Israel continued its bombardment of the Gaza Strip Monday as it prepared to launch a ground invasion on the beseiged city that is home to about 2.3 million people.
Gazans struggled to sustain the dwindling food and water supplies, while hospitals warned that they are on the verge of collapse.
Israel has bombed neighborhood after neighborhood in Gaza, killing at least 2,670 Palestinians; the Palestinian health ministry has confirmed that over 700 of those killed by Israel were children. At least 9,600 others were wounded since Israel’s attack.
Israeli forces, supported by a growing deployment of US warships in the region and the call-up of some 360,000 reservists, have positioned themselves along Gaza’s border and begun drills for what Israel said would be a broad campaign to dismantle militant group Hamas.
Israel said it has already struck dozens of military targets, including command centers and rocket launchers, and also killed Hamas commanders.
Israeli officials have given no timetable for a ground incursion that aid groups warn could hasten a humanitarian crisis in the coastal Gaza enclave. More than 1,400 Israelis have died since Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault.
Almost half a million people, nearly one quarter of Gaza’s population, have sought refuge in United Nations schools and other facilities across the territory, where water supplies were dwindling, said Juliette Touma, spokesperson for the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency.
“Gaza is running dry,” she said. The agency says an estimated 1 million people have been displaced in Gaza in a single week.