Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Israeli attacks are getting crazier in Gaza, the Palestinian enclave controlled by Hamas. More than 700 residents were killed in the air strikes, which were launched in 24 hours.
Gaza’s Health Ministry said 704 people were killed. Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said this was the highest number of deaths in a single day, in two weeks of Israeli bombing.
“Thousands of families immediately fled. It was just rubble and rubble everywhere,” said one journalist Al JazeeraYoumna ElSayed reported from Gaza, quoted Wednesday morning (25/10/2023).
“You can hear the sound of Israeli drones and jets in the sky. Everyone says, everyone feels that there is no longer a safe place in the Gaza Strip,” he added.
Israel itself said on Tuesday that it struck more than 400 Hamas targets. Israel claims to have killed dozens of fighters from the group.
In the attack, the government of Prime Minister (PM) Benjamin Netanyahu also claimed that three Hamas deputy commanders were killed. Previously, Israel said it would not stop until it destroyed Hamas.
Meanwhile, witnesses said the airstrike hit a residential building. Some of them are in southern Gaza, where Israel has asked civilians to take shelter.
An overnight attack leveled a four-story residential building in the southern city of Khan Younis. In the report Associated Press (AP)it killed at least 32 people and injured dozens more.
In Gaza city, at least 19 people were killed when an airstrike hit the Bahloul family home, where witnesses said dozens of others were still buried. Workers pulled at least two children out of the collapsed building.
It should be noted that, in addition to bombarding the region, Israel has cut off access to food, water, medicine and fuel in what Netanyahu called a “total siege.”
More than 40 health centers have suspended operations due to supply shortages and damage caused by Israeli bombing.
Aid to Gaza
On the other hand, several aid trucks have reportedly crossed from Egypt to Gaza since Sunday. But the UN has warned of a “humanitarian catastrophe” if aid deliveries are not significantly increased.
“The continued assistance from Egypt at the weekend is just a drop in the bucket of what is needed,” said Jeremey Laurence, spokesman for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Quoting a statement from the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), fuel was not distributed. This is because of the agreement with Israel.
“Fuel is urgent because without fuel the trucks cannot move,” said UNRWA spokesperson Tamara Alrifai.
“Without fuel, generators cannot produce electricity for hospitals, bakeries and water desalination plants,” he added.
Obama Warns Israel
Meanwhile, former President of the United States (US) Barack Obama warned Israel regarding attacks in Gaza. In fact, he said some could “backfire”.
Actions such as cutting off food and water in the enclave, Obama said, could “harden Palestinian attitudes for generations.” It even weakens international support for Israel.
Obama is known to rarely comment on this since leaving office. However, in his latest statement, he also highlighted Israel’s military strategy of ignoring human casualties resulting from a war which he said would backfire.
“The Israeli government’s decision to cut off food, water and electricity supplies to the civilian population held captive (in Gaza) not only threatens to exacerbate a growing humanitarian crisis,” Obama said, quoted Reuters.
“But it could also further harden Palestinian attitudes for generations, erode global support for Israel, and contribute to a deepening humanitarian crisis, playing directly into the hands of Israel’s enemies and undermining long-term efforts to achieve peace and stability in area,” he stressed.
Israel has bombarded Gaza with airstrikes since a Hamas attack on October 7 that left more than 1,400 people dead. This was then responded to by Israeli air attacks which have so far killed more than 5,000 Palestinians in Gaza.
However, Obama also condemned the Hamas attack. He reiterated his support for Israel’s right to defend itself, while warning of the risks to civilians in such a war.
It was not clear whether Obama had coordinated his remarks with US President Joe Biden, who served as his vice president for eight years. During his presidency, Obama frequently supported Israel’s right to self-defense at the start of the conflict with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in Gaza but was quick to call for restraint in Tel Aviv when Palestinian casualties rose from airstrikes.
Please note, Gaza is a 45 km long area inhabited by 2.3 million people. The Obama administration previously attempted peace but ultimately failed to broker a peace agreement in negotiations between Israel and Palestine.
Since taking office in early 2021, Biden himself has not tried to resume negotiations that were long stalled during the Obama era. He had said that leaders on both sides were too stubborn and the “climate” was not right.
In fact, Obama and Netanyahu had a tense relationship when he was in office. Including when the Obama administration was negotiating the nuclear agreement with Iran in 2005 which was later annulled by Donald Trump when he was president.
In his statement Monday, Obama also touched on the US. Saying that Uncle Sam himself had “failed to achieve higher values when engaging in war” especially after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Hamas vs Israel war getting crazier, death toll reaches 3,565