This week’s crisis in Israel-Palestine began with a vicious, unprecedented offensive against Israeli communities. Now the flare-up is expected to mostly play out in occupied Palestinian territory — specifically in GazaFrom the Hamas coastal enclave, militants launched an attack on Oct. 7.

The Israeli military is bombarding Gaza Gaza Since the weekend killing nearly 800 people. Many national security and international officials believe that Israel will launch a ground attack on Gaza with the stated goal of exacting revenge upon the territory’s ruling party, Hamas, and other armed Palestinian groups.

It’s clear that Israel’s operation will have dire consequences for nearly everyone in the densely populated area. Already, the main hospital in Gaza The City of Looks like “a slaughterhouse,” Mahmoud Shelabi, Medical Aid for Palestinians told the BBC. In a Tuesday statement, the United Nations stated that almost 200,000 Gazans had been forced to leave their homes.

Israel imposes what it wants Defence Minister Called “a complete siege on Gaza… no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel” It has repeatedly bombed The only way out is through Gaza Rafah Crossing into Egypt is the only way to enter another country.

“The emphasis is on damage and not on accuracy,” Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Hagari told journalists on Tuesday, while Mark Regev, an adviser to Israel’s leader, told CNN He expected “a new reality in Gaza.”

Amid worldwide shock over the assault on Israel, there’s little The international language of the day is pressure Israeli restraint is needed to recognize the difference between perpetrators and the ordinary people. When asked by reporters Monday night whether the U.S. wanted its Israeli counterparts not to punish Gazans collectively, White House spokesperson John Kirby replied: “Israel has the right to defend itself… We and Israel, as democracies, we have a lot of shared values, [and] one of those shared values is respect for life, the kind Hamas is not showing at all.”

The toll of Israel’s operation — and the prolonged conflict that will likely ensue as Hamas and its allies retaliate against Israeli targets, prompting more Israeli retribution — will be tremendous. Gaza, a battered strip of land that hosts 2.3 million people in desperate conditions, is set to be one of the world’s bleakest battlefields.

A Dark Familiarity

Gazans are among the globe’s most impoverished groups, with the majority living in refugee camps and relying on humanitarian aid. They have suffered repeatedly during the fighting between Israel’s militant Palestinian groups and other Palestinian groups.

After Israel withdrew from the territory in 2005 — retaining control of most of its borders and critical infrastructure — Hamas won elections there in 2006 and took over in 2007. Israel has been blocking the Gaza Strip since then. Gaza Several smaller operations were also conducted. Major offensives were launched in 2008, 2012 and 2014, and several others in 2021. Some operations involved civilian deaths, such as a month-long Israeli offensive. crackdown On protesters at Israel-Gaza Border in 2018

So far, the current Israeli campaign has targeted several residential areas as well as hospitals, mosques and other aid facilities.. Israel’s pledges to make Hamas pay a massive price suggest it will continue to hit a broad range of targets. Its self-proclaimed “siege”, which U.N. Description You can also read about how to get started. “collective punishment,” This will lead to a painful shortage.

“During the darkest hours of our presence in Gaza we never envisaged a scenario where 2 million civilians could possibly live through heavy bombing, deprived of water, food, electricity [and] medicines,” Fabrizio carboni is the regional director of the International Committee of the Red Cross. wrote on X Monday. “All measures to avoid such a situation should be taken immediately.”

Ghada Cord is a journalist and freelancer in Gaza, told The Sunday Review she already feels like she’s in a nightmare. She can’t shake the scent of the dead bodies of humans, dogs and cats that she saw on the ground immediately after a recent Israeli airstrike hit the center of Gaza City.

The lack of fuel and closed-down streets mean that ambulances can’t access people who have been killed and injured, Kord said. She is without electricity and her internet connection is patchy. The pharmacies and clinics are closed. The sky is covered in smoke.

“Two million people live in Gaza – not all of them belong to [armed] factions. They are civilians,” She said

Kord hasn’t been able to contact her own family yet. She knows it’s only going to get worse.

“We are going to face a huge disaster,” She said

After an Israeli airstrike, smoke rises on the Gaza Stripe on 10 Oct. 2023

Momen Faiz/NurPhoto by Getty Images

Israeli officials have warned Before striking specific neighborhoods, Gazan civilians suggested that some might want to leave the Palestinian territory.

Fear of assaults on certain areas has fueled massive displacement, with the U.N. estimating that 187,518 Gazans have left their homes to seek shelter elsewhere in the strip — more than 137,000 of them at U.N. schools, which are becoming overcrowded and face concerns about their water supply.

Meanwhile, fleeing Gaza Almost impossible. The region’s southern neighbor Egypt is reluctant to open the Rafah crossing into its territory — which both the U.S. State Department Then, there is the Israeli military have highlighted as an option — amid Israeli airstrikes and Egypt’s fear Israel has closed all routes in and out due to a large refugee influx. Gaza.

