As Israeli bombardment on Gaza continue, thousands of civilians, many with children, formed a long wait to travel south.
After Israel declared a safe corridor, thousands of Palestinians are flooding Gaza’s main road to exit the northern fighting zone.
After Israeli attacks on Gaza City hospitals, the IDF is entering densely populated urban areas to hunt Hamas.
While some individuals carried their children in their arms, others arranged their belongings in an animal-drawn cart line that extended beyond the line of sight.
The White House reported that the escalating exodus to the south occurred concurrently with Israel’s agreement to begin implementing a daily four-hour humanitarian pause and to open a second route for people to escape the north.
Those who escape to the south do so into the prospect of continuing airstrikes and appalling humanitarian conditions.
“The Deepest Hour”
The largest hospital in Gaza, Shifa Hospital, has become an increasingly popular place for people to reside in the hopes that it is safer than their residences or the United Nations shelters in the north, where a number of structures have been repeatedly struck.
Israel attacked the hospital’s courtyard and obstetrics department early on Friday. According to Salama Maarouf, the director of the media office in Gaza operated by Hamas.
According to Professor Ghassan Abu-Sittah, a British-Palestinian surgeon who departed London for Gaza a month ago. The medical infrastructure had been completely devastated.
“This hour has been by far the darkest. It has vanished. No medical infrastructure exists. Shifa has disappeared,” he declared.
“That accounted for one-third of the system at that time. Every children’s hospital has been attacked and rendered inoperable,” he continued, adding that the psychiatric hospital, cancer hospital, and ophthalmic hospital were also offline.
Escaping the Combat Zone
Later, the Gaza health ministry confirmed one death and many injuries at Shifa Hospital.
Israel claims Hamas fighters hide in hospitals and use Shifa Hospital as their command hub. The militant organization and hospital staff refute these allegations, claiming that Israel is fabricating a pretext to attack Hamas.
Professor Abu-Sittah stated, “Aside from the injured, their families, and a few children attempting to obtain water from the water pipe, there is no one present.”
“Their absolute terror stems from the fact that the hospital is their target. None of the injured, children, or displaced have ever witnessed anything comparable to this.”
Human Toll of Recent Hostilities
Over 10,800 Palestinians have died since the latest fighting began on October 7, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.
Since the ground offensive began, over thirty Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza. And over 1,400 Israeli citizens have been killed, the majority of whom were slain in the initial Hamas assault.
Overnight, the Israeli military reportedly eliminated 19 Hamas militants, including a platoon commander and company commander who were both implicated in the October 7 attack. Additionally, a shipping container containing approximately 20 rocket launchers was destroyed.
In the interim, the director of the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) reported on Friday that over a hundred UN employees have lost their lives since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
“UNRWA, Palestinians, and Israelis are all in mourning,” Philippe Lazzarini reiterated in support of a humanitarian ceasefire.
During a visit to India, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that “far too many” Palestinians have perished and been harmed as a result of Israel’s conflict with Hamas.
He implored Israel to maximize humanitarian assistance that reaches civilians while minimizing harm to them.