The situation in Gaza has reached a critical point, with no ceasefire in sight. Israeli tanks have made a significant advance into the heart of Gaza City, specifically targeting the area surrounding the main hospital square. The Gaza government confirmed today that these tanks are encircling the hospital area, demanding its evacuation.
Hospitals Surrounded, Thousands Trapped
The Ministry of Health in Gaza has reported a dire situation: Israeli tanks have surrounded the hospital square from all directions. This siege has left thousands – including patients, medical staff, and displaced persons – trapped inside these hospitals, struggling without access to water or food. The affected hospitals include Al-Rantisi, Al-Nasr, the Eye Hospital, and the Mental Health Hospital. This area also encompasses numerous schools and residential buildings.
Israeli Forces Bombard Multiple Areas
Earlier today, the Israeli forces bombed several areas within Gaza. A correspondent for Al Arabiya/Al Hadath confirmed that Israeli tanks, for the first time, reached the center of Gaza near Al-Rantisi Hospital. Images acquired by Al Arabiya show these tanks advancing around Al-Rantisi for the first time.
Northern Gaza Evacuated
Today’s Israeli shelling also targeted the outpatient building of Al-Shifa Hospital in western Gaza City, resulting in numerous casualties. Israel has intensified its strikes around three hospitals (Al-Shifa, Al-Rantisi, and the Indonesian Hospital) in recent hours, with the apparent goal of evacuating these areas of Palestinian civilians who have sought refuge in hospital courtyards from the ongoing bombings.
Devastating Bombardment Statistics
The Government Media Office in Gaza announced today that Israel has bombed the sector with approximately 32,000 tons of explosives and over 13,000 bombs. This amounts to an average of 87 tons of explosives per square kilometer. More than 50% of residential units in Gaza have been damaged, with 40,000 units completely destroyed. Preliminary estimates indicate losses amounting to two billion dollars in building and tower damages, with another billion dollars in infrastructure damage.
Israeli Military Response
In contrast, the Israeli military stated that around 9,500 rockets have been launched at Israel since October 7, with most being intercepted. However, they noted a significant decrease in rocket launches since the beginning of their ground operations in Gaza.
Dire Living Conditions in Southern Gaza
The Israeli military recently announced the opening of two safe corridors for four hours daily to allow the remaining Palestinians in northern Gaza to move south. This comes as hundreds of thousands of displaced persons are congested in the small, besieged southern sector of Gaza, facing catastrophic conditions with a severe shortage of water, bakery closures, and fuel cuts. Daily, crowds of men and women fleeing on foot are joining them. According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the number of displaced people from the northern regions has reached 1.6 million out of a total population of 2.4 million in the sector.