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Home > News > World News > Article > Intense fighting in south Gaza continues as US backs Israeli offensive

Intense fighting in south Gaza continues as US backs Israeli offensive

Updated on: 10 December,2023 02:43 PM IST  |  Rafah
mid-day online correspondent |

Israel's ongoing military actions in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis have sparked international condemnation despite global calls for a cease-fire.

Intense fighting in south Gaza continues as US backs Israeli offensive

Israel airstrikes hit affluent neighbourhoods in Gaza/AFP

The southern Gaza town of Khan Younis saw severe combat overnight and into Sunday as Israel continued its onslaught, backed by renewed US military support. Despite global calls for a cease-fire, Israel's ongoing military actions have sparked international condemnation, according to a report in the Associated Press. 

According to the AP report, the United States, a crucial supporter of Israel, blocked UN Security Council efforts to halt the crisis while simultaneously rushing over USD 100 million in tank ammunition to back the offensive. The strike aims to demolish military and governmental capabilities in response to a Palestinian militant attack on southern Israel on October 7, which resulted in several deaths and the capture of persons.

As a result of the prolonged war, Gaza has suffered numerous civilian casualties, with approximately 85% of its 2.3 million residents displaced within the beleaguered enclave. The UN has emphasised the lack of safe havens for civilians, which has resulted in significant shortages of basics due to limited relief delivery, the AP report added. 

According to the report, despite Palestinian militant resistance, Israel's ground offensive has caused enormous damage, particularly in northern Gaza, where bombings have destroyed entire neighbourhoods and forced mass displacement.

Residents in Khan Younis, where ground forces had previously been engaged, reported constant gunfire and explosions, as well as air bombardments targeting the city and nearby areas, the report added. 

During the war, the Israeli soldiers seized hundreds of men, some of whom were seen in recordings naked and blindfolded. The military justified the detentions by claiming that it was looking for remaining fighters, the AP report stated. 

There have been reports of detainees being abused, including beatings, restriction of food and water, and mistreatment. Detainees who had been released related allegations of mistreatment and injuries sustained while detained.

As the war enters its third month, the death toll in Gaza has topped 17,700 people, the majority of them women and children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. While Palestinian militants continue to fire rockets into Israel, Israel accuses them of using civilians as shields, the report cited and added that thousands of people have fled to the southern border areas due to the continued fighting, where they face harsh conditions, inadequate shelter, and difficulty obtaining necessary supplies.

Despite designated "safe zones," overcrowding and a lack of services remain, leaving many defenceless civilians vulnerable to the elements and dangerous surroundings.

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