(CTN NEWS) – In the ongoing conflict, Israel’s military escalated its airstrikes in southern Gaza, leading to one of the deadliest days for Palestinians since the conflict began.
World leaders are urging a halt to the fighting to allow aid into the besieged region.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, the death toll from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza has reached 6,546.
This includes 2,704 children, 1,584 women, and 364 elderly individuals. Furthermore, 17,439 people have been injured in the attacks, and approximately 1,600 individuals are trapped under the rubble, with 900 of them being children.
Tragically, 73 medics have lost their lives, and 25 ambulances have been destroyed during the Israeli attacks, leaving Gaza’s healthcare system severely strained due to the relentless assaults and critical shortages.
In a concerning development, Israel’s military reported striking Syrian army infrastructure and mortar launchers in response to rocket attacks originating from Syria, a close ally of Iran.
Although the military did not provide additional details and did not directly accuse Syria’s army of launching the rockets, air raid sirens were triggered in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Syria’s state news agency, SANA, reported that the Israeli attack resulted in the death of 8 soldiers and injuries to 7 more in what they described as an “aerial aggression” near the city of Deraa in southwestern Syria, citing a military source.
The United States and Russia are leading international calls for a pause in the fighting between Israel and Hamas to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, where Palestinians are enduring dire conditions.
US President Joe Biden and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed broader diplomacy to maintain regional stability and prevent the conflict from escalating, according to the White House.
Meanwhile, clashes have intensified between the Israeli military and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, and tensions have also flared between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah along the Israeli-Lebanon border.
Iran, which supports both Hezbollah and Hamas, has warned Israel to halt its offensive in Gaza.
Israeli forces conducted an overnight raid in the occupied West Bank, claiming to have come under fire from a group of Palestinians whom they then targeted with a drone.
Palestinian officials reported three fatalities.
Since October 7, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with the Israeli military in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Israel’s military also reported targeting a group of Hamas divers attempting to enter Israel by sea near Kibbutz Zikim.
Hamas has not yet commented on the incident.
The United States has advised Israel to postpone a planned ground assault while Washington attempts to secure the release of more than 200 individuals still held captive by Hamas in Gaza.
However, when asked if he was urging Israel to delay its ground invasion, US President Joe Biden told reporters, “The Israelis are making their own decisions.”
At the United Nations, both the United States and Russia have proposed rival plans for providing humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians.
The US has called for pauses in the fighting, while Russia is pushing for a humanitarian ceasefire, which is typically considered a less formal and shorter-term cessation of hostilities.
The whole world is eagerly awaiting a prompt and unconditional ceasefire, Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia emphasized during the Security Council meeting.
Arab nations are staunchly supporting the call for a humanitarian ceasefire amid the extensive devastation in Gaza.
Last week, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also urged an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.
While we maintain our opposition to a ceasefire, we believe that humanitarian pauses, linked to aid delivery while still allowing Israel to defend itself through military operations, should be taken into consideration, stated a senior US official.
Hospitals in Gaza are facing a dire situation, with overcrowding and poor sanitation causing disease symptoms among patients who fled their homes in the enclave.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that over one-third of Gaza’s hospitals and nearly two-thirds of primary healthcare clinics have been forced to close due to damage or fuel shortages.
UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, issued a message via X messaging platform, warning that it would cease operations in Gaza on Wednesday night due to the lack of fuel.
Nonetheless, the Israeli military reiterated its decision to block fuel entry to prevent Hamas from seizing it.
Qatari mediators are urging Hamas to expedite the release of captives, including women and children, without expecting Israeli concessions, as revealed by three diplomats and a source in the region familiar with the negotiations.
Qatar, in collaboration with the US, is leading mediation talks between Hamas and Israel concerning the release of hostages.
Hamas has thus far released four hostages: a mother and daughter with dual US-Israeli nationality on Friday and two Israeli civilian women on Monday.
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