PCOM October 13, 2023

Operation Al-Aqsa Flood “Taufan” Daily Report (6)

Gaza’s Ongoing Suffering: A Call for Help and Solidarity

In Gaza, Israel’s relentless assault continued into the sixth day on Thursday, October 12, as Israeli airstrikes relentlessly targeted the Gaza Strip, day and night. Palestinian sources have sadly documented over 150 Palestinian lives lost on Thursday alone.

As confirmed by the Ministry of Health in Gaza, 28 entire Palestinian families had been lost as martyrs due to the Israeli airstrikes that commenced on Saturday. Regrettably, this count is anticipated to increase, given that more families are being discovered under the rubble.

The ministry further conveyed that 10 brave Palestinian medics and healthcare workers have lost their lives, among them four medics who were tragically killed on Wednesday when an Israeli airstrike deliberately struck their ambulance. Alarmingly, there have been 14 recorded assaults on hospitals and healthcare facilities in Gaza. With Israel’s suffocating blockade on Gaza, the sole power plant in the Strip ran out of fuel, causing panic among health authorities.

Gaza’s Health Ministry urgently conveyed, “Our hospitals are operating at maximum capacity. There is no room to accommodate those injured by the Israeli airstrikes.” They continued by stating, “The comprehensive blockade imposed by Israeli occupation forces on electricity, water, and fuel poses a grave threat to the lives of the wounded and the ill, giving rise to a severe health and environmental crisis.”

Furthermore, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) reported that 12 of its dedicated staff members lost their lives due to the Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. In addition, the agency disclosed that nearly 175,500 internally displaced individuals have sought refuge in 88 UNRWA schools across the Gaza Strip, and this number keeps rising as the airstrikes persist.

In the occupied West Bank, Israeli settlers bearing arms have been initiating assaults on Palestinian villages. Tragically, at least five Palestinians lost their lives between Wednesday and Thursday in the Nablus region due to these settler attacks. Simultaneously, Israeli forces conducted incursions into various parts of the West Bank, forcibly entering homes in the dead of night, resulting in the arrest of no less than 60 Palestinian individuals.

With the mounting death toll in Gaza reaching into the thousands, tangible steps toward de-escalation remain elusive. While there have been appeals for a ceasefire, prominent actors like the United States have persistently reaffirmed their backing for Israel. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s arrival in Israel on Thursday only reinforced this stance, as he promised additional U.S. military support to Israel in the form of weapon reinforcements.

On Thursday evening, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who leads the Fatah-led government in the West Bank and had largely maintained silence since the commencement of hostilities on Saturday, issued a statement denouncing the loss of civilian lives on “both sides.”

Around the moment President Abbas issued his statement, Saleh Al-Arouri, the Deputy Head of Hamas’s Political Bureau, made a live television appearance on Al Jazeera. During the interview, he revealed that Hamas had been taken aback when its fighters managed to seize control of Israeli military facilities encircling the Gaza Strip within the span of just three hours on Saturday.

“The military strategy of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigade was aimed at specifically targeting the Gaza Division of the Israeli occupying army and engaging solely with occupation soldiers. It was not within our plan to cause harm or casualties among civilians, and it was truly unexpected that the Gaza Division would surrender in under 3 hours, a swifter outcome than we had anticipated,” stated al-Arouri.

He further asserted that Hamas initiated its operation based on intelligence indicating that Israel had intentions to launch an offensive assault against Gaza following the conclusion of the Jewish holidays.

“The incursion into the Gaza Strip was a meticulously planned operation, and the directives from the Qassam leadership were to attack the Gaza Division of the occupying army, which bears responsibility for all the injustices committed against our people,” al-Arouri stated.

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