Israel has shelled Syria in settlements on the annexed Golan Heights, warning Palestinians to evacuate the northern Gaza Strip before an expected large-scale ground offensive. This warning comes amid diplomatic activity aimed at achieving a ceasefire, with the United States and China urging each other to initiate peace efforts. Troops, tanks, and heavy weapons were massed at the border in anticipation of strikes against Gaza. Health officials reported over 2,200 people killed on the Gazan side, and concerns grew about the humanitarian situation in the besieged enclave as food, fuel supplies, and medicines ran low.
The Israeli military has been pounding the besieged territory with thousands of missiles since the conflict began. One air strike killed AliQadi, with the Israeli army alleging he was an important figure involved in the unprecedented attack. Localized raids have also taken place as Israeli troops encircle the Gaza Strip.
Some 1.1 million people, nearly half the population of 2.4 million, live in the north of Gaza, and aid agencies have said forcing them to move is an impossibility as the Israeli attacks show no sight of slowing down. Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh called Israel’s cutting off of electricity, water, and fuel supplies “barbaric.”
While clashes in the occupied West Bank have in the past claimed the lives of 53 Palestinians, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has accused Israel of committing genocide in Gaza.
After a fruitful hour-long phone call, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken asked his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi for Beijing’s assistance in bringing about calm. China wants quick peace talks to put an end to the conflict. Saudi Arabia is requesting an immediate end to hostilities in Gaza and the lifting of the blockade so that aid can enter. Pakistan has called for war crimes and crimes against humanity, calling the Israeli occupation forces’ collective punishment of Gaza’s entire Palestinian population “unacceptable.” Rabia Ijaz, a representative from Pakistan, expressed worry about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza as a result of the indiscriminate aerial bombardment, which has included attacks on