Gaza Conflict Escalates as Civilians Trapped Amid Bombardment

The Gaza conflict escalates, with civilians trapped amid bombardment, as the US-backed Israel responds to Iran's attacks, risking a wider regional war and a worsening humanitarian crisis.

Muthana Al-Najjar
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Gaza Conflict Escalates as Civilians Trapped Amid Bombardment

Gaza Conflict Escalates as Civilians Trapped Amid Bombardment

The conflict in Gaza has escalated to alarming levels, with civilians trapped amid ongoing bombardment. The war, which began on October 7 when Hamas launched terrorist attacks on Israel, has claimed the lives of over 33,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and spilled into the occupied West Bank and neighboring countries like Lebanon.

Israel has launched deadly strikes on Gaza in response to an unprecedented attack by Iran over the weekend, which involved more than 300 drones and missiles. The Israeli military said it killed and arrested several militants during an operation in the civilian area of Beit Hanoun in the northeastern Gaza Strip, claiming the militants were using civilians as human shields. An Israeli airstrike on the Al Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza killed 14 people, including 8 children.

The United Nations has warned of a 'humanitarian hellscape' for civilians in Gaza. More than 13,800 children have been killed since the start of the war, with one child injured or dying every 10 minutes, according to UNICEF. Over 10,000 women have also been killed, leaving 19,000 orphaned children.

Efforts to broker a ceasefire have stalled, and the UN Security Council is scheduled to vote on a Palestinian bid for full UN membership, which the US is expected to block. The US has expressed concerns about Israel's plans for a major military assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, urging restraint to avoid civilian casualties. Israel has made significant progress in preparations to evacuate around 1 million civilians from Rafah ahead of the impending operation.

Why this matters: The escalating conflict in Gaza threatens to spiral into a wider regional war, with Iran warning it would target Israeli nuclear facilities if Israel strikes Iranian atomic sites. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza continues to worsen, with thousands of civilians killed and over half the population facing famine-like conditions.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an immediate ceasefire, warning that the Middle East is "on the brink of a regional war." The EU's top diplomat also urged Israel for a restrained response to Iran's airstrikes. Despite international pressure, talks toward a ceasefire have made little progress. The US continues to support Israel with weapons and funds, while vetoing UN resolutions for a ceasefire.

Key Takeaways

  • Conflict in Gaza escalates, with over 33,000 Palestinians killed, mostly civilians.
  • Israel launches deadly strikes on Gaza in response to Iranian missile and drone attack.
  • UN warns of 'humanitarian hellscape' in Gaza, with 13,800 children killed or injured.
  • Ceasefire efforts stall as US blocks Palestinian bid for UN membership.
  • Conflict threatens to spiral into wider regional war, with Iran warning of retaliation.