Intensified attacks in Gaza raise urgent calls for ceasefire

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Israel was stepping up bombardments on the Gaza Strip amid increased calls for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict, which has claimed the lives of more than 18,800 Palestinians in Gaza, reported Xinhua.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned in a statement that the Al Shifa hospital in northern Gaza, which was the enclave's largest medical center before the war, is currently "minimally functional" and needs to "urgently resume at least basic operations to continue serving the thousands in need of lifesaving health care."

A joint team from the United Nations and the WHO visited the hospital and described its emergency department as "a bloodbath," with "hundreds of injured patients inside and new patients arriving every minute."

Patients with trauma injuries were being sutured on the crowded floor, with limited or no pain management available at all, according to the team.

"Tens of thousands of displaced people are using the hospital building and grounds for shelter," and there is "a severe shortage" of drinking water, food, and medicines, the statement noted.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson unit reported in an update that heavy fighting took place across Gaza, with Israeli forces striking more than 200 locations in the past day.

Israeli forces raided a building near a UNRWA school, claiming to have found machines for the production of rocket parts, and three tunnel shafts nearby.

The IDF said it has uncovered the largest underground Hamas tunnel system in Gaza so far. The system splits into branches of tunnels, spans over more than 4 km and reaches 400 meters from the Erez crossing, a passageway between Gaza and Israel.

The IDF reported that three additional soldiers were killed in the war in Gaza, bringing the total number of military casualties to more than 120 since Israel initiated its ground offensive. The total Israeli death toll reaches 454 soldiers and approximately 800 civilians, most of them killed during the initial Hamas attack on communities in southern Israel on Oct. 7, according to official Israeli figures.

Meanwhile, calls for a ceasefire have intensified amidst mass rallies worldwide, urging Israel to halt the deadly attacks in Gaza. French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna arrived on Sunday for a visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank, where she urged an "immediate and durable" truce in the ongoing war.

"Too many civilians are being killed," she said during a press conference in Tel Aviv alongside her Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen.

  •  Israeli
  •  Invasion
  •  Gaza


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