As Israeli air strikes intensify, grieving families in Gaza are facing difficulties burying their loved ones with many resorting to informal graveyards dug in empty lots because major cemeteries in the region have become dangerous to reach.
The escalating siege is pushing the enclave toward a humanitarian catastrophe.
The situation is dire for the residents of northern Gaza. Israel set a deadline for over one million Palestinians in the area to evacuate south. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have announced a specific time period during which they will allow safe movement for Gazans.
The IDF, as it prepares to retaliate for last week’s Hamas attack on southern Israel, made this announcement on social media, formerly known as Twitter. The spokesperson for the Israeli army’s Arabic language division declared that Gazans following Israel’s orders to move south would be granted a safe passage on two main roads. However, the specific roads were not specified in the announcement.
Israel has vowed to eliminate Hamas after a recent attack resulted in the deaths of 1,300 Israelis and the taking of hostages.
Since Hamas’s attack on southern Israel one week ago, Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip have resulted in the loss of at least 2,215 lives, including 724 children, according to the Palestinian territory’s Hamas-controlled health ministry. Among the casualties, 458 were women. Furthermore, 8,714 people have been wounded, with at least 324 people being martyred in the past 24 hours alone.
The Gaza Strip, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, has been subjected to a total siege and unprecedented air strikes. Israel’s recent order for over one million residents in northern Gaza to flee south before an expected ground offensive has sparked a massive movement of tens of thousands of Palestinians. Hamas, however, is urging residents to stay.
Various organisations, including the United Nations, have warned of a potential disaster if a large number of people are forced to flee the region. They are calling for the lifting of the siege to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza and alleviate the suffering of its inhabitants.