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Israeli Operations in Gaza Escalate Humanitarian Crisis

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Israeli forces intensified their military operations in the southern Gaza Strip, specifically in Khan Yunis, a refuge for many civilians who had fled other parts of the enclave. The situation escalated with reports of intense fighting in Jabalia and Gaza City’s Shejaiya district. Tanks reportedly reached the main road in Khan Yunis after a night of combat, with warplanes supporting the assault.

A photo, taken by a photojournalist embedded with Israeli forces during operations in Gaza, shows shirtless and blindfolded Palestinian men crammed into an Israeli military vehicle on Dec 8. Images of Palestinian men being stripped and humiliated during an alleged surrender ceremony had sparked global outrage last week, but Tel Aviv has brushed aside the outcry. These images show that the act was not a one-off.—Reuters

The conflict has resulted in a significant loss of lives in Gaza, with at least 17,700 casualties since October 7. Despite international outrage and calls for a ceasefire, the UN Secretary-General expressed regret over the Security Council’s failure to take decisive action. In response to footage showing stripped Palestinians in Israeli custody, Israel dismissed the outcry, stating it was part of routine searches during operations.

UN chief Antonio Guterres pledged to continue advocating for a humanitarian ceasefire, emphasizing the Security Council’s undermined credibility. Gaza’s largest hospital, Al-Shifa, turned into a makeshift refuge for 30,000 people, lacking essentials and facing continuous shelling. The dire situation in Gaza persists as international calls for a ceasefire go unanswered.

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