The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, gathered his top officials over the weekend to anticipate potential military actions against Hamas in Gaza.
The Israeli forces, backed by increasing US military presence in the vicinity, were preparing along the Gaza border. This mobilization comes as a significant number of Palestinians, adhering to Israel’s evacuation orders moved out in anticipation of a possible ground offensive.
The ongoing conflict has led to deteriorating conditions in Gaza, with local health workers struggling to manage the increasing death toll. The week’s violence continued, resulting in more than 3,700 casualties from both sides combined.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and US officials report that more than 1,400 people in Israel, including 30 Americans, have died. An additional 13 Americans are unaccounted for. Recent events also indicate Hamas took around 150 individuals hostage.
Gaza officials reported over 2,450 Palestinians died due to Israeli counterattacks. Both sides have seen significant civilian casualties, with many women and children among the deceased.
Israel’s forensic teams, while identifying victims, reported severe abuse—a military dentist, identified as Capt. Mayaan described the distressing state of some of the victims.
Hamas, however, has refuted claims of any misconduct despite various photographic evidence and reports.
Within 24 hours, Gaza’s Palestinian Health Ministry recorded 300 fatalities and 800 injuries.
For the safety of its inhabitants, the IDF has been urging northern Gaza residents to move south. On Sunday, the IDF confirmed a temporary halt on certain operations to facilitate this relocation.
However, the directive to evacuate is challenging for some facilities in Gaza. Hussam Abu Safiya, an intensive-care doctor at Kamal Edwan Hospital, emphasized the difficulty of relocating critical patients.
On Sunday, Hamas continued its rocket attacks against Israel. As a result, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and his team had to seek shelter in Tel Aviv.
Additional US military aircraft reached the Middle East over the weekend, reinforcing the US’s commitment to its allies.
Sunday also witnessed tensions rising on Israel’s border with Lebanon, raising concerns about the conflict potentially extending beyond its current boundaries.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is touring the Middle East, trying to de-escalate the situation. Blinken has stated that the Egyptian-controlled border into Gaza will soon be operational, facilitating the provision of international aid.