The divide between Israel and the US on one side, and Arab states and much of the rest of the world on the other, is significant. With US diplomatic support and increased ammunition supplies to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it clear that a ceasefire is not an option if he wants to achieve his goals of rescuing hostages and destroying Hamas. The UN secretary general and peace negotiators from Qatar and Egypt are frustrated but determined to find a solution and bridge the gap between the two sides.
Despite their efforts, progress is limited because neither Hamas nor Israel seem interested in a ceasefire at the moment. However, the intensifying fighting may change that. While both sides are losing soldiers, the number of casualties is significantly higher on the Hamas side. They are outnumbered and outgunned by the Israeli Defence Forces, who have escalated their confrontations with the enemy and expanded the fighting to new areas.
Images and videos from Khan Younis show empty streets and the sounds of heavy fighting. The city center, which had been spared destruction until now, is being evacuated due to the ongoing violence. Both Hamas and the IDF claim to be engaged in street-by-street combat. However, the international community’s main concern is the impact on the civilian population, which is dire. People are living on the sides of roads and outside hospitals in makeshift tents because they believe it is safer than being inside buildings.
Hassan al A’ajam, a resident of Gaza, expressed the difficulties faced by the population, stating that there is no available space in schools or buildings for people to seek shelter. Many families are homeless and have found nothing to support themselves. The children are traumatized, and the priority for the people is a truce to return to their homes.
Throughout Gaza, the few hospitals that are still functioning are overwhelmed, with some setting up tents outside to treat the increasing number of injured. The situation is intolerable, and the lack of aid is exacerbating the crisis. Aid agencies warn that their operations are collapsing, leaving the people with nothing.