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Israeli Offensive Edges Closer to Gaza’s Last Refuge

As Israel continues its military campaign against Hamas and other militant groups in the Palestinian coastal territory, the situation in southern Gaza’s city of Rafah, known as the Strip’s “last refuge,” is becoming increasingly dire.

With over 1.5 million people crammed into Rafah, Israeli airstrikes persistently target the area, posing a significant threat to those seeking safety.

Israeli Offensive Advances

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The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been making inroads into Khan Younis, a city just a few miles north of Rafah.

As the IDF advances, the conflict inches closer to those who are desperately trying to escape the violence, leaving many Gazans with no alternative refuge.

Humanitarian Concerns

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Displaced Gazans, forced to flee from the fighting, are now trapped in Rafah.

The strain on resources is evident as the pre-war population of 300,000 in the city has surged to 1.5 million.

Potential Cholera Outbreak

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The dire conditions have raised concerns about a potential cholera outbreak due to a lack of clean water and sewage issues.

Control of Philadelphi Corridor

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government views gaining control of the Philadelphi Corridor, the narrow strip between Egypt and Gaza, as a crucial objective.

Conduit For Militant Groups

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The area has been a conduit for militant groups to smuggle weapons into Gaza, making it essential to Israeli security interests.

Shift to Targeted Campaign

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Although Israeli forces have transitioned to a more targeted campaign recently, much of Gaza has been devastated, and civilian casualties continue to rise.

The situation in Gaza remains bleak, exacerbated by years of conflict and a lengthy Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

Healthcare System in Crisis

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Gaza’s healthcare system is on the brink of collapse, with hospitals, ambulances, and medical personnel frequently targeted by Israeli strikes.

The destruction of medical facilities and the loss of specialized doctors have left the healthcare system overwhelmed.

Disputed Targeting of Healthcare Facilities

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Israeli officials deny intentionally targeting healthcare systems, attributing such incidents to militant groups using medical facilities as shields.

However, the conflict has turned Gaza’s main hospitals into battlegrounds, putting both patients and medical staff at risk.

Aid Insufficient for Rising Casualties

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With supplies, specialists, and facilities in short supply, the prognosis for seriously injured civilians in Gaza is grim.

A significant portion of those injured could have been saved if proper resources were available.

Uncertain Future for Gaza

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The future of Gaza remains uncertain, with international pressure on Israel to commit to Palestinian self-determination.

Meanwhile, Israel’s government explores plans for new settlements in the war-torn territory.

Biden’s Administration Pressing For 2-State Solution

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President Joe Biden’s administration seeks to encourage a two-state solution while providing support to the IDF, creating a complex diplomatic situation.

Gaza’s Residents Suffer Consequences

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Amid these challenges, Gazans express frustration with the situation, with many feeling that the conflict on October 7, which triggered the recent escalation, had unnecessary and devastating consequences.

Despite their hardships, they hold on to hope for a better future.

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