Over 700 Palestinians were killed in a single night of Israeli airstrikes, marking the highest 24-hour death toll since the campaign against Hamas began on October 7, in response to a Hamas attack on southern Israel that resulted in numerous civilian casualties.
Israel acknowledged killing dozens of Hamas fighters during the recent airstrikes in Gaza, emphasizing the ongoing nature of its efforts to eradicate the Islamist group.
As the humanitarian crisis unfolded in Gaza, international aid agencies raised concerns, and French President Emmanuel Macron visited Israel to express support while urging adherence to rules of engagement.
The United Nations called on Israel to increase aid access to Gaza, stressing that the current aid levels were insufficient, particularly regarding fuel, and Dr. Rick Brennan, WHO Regional Emergencies Director, highlighted the need for a sustained and protected humanitarian operation.
Despite calls for a ceasefire, there appeared to be no immediate prospects for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’s deadliest episode in decades.
Gaza’s health ministry reported that at least 5,791 Palestinians, including 2,360 children, have been killed since October 7, with 704 deaths occurring in the past 24 hours.
Israeli tanks and troops awaited potential orders for a ground invasion along the border with Gaza, further complicated by concerns for hostages taken by Hamas during the conflict.
Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari expressed readiness for the next phase of the conflict, but the timing of a full-scale invasion remained uncertain.
Extensive bombing in Gaza led to severe destruction, causing over a million residents to seek shelter elsewhere, and shortages of essential supplies, including food, clean water, medicine, and fuel.
Over 40 medical centers ceased operations in Gaza due to fuel shortages and damage from Israeli airstrikes.
The conflict raised concerns of regional escalation, with clashes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and along the Lebanon-Israel border, while fears of broader conflicts involving Iran’s network of proxies in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen persisted.
The Emir of Qatar called on the international community to intervene and restrain Israel in its conflict with Hamas, warning against granting Israel unconditional authorization for military action.
France expressed support for Israel’s fight against Hamas while cautioning against the risks associated with a broader regional conflict.