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Over 1,400 lives lost as Hamas-Israel conflict enters 22nd day

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Over 1,400 lives lost as Hamas-Israel conflict enters 22nd day

The conflict in the Gaza Strip continued to intensify, marking its 22nd day on Saturday. This prolonged crisis began when Hamas militants launched an unexpected attack on Israel, resulting in the tragic loss of over 1,400 lives, primarily civilians, as reported by Israeli authorities.

Since the initial attack on October 7, the health ministry in Gaza, controlled by Hamas, has reported that over 7,300 Palestinians, many of them civilians and children, have lost their lives in Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes.

READ ALSO: Gaza faces dire humanitarian crisis amid ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict-UN

Here are four key developments from the past 24 hours:

1. Intensification of Israeli Strikes: Israel escalated its attacks on Gaza with a combination of air and artillery strikes, targeting approximately 150 “underground targets.” These strikes focused on “terror tunnels, underground combat spaces, and additional underground infrastructure,” with the military reporting the killing of “several Hamas terrorists.” Although an official toll was not immediately available, the attacks represented one of the most intense nights of the conflict. The aftermath left a thick haze of smoke covering both Gaza and southern Israel.

2. Extended Ground Operations: Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari announced on Friday night that the army was expanding its ground operations following two consecutive nights of tank incursions. Hamas’s armed wing confirmed it was engaged in combat with Israeli troops in various areas of Gaza.

3. Communications Disrupted: On Friday, internet access and the phone network throughout Gaza were entirely cut off. Authorities in Gaza accused Israel of implementing this measure to facilitate retaliatory airstrikes. Journalists in Gaza could only communicate in limited areas connected to Israeli networks across the border, impacting the ability to respond to ongoing strikes. The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that the disruption hindered the arrival of ambulance vehicles and affected the central emergency number.

4. Humanitarian Truce Call: The UN General Assembly called for an “immediate humanitarian truce” in Gaza on Friday. The non-binding resolution, while welcomed by Hamas, faced criticism from Israel and the United States for not mentioning Hamas. The resolution received 120 votes in favor, 14 against, and 45 abstentions from UN member states.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of an “unprecedented avalanche of human suffering” in Gaza, citing severe shortages of food, water, and power during the Israeli bombing. Guterres reiterated his call for a humanitarian ceasefire, the unconditional release of hostages, and the delivery of life-saving supplies.

Before the conflict, an average of 500 trucks per day delivered supplies to Gaza, but recent circumstances have reduced this to only 12 trucks entering from the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

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