Bombs batter Gaza day and night
TDT | Agencies
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bombs, one after another, fiersly bombarded the already battered Gaza Strip day and night yesterday, which according to rescuers destroyed hundreds of buildings and took several lives as Israel’s retaliatory attacks on Gaza entered their third week.
After air strikes and artillery fire rained down for hours overnight, much of the Gaza Strip has become an indistinguishable wasteland of rubble, with residents likening the devastation to that of a natural disaster.
Death toll from the Israeli bombing campaign has crossed 7,703, with more than 3,500 of them children, said the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said “Israel must immediately stop this madness and end its attacks” in a post on X on Saturday, after the UN General Assembly called for an “immediate humanitarian truce” in Gaza.
The toll, the United Nations warned, will soon add thousands more to it as Israel escalated ground operations, while the families of Israeli hostages held by Hamas said the government snubbed them when asking about the captives’ fate.
UN human rights chief Volker Turk warned of “the possibly catastrophic consequences of large-scale ground operations in Gaza,” saying “thousands more civilians” could die.
“When these hostilities end, those who have survived will face the rubble of their homes and the graves of their family members,” Turk said.
Witnesses said most of the bombing was concentrated in the Jabaliya district of northern Gaza. The strikes left wide craters in the streets and flattened many buildings in the area.
Huge orange flashes lit up the night sky over Gaza City as air strike after air strike hit the shattered territory, where internet access and the phone network were cut.
Hamas’s armed wing said it was fighting Israeli forces in two areas inside the Gaza Strip.
“We are confronting an Israeli ground incursion in Beit Hanoun (in the northern Gaza Strip) and in east Bureij (in the centre) and violent engagements are taking place on the ground,” the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement.
Hamas said that Israel had “doubled” the number of air strikes on Friday night as it made a new appeal for international efforts to halt the attacks.
But the Palestinian group declared itself “ready” for any invasion ordered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
“The remains of his soldiers will be swallowed up by the land of Gaza,” senior Hamas political bureau member Ezzat al-Rishaq said on Telegram.
Hamas said all internet connections and communications across Gaza had been cut, and accused Israel of taking the measure “to perpetrate massacres with bloody retaliatory strikes from the air, land and sea”.
AFP journalists in Gaza confirmed they were only able to communicate in limited areas where they could connect to Israeli networks across the border.
Between the bombardments and the fuel shortages, 12 of Gaza’s 35 hospitals have been forced to close. The Palestinian Red Crescent said ambulance services had been disrupted.
“We have completely lost contact with the operations room in the Gaza Strip and all our teams operating there,” it said on X, the former Twitter.
Israel has blocked all deliveries of fuel, saying it would be exploited by Hamas to manufacture weapons and explosives.
A first tranche of aid was allowed on October 21, but only 84 have crossed in total, according to the UN, which says a daily average of 500 trucks had entered Gaza before the conflict.
UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said Gazans were “not only dying from bombs and strikes, soon many more will die from the consequences of (the) siege”.