Israel says it is in the middle of the most ferocious fighting in Gaza so far

Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip by the Red Crescent Societies in the United Arab Emirates (PRCS) and the World Health Organization (COGAT)

In addition, two diesel fuel tankers were sent, a COGAT spokesperson said. The fuel is “designated for the operation of vital infrastructure in the Gaza Strip,” the spokesperson said.

Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), a unit of the Ministry of Defense, said Tuesday that 180 aid trucks carrying food, water, shelter equipment and medical supplies were dispatched through the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

“We appeal to Israel to withdraw the order, and take every possible measure to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and humanitarian facilities,” wrote Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a post on X.

Meanwhile, the director-general of the World Health Organization said that Israel’s military had notified the WHO of the need to “remove our supplies from our medical warehouse in southern Gaza within 24 hours, as ground operations will put it beyond use.”

The PRCS also said it had “lost contact” with its operations room in Gaza due to a telecommunications blackout. There is concern for the safety of its teams in Gaza and worried about the ability to provide emergency services because of the lack of communications.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Societies (PRCS) on Tuesday said Israeli tanks had targeted “the vicinity area of two PRCS ambulances,” as the injured and dead were being transported. The attack happened near the city of Deir al Balah in central Gaza. “One paramedic was lightly injured and the ambulances were damaged,” it said.

600,ooo Palestinians had been told to move to avoid death and injury during the Israeli bombardment. The agency said an influx of people internally displaced by the conflict to Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost governorate, could more than double the area’s normal population, further straining relief efforts.

“The number of civilians killed is rapidly increasing. Civilians, including men, women, children, older persons, the sick and people with disabilities are the most to suffer,” Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said Monday.

Relief groups said they were finding it difficult to give aid to refugees from the fighting in Gaza because of increased Israeli bombardment.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the IDF said on Wednesday that Israel’s air force had hit 250 targets in the Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours, and that ground troops “continue to locate and destroy weapons, underground shafts, explosive charges and other terrorist infrastructures.”

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians deeper south and international relief groups struggling to deliver aid to the besieged territory were all pushed by the Israeli military on Tuesday.

“The level of human suffering is intolerable. The military offensive in southern Gaza is repeating horrors from the past weeks according to a post on X.

Last week, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin gave a speech at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California, warning that Israel risks “strategic defeat” if it doesn’t protect Palestinians in Gaza.

“The center of gravity is the civilian population and if you drive them into the arms of the enemy, you replace a tactical victory with a strategic defeat,” Austin said.

Halevi said that the people are asking about the destruction in Gaza. The answer to those questions is “Hamas”, because our soldiers find weapons in almost every house, terrorists are found in many houses and we fight them.

“These things require the use of a wide range of fire, both to damage the enemy and, of course, to protect our forces. That is why they operate powerfully” while still going to “great efforts to minimize harm” to civilians, Halevi said.

“Clearing operations take a very long time,” Carter said. “In areas they have already cleared they still have to conduct military operations as Hamas fighters attack their positions in these cleared areas.”

The prime minister and his war cabinet met with some people who were released in the cease-fire, which ended for a short time last month.

One of the former hostages berated officials over reports that Israel was considering flooding Hamas tunnels, where many of the captives have been held.

NPR’s Scott Neuman and Eleanor Beardsley reported from Tel Aviv and Brian Mann from Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. NPR producer Anas Baba contributed from Rafah, in the Gaza Strip.

He said it was the most intense day so far in the ground operation, with terrorists killed, number of firefights and use of air and land weapons.

The commander of Israel’s Southern Command said at a news conference on Tuesday that the command is in the heart of Khan Younis. Jabaliya, the site of a major refugee camp, and Shujaiya, are located in Gaza’s north. Khan Younis, considered a Hamas stronghold, is located toward the south end of the Strip.

Some of the fiercest fighting since the beginning of the Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip took place in Khan Youtis, the second-largest city in the territory.

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