Israel’s military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, announced that Israel is preparing to escalate its offensive against the Gaza Strip as part of its ongoing conflict with Hamas. Hagari told reporters on Saturday night that Israel intends to intensify its attacks, with the aim of creating optimal conditions for the next stages of the war, news agency Associated Press reported. He also emphasised the need to minimise risks to Israeli forces in the upcoming phases of the conflict.
“We will deepen our attacks to minimise the dangers to our forces in the next stages of the war. We are going to increase the attacks, from today,” he stated, as quoted by AP. He also reiterated his call for the residents of Gaza City to head south for their safety.
Meanwhile, the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza was reopened on Saturday to allow a limited amount of crucial aid into the besieged Palestinian territory. This marks the first time the crossing has been open since Israel sealed it off two weeks ago in response to a violent incursion by Hamas.
Twenty Trucks Carrying Aid Cross Into Gaza
Only 20 trucks were permitted to enter Gaza, a quantity that aid workers argue is insufficient to address the severe humanitarian crisis currently gripping the region. More than 200 trucks carrying 3,000 tons of aid have been waiting near the border for days.
Inside Gaza, where 2.3 million Palestinians reside, half of whom have been displaced from their homes, residents are facing dire conditions. Food is being rationed, and many are forced to drink contaminated water. Hospitals report dwindling supplies and fuel shortages for emergency generators, particularly amid a widespread power outage. As a result, five hospitals have ceased operations due to fuel shortages and bomb damage, as reported by the Hamas-run Health Ministry.
Despite aid efforts, Israel continues to launch airstrikes across Gaza while Palestinian militants respond with rocket fire towards Israel. On Saturday morning, the Associated Press said that its reporter observed the 20 trucks heading north from Rafah to Deir al-Balah, a town where many evacuees from the north have sought refuge. Notably, hundreds of foreign passport holders at Rafah, who were seeking to leave the conflict zone, were not permitted to depart.
The World Health Organization disclosed that four of the trucks were transporting vital medical supplies, including trauma medicine and portable trauma bags for first responders. The situation in Gaza has been described as “catastrophic,” according to Cindy McCain, the head of the U.N.’s World Food Program, as quoted by AP. She emphasied the need for a substantial increase in aid deliveries, highlighting that around 400 trucks were entering Gaza daily before the conflict began.
Gaza’s Hamas-run government has called for the establishment of a secure corridor operating around the clock to facilitate humanitarian assistance.
Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the Israeli military spokesman, maintained that the “humanitarian situation in Gaza is under control” and specified that aid would be directed exclusively to southern Gaza, where the relocation of residents has been ordered. He also noted that no fuel shipments would be allowed into the area.
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