Israeli airstrikes persist over Gaza, even in the aftermath of President Biden’s visit to Tel Aviv, where he expressed unwavering support for Israel as it faces the complex challenges of its conflict with Hamas militants.
Tensions in the region remain high, particularly following Israel’s relentless bombardment of Gaza, and the disputed events at Al Ahli hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday night, where Palestinian officials claim that hundreds of people lost their lives in an explosion.
U.S. and Israeli authorities, including President Biden, asserted on Wednesday that the explosion resulted from a rocket misfire launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, falling short of its intended target. However, the blame for the tragedy continues to be directed at the Israeli military by many in the region.
Protests have erupted across the Middle East in response to the devastating explosion, with demonstrations occurring in Tunisia, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, and Morocco. In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials reported that two teenagers were shot dead by Israeli forces, a claim under investigation by the Israeli military.
President Biden affirmed Israel’s right to combat Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip for nearly two decades. Nevertheless, he urged Israelis not to succumb to anger and emphasized that hasty wartime decisions could lead to grave errors.
President Biden has secured a commitment from Israel to halt bombings near Egypt’s Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip. This step is essential to allow much-needed humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza for the first time since Israel imposed a complete blockade on October 7th. However, the exact timing of the border reopening remains uncertain, and Gaza continues to face Israeli missile strikes instead of the awaited aid. On Wednesday, a residential building near the Al Quds hospital in Gaza City was hit, forcing medical staff and civilians to seek shelter.
As of Thursday, health officials in Gaza, under the control of Hamas, reported that Israeli airstrikes have claimed the lives of nearly 3,800 people and left almost 12,500 others wounded, with a significant majority being women and children. This count includes more than 470 individuals allegedly killed in the hospital explosion, a claim disputed by Israel.
In contrast, Israeli officials contend that Hamas attacks have led to the deaths of approximately 1,400 people and left 3,500 others injured. The conflict shows no signs of immediate resolution, and the region remains engulfed in turmoil.