In Gaza, another half a million people, or one-quarter of its population, have fled their homes in the past few days, as Israel bombards the besieged enclave for the 10th straight day and amid an anticipated ground invasion. Last week, Israel ordered 1.1 million residents of northern Gaza to evacuate to the south of the territory, a virtually impossible task which would also constitute the war crime of forcible transfer. On Friday, Hamas officials said 70 people, mostly women and children, were killed when Israeli airstrikes hit convoys that were attempting to flee Gaza City. Over 2,800 Palestinians have been killed since Israel’s assault began, and over 10,000 have been wounded. Palestinian health officials say 47 families have been entirely removed from the Gaza civil registry, meaning those families no longer have any remaining members. This is a resident of Khan Younis whose home was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike.
Mohammad Sadeq: “This is a genocide, not a war. It’s a genocide. And it’s an attempt to displace the people of the Gaza Strip. But this will not happen.”
At least 1,400 Israelis have been killed in Hamas attacks. Israel says 200 of its citizens are being held captive by Hamas.
A growing crowd is massing at Gaza’s Rafah border crossing with Egypt amid reports the border would open today. Humanitarian groups are also relying on the border crossing to open to allow severely needed aid into Gaza, where residents are dealing with dwindling supplies of food, fuel, medicine and water.
Mahmoud Abu Samra: “We don’t have any water. We’ve reached a disastrous situation, below zero. The situation is catastrophic by all standards, with the food crisis, water and electricity. I mean, people can’t do anything in the current conditions.”
China has called on Israel to stop its “collective punishment of the people in Gaza,” saying Israel has “gone beyond self-defense.” Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken swept through seven countries in the Middle East over the weekend, asserting Israel has the right to defend itself.