According to Reuters, Israeli forces announced an attack on the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Palestine, resulting in the death of several Palestinians and injuries to over 150 others. The camp, which houses more than 116,000 Palestinian refugees, is the largest of eight refugee camps in Gaza, as reported by the UN’s refugee agency.
According to Haaretz, Israel’s military has seized control of a Hamas military base in Jabalia and reported the death of a Hamas leader.
The announcement was made as Israel started a ground operation in Gaza, adding to their ongoing war. Western leaders are facing difficulties in sending a united message regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict and the significant number of civilian casualties.
Israel has progressively raised its troop levels in the Gaza Strip, in what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has deemed the “second phase of the conflict,” without mentioning a potential ground invasion.
On Monday and Tuesday, the European Union’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell held meetings with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt, as well as the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. In a statement released on Tuesday, Borrell emphasized the importance of protecting civilians in accordance with international law, and called for humanitarian breaks and for Hamas to release all hostages. Additionally, Borrell denounced attacks carried out by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank.
During a Senate hearing in the United States on Tuesday, protesters interrupted discussions about aid for Israel and Ukraine. The protesters, about two dozen in total, called for a cease-fire and shouted “Ceasefire now, save the children of Gaza!” The Hamas-led Ministry of Health reports that since the attack on October 7, over 8,500 Palestinians, including numerous children, have been killed by Israeli airstrikes.
During the hearing, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed a shared understanding of the ongoing suffering and a determination to see it come to an end. He also emphasized the importance of standing in solidarity with allies and partners in the face of threats to their security and democratic values.
After the attack on Jabalia, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. He stated, “I am greatly disturbed by the escalation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas, as well as other armed Palestinian groups in Gaza.”
The ongoing conflict in Gaza has resulted in a devastating loss of life for both Israeli and Palestinian individuals. The United Nations has reported that over 60 of its employees have been killed in the Israeli airstrikes, further exacerbating the suffering of innocent civilians.
Craig Mokhiber, director of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights office in New York, announced his resignation on social media, stating: “This is a clear example of genocide.”
The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated to foreign media on Monday that he rejected international pleas for a cease-fire and declared that “Israel will not accept a halt in hostilities with Hamas.” He also stated, “Regardless of who supports Israel, we will continue to fight until victory is achieved.”
The United States has urged for temporary breaks, but has declined to request a halt in fighting, as President Joe Biden believes Israel should have the right to protect itself.
On Tuesday, the United Nations reported that Gaza has tragically become a place where many children lose their lives due to Israeli bombings. This has resulted in thousands of deaths, and over a million people struggling with severe shortages and long-lasting trauma.
Over the weekend, the Israeli military has expanded its aerial and ground assaults on the Gaza Strip. The area has been subjected to continuous airstrikes since Hamas launched a surprise offensive in October, resulting in over 1,400 deaths in Israel. Additionally, hundreds of Israelis and foreign citizens have been captured by Hamas.