Israel has intensified its military campaign in northern Gaza, deploying ground troops and armored corps units to densely populated areas of Gaza City and the nearby Jabalya. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stated that they were expanding their activities in these regions to target terrorists and strike Hamas infrastructure.
These operations are supported by warplanes. Israel has chosen to focus its initial ground incursion on northern Gaza, dividing the territory in two and urging residents to evacuate to the south. Despite this, many people have chosen to stay in their homes or seek refuge in the north.
On Saturday, two U.N. schools in Jabalya were struck, killing and injuring numerous people seeking shelter. The Gaza Health Ministry blamed Israel for the attacks, although the IDF stated that they were still investigating these reports.
Al-Fakhoura school, run by the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, showed horrifying scenes in the aftermath of the attack, with bloodied bodies in classrooms and dead and injured individuals on the playground, many of them children.
Hospitals in northern Gaza have collapsed, preventing medical staff from accurately counting the number of casualties.
The Gaza Health Ministry last updated the death toll on November 10th, stating that more than 11,000 individuals had been killed. The head of the U.N. agency, Philippe Lazzarini, described the videos of the attacks on the schools as horrifying and called for an immediate ceasefire.
Meanwhile, the crisis at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City seems to be reaching its conclusion, with the reported evacuation of the majority of patients, staff, and civilians who were trapped inside the facility.
Israel has claimed that the hospital housed a Hamas command center, but no concrete evidence has been presented to support this claim. The hospital received an ultimatum from Israeli forces on Saturday morning to evacuate within an hour, prompting an exodus from the facility.
The IDF denies issuing an order to evacuate al-Shifa Hospital, stating that they had only offered to facilitate the safe exit of doctors and patients. The fate of those who remained in the hospital, including premature babies, is currently unknown due to communication blackouts.
The evacuees from the hospital headed to southern Gaza, which Israel declared as safe but which is also being targeted for airstrikes. In Khan Younis, at least 47 people were killed in two airstrikes on residential buildings on Saturday.
The images of displaced people, including the sick, women, children, and the elderly, leaving al-Shifa Hospital and making their way through Gaza City depict a desperate situation. Many were on foot or carts, carrying limited possessions. Conditions at the hospital were nightmarish, with little food or hygiene and no way to change bandages on patients.
To alleviate the crisis in Gaza, Hamas has been urged to release the more than 200 hostages they have been holding since October 7th in exchange for aid. A release of hostages could lead to a significant pause in the fighting and increased humanitarian relief.
Tensions have also escalated on the Israel-Lebanon border, with both Israeli forces and Hezbollah fighters exchanging fire. Rocket attacks from Lebanon into Israel were reported, and Israeli fighter jets and helicopters targeted Hezbollah sites in Lebanon. The United States has warned both sides against expanding the conflict, fearing that it could lead to a wider Middle East war with devastating consequences.