No one can enter the Gaza Strip, completely besieged by the Israeli army since October 9. The bombing of the Palestinian enclave continues, in retaliation for the bloody attack launched by Hamas on October 7. The humanitarian situation is dire for civilians in Palestinians, trying to survive as long as they can, are waiting to leave. According to the latest figures from local authorities, the death toll in Gaza has risen to 1,200.
Israel has imposed a “total siege” on the Gaza Strip since Monday and announced it was sending tens of thousands of soldiers to the south of the country, which has partially regained control of its border with the enclave. Almost 300,000 reserves were called up.
Bombing continues in neighborhoods with Hamas and Islamic Jihad facilities, and at the same time, preparations for a ground invasion are intensifying. But the urban war is one of the most difficult to fight, with the risk of defeats on the part of Israel.
“Any member of Hamas is a dead man,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sixth day of the war, in his first formal address to his emergency government, formed the same day with Benny Gantz, one of the top leaders. opposition. “Hamas is Daesh and we will crush and destroy it, just as the world destroyed Daesh,” he added, after describing the attack as “unseen brutality since the Holocaust.”
Trapped in Gaza, Ziad Medoukh still has a roof over his head. He spends his days in his small apartment with his family, leaving only to find a little food. “Everyday life is very difficult because the supermarkets are closed,” explained the Palestinian, who teaches French at the enclave’s universities. “We have small shops in the neighborhoods, but there is not much food. Within two or three days, the situation will be catastrophic for everyone in Gaza,” he added.
Some people are more optimistic. “We have provisions for a few days, to withstand the siege. But I think there is enough food to last a few months in Gaza. I think we are careful to keep enough quantities,” said the a man, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of Israeli retaliation.
“A sense of dread”
On the phone, this anonymous Gazan described a catastrophic situation and fears an invasion of the land by the Tsahal army: “We really fear the worst. I have seen 16 deadly episodes like this, and this that one seems to kill more and last longer. . There is no hope of a truce. There is understandable anger on the Israeli side. The images scare me, but this is to be expected, because Gaza has become a pressure cooker that will eventually explode.” If a humanitarian corridor is opened, there is no doubt that he will leave the Gaza Strip with his family.
Ziad Medoukh shares this fear of Israel’s military operation. “There is a sense of fear, of panic, that this situation is out of control,” explained the man who would not evacuate under any circumstances. “They are next to the ruins of their homes, but I think the Palestinians are determined to stay and not leave,” he said.
In the Gaza Strip, at least 1,200 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes, according to local authorities. But to leave or to stay is a question that does not arise at the moment. With the total siege imposed by Israel, Gaza is isolated from the world.
United Nations agencies said at least 650,000 people remained without water, while hospitals in the Palestinian territories announced that they could not receive more injuries and that rescue forces would struggle to reached the affected areas, due to the magnitude of the destruction.
At least 300,000 people lost their homes and were displaced in the south of the territory, and even though Egypt has reopened the Rafah border crossing for fuel , it is doubtful that the quantity is sufficient to use the power plant or the generator, used in hospitals.
The United States assured on Wednesday that it is working “actively” with Israel and Egypt to establish a humanitarian corridor that allows the departure of civilians from the Gaza Strip. “The United States stands ready to act if any hostile actor attempts to escalate or escalate war against Israel,” said US Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
For his part, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who is traveling to Israel this Thursday, said that the dialogue on the humanitarian corridors will be a complex process, while also confirming a message of full support for Israel.