Gaza crisis: Max Exodus as ongoing Israeli assault reflects global concern

The Gaza health authorities report over 21,000 confirmed deaths, approximately 1 per cent of the enclave’s population, with fears of additional casualties due to severe shortages of essential resources.

In a harrowing turn of events, tens of thousands of Gazans find themselves newly displaced as Israel launches fresh tank and air assaults in central and southern Gaza. The latest military offensive has prompted a significant exodus, with families fleeing homes targeted by airstrikes.

Advancing from the north and east, Israeli forces instructed residents in central areas like Bureij, Maghazi, and Nusseirat to evacuate, causing a mass migration to the already overwhelmed city of Deir al-Balah. Displaced individuals, facing severe conditions, established makeshift tents using plastic sheets on open ground.

The situation took a tragic turn in the south of the strip in Rafah, where a building was obliterated by an airstrike, leaving a buried toddler whose rescue became a desperate race against time. The horrors of the conflict were vividly illustrated as relatives gathered to collect the dead, including children, wrapped in white shrouds.

Abdel Nasser Awadallah, a grieving father, shared his heart-wrenching experience of losing family members, emphasizing the unimaginable pain of burying his children. The Gaza health authorities report over 21,000 confirmed deaths, approximately 1 per cent of the enclave’s population, with fears of additional casualties due to severe shortages of essential resources.

Twelve weeks following the initial attack by Hamas militants, Israeli forces have caused extensive damage to the Gaza Strip, resulting in the repeated displacement of nearly all 2.3 million residents. The United Nations issued a warning of an impending humanitarian crisis, emphasizing shortages in essential resources such as food, medicine, clean water, and suitable shelter for the affected population.

Despite calls from the United States to scale down the conflict and transition to targeted operations against Hamas leaders, Israel shows no signs of de-escalation. The recent assault follows an apology for civilian casualties in a Christmas Eve airstrike, highlighting the challenges of minimizing harm to non-combatants.

As the conflict rages on, efforts by mediators Egypt and Qatar to negotiate a ceasefire have proved futile. Egypt, having hosted leaders of Hamas and other militant groups, awaits responses to a proposed peace plan. The nations worldwide, including Israel’s Western allies, express growing alarm over the high death toll and humanitarian devastation, urging a resolution to the crisis.