The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has intensified, with Israel launching a ground offensive into southern Gaza. This follows a series of airstrikes and attacks on both sides. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees reported that nearly 1.9 million people have been displaced across the Gaza Strip.
Impact on UN Facilities and Civilians
The UN agency disclosed that 117 incidents occurred across 85 of its premises, with 30 facilities directly hit and others suffering collateral damage. Concerns are rising about the safety of civilians, and the international community is urging Israel to take actions to protect the civilian population.
Families Express Concerns: Ground Offensive
Families of individuals still held hostage in Gaza have voiced their concerns about Israel’s military campaign and expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of information about efforts to free their loved ones. The mother of a kidnapped individual emphasized the need for clarity on war priorities, insisting on the return of hostages as a top priority.
International Response and Criticism
The U.S. has called on Israel to do more to protect civilians in Gaza, emphasizing the importance of respecting international humanitarian law. Vice President Kamala Harris expressed concern about the civilian suffering and called it heartbreaking. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned that Israel risks a “strategic defeat” if actions don’t prioritize the protection of civilians.
Resumption of Netanyahu’s Corruption Trial
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial has resumed after a hiatus prompted by the conflict. He faces allegations of fraud, breach of trust, and accepting bribes. In the latest hearing, police investigators were questioned over allegations related to regulatory benefits for a telecom company.
Humanitarian Aid Challenges: Ground Offensive
As the conflict continues, aid distribution to parts of Gaza has slowed due to the intensity of the fighting. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported challenges in reaching certain areas, affecting the distribution of essential supplies.
International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor’s Trip
The ICC prosecutor, Karim Khan, faced criticism from Hamas for not visiting Gaza during his trip to the region. The ICC has been investigating war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank since 2021.
Turkish President Erdogan’s Comments
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Israel’s offensive, stating that he believes Netanyahu will eventually be tried as a war criminal. He criticized Western countries for their unconditional support for Israel, accusing them of complicity in the ongoing conflict.
Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Operations and Challenges
The IDF reported striking almost 200 Hamas targets, including tunnel shafts and weapons storage facilities. The military operation faced challenges, including injuries to soldiers in northern Israel from mortar shells fired from Lebanon.
Chicago Hate Crime Lawsuit: Ground Offensive
In Chicago, the father of a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy, killed in an alleged hate crime, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the accused attacker and property management company.