Gaza’s Health Ministry confirmed the death toll in Gaza surpassed 8,000 people. US President Biden cast doubt on these numbers last week, to which the health ministry responded by publishing a list of the names of the dead. The UN notes the reported death totals from Gaza’s Health Ministry are credible. The World Health Organization said this week that the morgues in Gaza are full, and more than half the bodies are women and children. Save the Children, an NGO released a report saying more children died in the first three weeks of fighting in Gaza than in all other conflicts since 2019.
The Israeli bombardment of Gaza intensified over the weekend, and Prime Minister Netanyahu said the second stage of the war had begun, signaling the onset of Israel’s long-anticipated ground invasion of Gaza. Friday night saw the heaviest night of Israeli bombardment in Gaza since the start of the war. This appears to have been the prelude to Israel’s ground forces moving into the area. Families of the estimated 220 hostages that still remain in Gaza are torn over this development as it further increases the likelihood of their families never returning from captivity.
Over the weekend, the UN Relief Agency said thousands of Palestinians, desperate after 3 weeks of siege, broke into its warehouses, taking wheat, flour, and other basic goods. The UN estimates that nearly 50% of the population in Gaza has been displaced.
The violence and struggle are not restrained to Gaza alone. In the West Bank, the effects of the Hamas surprise invasion of Israel and the subsequent Israeli siege of Gaza have brought the local economy to a standstill. In the past 21 days, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed by settlers and Israeli military members.
Hundreds of thousands marched in cities across the world this weekend to protest the Israeli bombardment of Gaza. Many see the US support of Israel’s bombardment as a double standard, and the global south is leading the way in voicing its opposition. In Dagestan, approximately 1,200 people stormed a local airport to seize travelers on a flight arriving from Israel. Arrests followed, and the airport remained closed through the night.