GAZA, PALESTINE: The death toll in Gaza due to Israel’s assault has now exceeded 25,000, as reported by the Ministry of Health in the territory.
Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra revealed that within the last 24 hours alone, 178 people lost their lives, bringing the total to 25,105 over the span of more than three months.
Media reports from Rafah in southern Gaza described intense ground fighting near a crucial hospital in Khan Younis, with snipers positioned in high-rise buildings engaging in street-to-street, house-to-house combat.
The day prior, Israeli shelling east of the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza led to four Palestinian deaths and 21 injuries, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres condemned Israel for the “heartbreaking” deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
Speaking at the G77+China summit in Kampala, Guterres criticized Israel’s military operations, emphasizing the unprecedented scale of destruction and civilian casualties.
Guterres highlighted the resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, emphasizing the acceptance of the Palestinians’ right to statehood and a two-state solution.
People in Gaza are dying not only from bombs and bullets, but from lack of food & clean water, and hospitals without power & medicine.
This must stop.
I will not relent in my call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the immediate & unconditional release of all hostages.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) January 20, 2024
This statement followed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reaffirmation of his opposition to Palestinian statehood.
The toll of the Israeli assault includes at least 62,681 wounded individuals, according to Palestinian authorities.
Approximately 85% of Gaza’s population has been displaced, with thousands seeking refuge in UN-run camps under dire conditions.
The UN has reported “famine-like” conditions in Gaza, where one in four of the 2.3 million population faces extreme hunger.
However, the delivery of aid has been severely hampered by ongoing fighting and stringent Israeli restrictions on shipments.
The UN also highlighted that women and children are the most significant victims in this conflict.
The Israeli government claimed that the bombardment toward Gaza was initiated in response to a surprise attack by Hamas on southern Israel on 7 October, resulting in at least 1,139 casualties, and over 200 hostages were taken by Palestinian armed groups.
Netanyahu rejects Hamas conditions, pledges to continue offensive in Gaza
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to continue the offensive until Hamas is eradicated, escalating tensions on multiple fronts and raising concerns about regional instability.
Despite international efforts and negotiations, Netanyahu rejected Hamas’ conditions for ending the war, including a complete Israeli withdrawal and leaving Hamas in power in Gaza.
As Israeli airstrikes resumed in Khan Younis, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri stated that Netanyahu’s refusal to halt the military offensive meant there was no chance for the return of Israeli captives held by Hamas.
Netanyahu, in response, rejected the terms presented by Hamas, which included ending the war, withdrawing Israeli forces from Gaza, releasing prisoners, and leaving Hamas intact.
In November, a deal brokered by the United States, Qatar, and Egypt resulted in the release of over 100 hostages in exchange for Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.
Pressure has since mounted on Netanyahu to secure the release of the remaining 136 hostages.
The Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum urged Netanyahu to advance the deal and not abandon those held captive.
Addressing the issue of Palestinian statehood, Netanyahu emphasized that he would not compromise on full Israeli security control west of the Jordan River.
This stance contrasts with U.S. President Joe Biden’s suggestion of a potential solution involving a non-militarized government for an independent Palestinian state.
Netanyahu expressed disagreement with Biden’s stance on Palestinian statehood, asserting that he had resisted international and internal pressures for years to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state that could pose an existential threat to Israel.
WP Pritam Singh refutes DPM Wong’s “raiding reserves” accusation
S’porean streamer Kiaraakitty banned from re-entering Taiwan after staging egg attack
Affordability of HDB flats have improved, says DPM Wong in Budget 2024
Singapore’s total fertility rate drops below 1, reaching historic low
Lawrence Wong: GST impact on inflation is not permanent
An urgent plea for review: Challenging police practices in child custody disputes
Tetra Pak to cut 300 jobs, close Jurong factory in consolidation move
Sylvia Lim refutes PAP MP’s claims over her speech on supporting young senior
Asia Centre hosts regional meeting on digital rights
Airbus issues apology after Chinese & Russian visitors allegedly denied entry from military plane at Singapore Airshow
Hamas extends condolences for tragic self-immolation of US Airman Aaron Bushnell
Dennis Tan: Advocating senior support, disabilities, and green transition in Budget 2024
Politics5 days ago
Leong Mun Wai steps down as PSP Secretary-General over POFMA directive received
Singapore4 days ago
Gilbert Goh challenges MOE on Israel-Hamas classroom narrative
Featured2 weeks ago
PA surveys community & govt confidence amid pending general election
Singapore1 week ago
Kenneth Jeyaretnam issued 6th POFMA direction over Ridout Road saga
Civil Society2 weeks ago
At least 9 individuals summoned by police over Palestine solidarity activities on 2 Feb
Politics1 week ago
Lim Tean mocks DPM Wong’s 2024 Budget as “band-aid”, hints election coming
Singapore5 days ago
MOE responds to critiques on Israel-Hamas conflict education
Featured2 weeks ago
Impact of CPF’s major reform on Singaporeans’ savings strategy