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Gaza Under Attack in Unprecedented Bombing, Israel Expands Ground Operations

October 27, 2023
Photo: Bombing of Gaza, 27 October. Photo credit: Al Qahera News
Photo: Bombing of Gaza, 27 October. Photo credit: Al Qahera News

Update 10: Israeli air and ground forces are intensifying their operations in the Gaza Strip, announced Israel’s chief military spokesperson Daniel Hagari on Friday evening shortly following the intensified bombing witnessed in Gaza.

“Ground forces are expanding their operations tonight, in addition to the attacks carried out in the last few days,” he said, heightening expectations that the anticipated ground invasion of Gaza may be getting underway.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Red Crescent said that they have completely lost contact with their teams in Gaza “due to the Israeli authorities cutting off all landline, cellular and internet communications.”

Update 9: Gaza is under intense fire by a barrage of Israeli airstrikes which has been described as unprecedented by multiple media outlets and reporters on the ground.

Palestinian outlet Al Mayadeen’s Gaza correspondent reports “violent and unprecedented” bombings as communication and internet services are cut across Gaza.

Footage of Gaza shows a dark sky lighting up as fighter jets attack Gaza. Two large streaks of black smoke can be seen in Al Qahera News’s live coverage of the strikes.

Update 8: A rocket fired by Hamas from Gaza struck a residential building in Tel Aviv, wounding three people.

“The Al-Qassam Brigades have renewed their shelling of Tel Aviv in response to the Zionist massacres against civilians,” Hamas said in a statement on Telegram on 27 October.

Update 7: Aid going through UNRWA does not get diverted, commissioner-general of the UN relief agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) Philippe Lazzarini said in a press conference on 27 October.

“Many argue that aid cannot enter because of aid diversion. Let me be clear. We have solid monitoring mechanisms. UNRWA is a direct provider of assistance to people in need […] UNRWA does not and will not divert any humanitarian aid into the wrong hands,” Lazzarini explained.

The UNRWA chief also noted that the agency has “drastically limited its consumption of fuel” due to a lack of fuel supply. He added that a majority of women and children are among the over 2 million people being punished collectively by the siege, which means that basic necessities like food, water, and fuel are being used against them.

Update 6: A member of a Hamas delegation visiting Moscow was quoted by the Russian newspaper Kommersant as saying that Hamas will no longer release hostages taken during its attack on Israel unless a ceasefire is agreed upon.

The member also added that Hamas is still trying to “locate” the hostages taken from Israel, stating, “they seized dozens of people, most of them civilians, and we need time to find them in the Gaza Strip and then release them.”

Update 5: A projectile dropped in the Red Sea resort town of Nuweiba, according to two Egyptian security sources who spoke with Reuters on Friday, 27 October. The sources said that authorities were still obtaining additional information regarding the event.

Update 4: An unidentified drone crashed next to a building near Taba Hospital on the morning of 27 October, according to a statement by Egypt’s Military Spokesperson. Six people were injured in the accident, but they were all discharged from the hospital after receiving first aid. The accident is being investigated by a specialized committee of the concerned authorities.

Update 3:  Deputy Head of Hamas’ Intelligence Directorate, Shadi Barud, was killed in an Israeli army strike, according to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

Update 2: The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza published a detailed list of names of all those killed in Gaza since the beginning of the war on 7 October, providing names, ages, gender, ID numbers, in a report published on 26 October.

US President Joe Biden had declared his skepticism towards the numbers of casualties published by the Gaza Ministry of Health in a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on 25 October.

Update 1: At least 7,028 have been killed, including 2,913 children, by Israel’s war on Gaza since the beginning of hostilities 21 days ago on 7 October, said the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.

Three Palestine refugees were killed and 21 injured in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank “by an alleged Israeli Security Forces (ISF) airstrike” on 25 October, The UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) said in its 26 October situation report.

An UNRWA staff member was also killed on 26 October, bringing the number of UNRWA workers killed to date to 39, the agency said.

“The generations to come will know that we watched this human tragedy unfold over social media and news channels. […] History will ask why the world did not have the courage to act decisively and stop this hell on Earth,” commissioner-general of UNRWA Philippe Lazzarini wrote in an op-ed in the Guardian on 26 October.

The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyadh Mansour, on his part urged member states to take action to stop the violence, in a speech to the UN General Assembly on 26 October.

“The only path forward is justice for the Palestinian people,” Mansour expressed.

Meanwhile, Israeli scholar of nationalism and political philosophy Assaf Malach wrote in an op-ed for Israel National News that Hamas’ 7 October attack gives Israel “the possibility, justification and legitimacy to help the West shift its paradigm […] in the hope that we offer a viable alternative to the delusional language of individual rights.”

Malach recommended “the strategic relocation of the Gaza Strip’s population, from north to south […] with the ultimate goal of encouraging their resettlement in Sinai or other countries” in his 26 October piece. He also recommended the occupation of northern Gaza.

The Conflict So Far

After a surprise attack conducted on 7 October by Hamas on a number of southern Israeli towns which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,405 people and more than 220 being taken hostage by Hamas, Israel launched a retaliatory bombing campaign against what it describes as ‘terrorist targets’ in the Gaza Strip.

So far, more than 7,028 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip — including 2,913 children — and 18,482 others injured. Meanwhile 105 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank and more than 1,900 have been injured.

The priority of the Egyptian government since the beginning of the conflict has been deescalation and the securing of a path for aid to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. Israel bombed the crossing at least four times, and three aid conveys have crossed to Gaza so far.

Most Western countries, with the United States at the forefront, have expressed unconditional support for Israel, despite the steadily rising death toll in Gaza. Meanwhile, Arab governments have called for an immediate ceasefire.

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