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Israleli strikes flatten entire neighborhoods as Gaza faces imminent blackout

时间:2023-12-08 06:31:19 来源:网络整理 编辑:스포츠

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Palestinians in the sealed-off Gaza Strip scrambled to find safety Wednesday, as Israeli strikes dem

Palestinians in the sealed-off Gaza Strip scrambled to find safety Wednesday, as Israeli strikes demolished entire neighborhoods, hospitals ran low on supplies, and a power blackout was expected within hours, further deepening the misery of a war sparked by a deadly mass incursion of Hamas militants .

Airstrikes smashed entire city blocks to rubble in the tiny coastal enclave and left unknown numbers of bodies beneath mounds of debris. The bombardment raged on even though militants are holding an estimated 150 people — soldiers, men, women, children and older adults — who were dragged into Gaza during the weekend attack.

Israel has vowed unprecedented retaliation against the Hamas militant group ruling the Palestinian territory after its fighters stormed through the border fence Saturday and gunned down hundreds of Israelis in their homes, on the streets and at an outdoor music festival.

The war, which has already claimed at least 2,100 lives on both sides, is expected to escalate — and compound the misery of people living in Gaza, where basic necessities and electricity were already in short supply.

Israel has stopped the entry of food, water, fuel and medicine into the territory — a 40-kilometer-long strip of land wedged among Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea that is home to 2.3 million Palestinians. The sole remaining access from Egypt was shut down Tuesday after airstrikes hit near the border crossing.

As Palestinians crowded into U.N. schools and a shrinking number of safe neighborhoods, humanitarian groups pleaded for the creation of corridors to get aid in, warning that hospitals overwhelmed with wounded people were running out of supplies.

“There is no safe place in Gaza right now,” journalist Hasan Jabar said after three Palestinian journalists were killed in the bombardment of a downtown neighborhood home to government ministries, media offices and hotels. “I am genuinely afraid for my life.”

Gaza’s power authority says its sole power plant will run out of fuel within hours, leaving the territory without electricity after Israel cut off supplies. Palestinians there have long relied on generators to power homes, offices and hospitals, but have no way of importing fuel for those either.

The U.N.’s World Health Organization said that supplies it had pre-positioned for seven hospitals have already run out amid the flood of wounded. The head of the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders said surgical equipment, antibiotics, fuel, and other supplies were running out at two hospitals it runs in Gaza.

In one, “we consumed three weeks worth of emergency stock in three days, partly due to 50 patients coming in at once,” Matthias Kannes, the aid group’s head of mission in Gaza, said Wednesday. He said the territory's biggest hospital, Al-Shifa, only has enough fuel for three days.

Israel has mobilized 360,000 reservists and appears increasingly likely to launch a ground offensive into Gaza, with its government under intense pressure from the public to topple Hamas, which has ruled the territory since 2007. That goal was considered unachievable in the past because it would require a reoccupation of the Gaza Strip, at least temporarily.

“We will not allow a reality in which Israeli children are murdered,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in a meeting with soldiers near the southern border on Tuesday. “I have removed every restriction — we will eliminate anyone who fights us, and use every measure at our disposal.”

Exchanges of fire over Israel’s northern borders with militants in Lebanon and Syria, meanwhile, pointed to the risk of an expanded regional conflict.

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday warned other countries and armed groups against entering the conflict. The US is already rushing munitions and military equipment to Israel and has deployed a carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean as deterrence.

Israeli airstrikes late Tuesday struck the family house of Mohammed Deif, the shadowy leader of Hamas' military wing, killing his father, brother and at least two other relatives in the southern town of Khan Younis, senior Hamas official Bassem Naim told The Associated Press.

Deif has never been seen in public, and his whereabouts are unknown.