Israel besieges Gaza, shuts down power, gas, water

Israel besieges Gaza, shuts down power, gas, water

Jerusalem: Israel has imposed a complete blockade on the Gaza Strip, severing its water supply, while continuing airstrikes in response to what it equates to the 9/11 attacks by Hamas. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed deep concern, noting that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, already dire, will now worsen exponentially.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant emphasized the consequences of this siege for Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants—no electricity, food, water, or gas. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Israel to avoid indiscriminate attacks on civilians.

Israel’s Army Radio reported over 900 casualties from Hamas’ attacks. Israeli airstrikes have raised the death toll to 687, including 140 children, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Additionally, 3,726 people have been injured.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of further actions and urged opposition parties to form a coalition government. Hamas continued launching rockets, reaching as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, with Israel calling up 300,000 army reservists.

The skies over Gaza were filled with smoke as Hamas rockets struck. More than 120,000 Gazans have been displaced, with limited access to shelters. Hospitals in Gaza report treating patients with severe burns and amputations.

Tensions extended to Israel’s border with Lebanon, where Hezbollah members were killed in Israeli strikes. Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati urged against opening a second front.

In the West Bank, clashes with Israeli security forces resulted in 17 Palestinian deaths. Some towns and cities have been sealed off. The UAE and Bahrain condemned the abduction of Israeli civilians and called for diplomatic efforts to end the conflict.

Qatar is mediating negotiations, including a possible prisoner exchange. Several airlines suspended flights to and from Israel, and the EU halted development aid payments to the Palestinians. The Arab League plans to discuss Israeli aggression, while the UN Security Council meeting failed to reach a unanimous position.

US President Joe Biden will convene a call with European leaders to discuss the coordinated response to the violence in Israel.