The UN said Thursday the number of internally displaced people in Gaza has exceeded 300,000 as Israeli forces continued their “uninterrupted” bombardment of the Palestinian territory, while efforts to establish a humanitarian corridor for civilians reportedly hit a wall.
In its daily update, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the number of internally displaced people in Gaza has risen to 338,934—up 30% in the previous 24 hours.
Around two-thirds of them have taken refuge in schools operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, which warned that its shelters are now overcrowded and have “limited availability of food, non-food items and potable water.”
Israel’s Energy Minister Israel Katz wrote on X that “no electrical switch will be turned on, no hydrant will be opened and no fuel truck will enter,” until the hostages taken by Hamas return safely.
Talks between Egypt, Israel and the U.S. to establish a humanitarian corridor to allow Palestinian civilians to leave the territory have reportedly hit an impasse, with Cairo officials telling the Associated Press they pushed back against the proposal.
According to the Associated Press, Egyptian officials are open to allowing fuel and aid to be delivered through its only border crossing point with Gaza but worry that it may affect Palestinians’ claim to the territory if they leave through a humanitarian corridor.
Jordanian state media reported that its first batch of humanitarian aid for Gazans arrived onboard a plane on Thursday.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Tel Aviv on Thursday to show support for Israel from the Biden administration. Before leaving for Israel, Blinken said: “We have the back of the Israeli people. We have their back today. We’ll have it tomorrow. We will have it every day.” In Tel Aviv, Blinken is set to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top government officials. According to Palestinian officials, a meeting between Blinken and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled for Friday.
What To Watch For
The crisis has the potential to escalate further as Israeli military officials indicated they may be preparing for a full-fledged ground invasion of the territory. Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Richard Hecht said Thursday that the military is “preparing for a ground maneuver if decided.” After Saturday’s attack on Israel by Hamas, the IDF mobilized over 360,000 reservists.
2,300. That is at least how many people have died from the ongoing conflict so far, according to the OCHA. This number includes 1,200 Israelis and 1,100 Palestinians.
At Least 22 U.S. Citizens Killed In Hamas’ Attacks On Israel (Forbes)
Gaza’s Lone Power Plant Shuts Down (Forbes)