The total disruption of life in the strip has already limited residents’ access to vital supplies.

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency is the U.N. Gaza’s fragile economy, has been unable to provide this week’s food rations to nearly 500,000 people — one-fifth of the region’s population — the agency said in a Tuesday statement. One-third Gaza’s health centers are closed, and only 13.5% of its health care staff is at work, the UNRWA statement continued.

Gaza You can also find out more about the following: relies on the Israeli power grid but is currently dependent on its own small local power plant, which only runs for four hours a day, and private fuel supplies, which have limited diesel reserves, the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and the charity Oxfam said in Tuesday press releases. The lack of electricity will make it difficult to purify water, charge phones and access the Internet. As of yet, airstrikes in Gaza have disrupted the access to water and sanitation and closed down 400,000 homes. Gaza’s wastewater treatment plant, leading to raw sewage being emitted into the Mediterranean Sea, according to Oxfam.

“It’s a very difficult situation — not knowing if you’re going to live the next day, the next hour or the next minute.”

Nadia Hararah is a Palestinian American Marketing Manager with her family in Gaza

Abood Okal, a 36-year-old Palestinian-American, arrived in Gaza two weeks ago to visit family members there whom he hadn’t seen for six years. He was delighted to introduce his one-year-old child to his aunt, uncle and cousins. But now, Okal is sheltering in place, unable to see his parents — American citizens who are just 10 minutes away. The bomb blew out their windows and doors.

“It’s a difficult humanitarian situation that’s unthinkable,” Okal spoke to The Sunday Review. “Thousands of people are on the streets with no shelter, no power, and very soon will run out of water.”

Okal and his family have been distracting their son, telling him that the loud noises were fireworks. They clap and scream at him to keep away from the bombs. But as the strikes keep pouring down, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to hide the truth: “We’re running out of tricks up our sleeves to keep him unaware,” Okal said.

Gazans must also deal with living in densely populated communities, where there is a high risk of street violence.

Regular Gaza Residents have little influence over Hamas’ battle strategy, as it has tightened control of the Gaza Strip, refusing to hold elections. rarely tolerating Local dissension. Hamas suggested that it could kill Israeli hostages in retribution for Israeli airstrikes — a tactic that could lead to an even bloodier escalation — and its sophisticated military bulwarks throughout the strip will likely ensure any direct clash with Israeli forces is prolonged.

A view of a building destroyed by an Israeli missile strike in Gaza on Oct. 10, 2023.
A view of the building destroyed by a missile strike from Israel Gaza On Oct. 10, 2023.

MOHAMED ZAANOUN/Middle East Images/AFP/Getty Images

In only four days the death toll has risen. Hani Almadhoun in Virginia learned on Monday morning via Telegram that 14 of his family members were killed by an Israeli airstrike, including five children, and some elderly relatives.

“Death comes very fast,” Almadhoun tells The Sunday Review. “We don’t get any solidarity.”

He hasn’t been able to reach his family in Gaza For the past four days. Almadhoun who was only in the area two months ago fears what’s to come.

“We are afraid to look at media,” Almadhoun said. “It’s going to be another trauma.”

Slim Hopes

Few observers believe Israel could be persuaded not to launch a major offensive in Gaza.

The country’s foreign partners are encouraging caution to some degree. Joe Biden, the president of the United States, said on Tuesday that he had asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for him to adhere to international standards. “Terrorists purposely target civilians and kill them. We uphold the laws of war,” Biden said. “It matters. There’s a difference.”

The 27 foreign ministers in the United Nations have agreed to a new agreement on the future of international relations. European Union said Humanitarian corridors are needed to get out of Gaza Israel has been urged not to completely cut off all supplies to the Gaza Strip.

Yet demands for a broader halt in hostilities — like a ceasefire — remained marginal. And humanitarian aid for Gazans was not mentioned in a joint statement that Biden and the U.S.’s closest allies released Monday, drawing ire From some aid workers.

In 2014, Israel launched an invasion on the ground of Gaza, it ultimately killed 2,251 Palestinians — including 551 children — and injured more than 11,000, per U.N. estimates.

Nadia Hararah – a Palestinian American marketer in Seattle – is unable process her grief. Five of her cousins were killed on Saturday, and she’s worried about other relatives in the region.

“It’s a very difficult situation — not knowing if you’re going to live the next day, the next hour or the next minute,” She said

She is feeling frustrated and powerless, as she unpacks the trauma she claims will never be over.

“I wish more Americans knew about how long and how deep the suffering has been at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces,” Hararah said. “They don’t recognize that this isn’t out of thin air. That me and my family have been suffering — differently, but suffering for a long time.”