Israeli Raids Result in 700 Palestinian Deaths, West Bank Simmers

The Gaza Strip has been subjected to a series of Israeli air raids that have claimed the lives of hundreds of Palestinians. The situation has been further exacerbated by the unrest in the occupied West Bank, where Israeli settlers have launched attacks on Palestinian villages.

The Gaza media office reported that at least 700 people were killed in the Israeli bombing overnight. The southern part of Gaza, including Khan Younis, has been particularly affected, with hundreds of thousands of displaced people seeking refuge there. The Israeli military has ordered Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to evacuate several areas around Khan Younis.

The Hamas-led interior ministry confirmed that seven Palestinians were killed and several others injured in an Israeli raid on a house east of Rafah city in southern Gaza. The Palestinian News Agency WAFA quoted local sources stating that warplanes bombed two homes in the Nuseirat refugee camp, resulting in at least 13 casualties.

In Al-Karara town near Khan Younis, several houses were destroyed by Israeli planes, leading to further loss of life. The Israeli military’s Arabic-language spokesman, Avichay Adraee, instructed Palestinians to move to “well-known IDP (internally displaced person) shelters” west of the city, including south toward Rafah.

As the fighting enters its third day, residents fear that the air and artillery bombardment is a prelude to an Israeli ground operation in the southern strip. This could potentially force them into a shrinking area and possibly push them across into Egypt.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel is coordinating with the US and international organizations to define “safe areas” for Gaza civilians. However, UN officials and people in Gaza have expressed concerns about the feasibility of heeding Israeli evacuation orders due to patchy internet access and irregular electricity supply amid Israel’s military offensive.

Meanwhile, in the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked two Palestinian villages late on Saturday, resulting in one death and a car being set on fire. The Palestinian ambulance service reported that a 38-year-old man in the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan was shot in the chest and died during a confrontation between residents and settlers. The Israeli military stated that soldiers used riot dispersal means and live fire to break up the confrontation, resulting in injuries to an Israeli and four Palestinians.

In another incident, a group of about 15 settlers burned a car and broke the windows of a house with stones in the village of Madama near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The head of the local council of the village, Wajih Al-Qat, confirmed the incident.

This escalation of violence has led to a humanitarian crisis in the region, with hundreds of lives lost and thousands displaced. The international community is closely monitoring the situation, hoping for a swift resolution to prevent further loss of life and displacement of people.

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