for the Iron Beam for short-range rocket defense.

Finally, another $4.4 billion would be sent to Israel “to replenish defense articles and defense services.”