Israeli Airstrikes Kill 39 Palestinians in Gaza Massacres

Israeli army commits six massacres in Gaza, killing 39 Palestinians and injuring 58 others, amid escalating violence. Over 1.4 million Palestinians, half of Gaza's population, are displaced and in dire need of aid.

author-image
Muthana Al-Najjar
New Update
Israeli Airstrikes Kill 39 Palestinians in Gaza Massacres

Israeli Airstrikes Kill 39 Palestinians in Gaza Massacres

The Israeli army has committed six massacres in the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours, resulting in the deaths of 39 Palestinians and injuring 58 others, according to medical sources in the enclave. The strikes hit various parts of Gaza, including the southern city of Rafah, where Israel expanded an evacuation order on Saturday, forcing tens of thousands more people to flee as it prepares to expand its military operation.

Why this matters: The escalating violence in Gaza has devastating humanitarian consequences, with a significant portion of the population displaced and in dire need of aid. The international community's response to this crisis will have implications for regional stability and the global commitment to protecting civilians in conflict zones.

The United Nations warned of an "epic disaster" if an outright invasion of the crowded city of Rafah goes ahead. Over 1.4 million Palestinians, half of Gaza's population, have been sheltering in Rafah, most after fleeing Israel's offensives elsewhere. Aid agencies estimate that 110,000 people had already evacuated before Saturday's order, which adds a further 40,000.

The Israeli army captured the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing earlier this week, forcing it to shut down and cutting off a key aid route. "We simply have no tents, we have no blankets, no bedding, none of the items that you would expect a population on the move to be able to get from the humanitarian system," said Georgios Petropoulos, an official with the U.N. humanitarian agency in Rafah.

The latest evacuations are forcing people to return north to areas devastated by previous Israeli attacks. "What should we do here? Do we wait until we all die on top of each other? So we've decided to leave. It's better," said Hanan al-Satari, a Rafah resident preparing to flee. Another displaced resident, Abu Yusuf al-Deiri, said, "The Israeli army does not have a safe area in Gaza. They target everything."

The death toll from Israel's ongoing offensive in Gaza has risen to 34,971, with 78,572 others injured, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. At least 21 people were killed overnight in central Gaza in strikes, including eight women and eight children. An estimated 450,000 people are living in squalid conditions in the humanitarian safe zone along the Muwasi coastal strip.

The Israeli offensive against Gaza began on October 7, 2023, in response to an attack by Hamas that killed over 1,170 people in Israel. Seven months into the conflict, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins, with 85% of the population internally displaced amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine. The United States has said there is "reasonable" evidence that Israel has breached international laws protecting civilians in its war against Hamas.

The latest Israeli airstrikes and massacres in Gaza underscore the devastating toll the seven-month conflict has taken on Palestinian civilians. With over 34,900 killed, 78,500 wounded, and more than half the population displaced, Gaza is facing a dire humanitarian crisis. As Israel expands its military operation and the casualties mount, international pressure is growing for an end to the bloodshed. "The Israeli army does not have a safe area in Gaza,"one resident said. "They target everything."