The Gazan situation is worsening on Tuesday with food stock ending and Israel continuing air strikes.
- Over 2,800 Palestinians killed, nearly 11,000 wounded since Oct 7
- Israel says 199 hostages taken by Hamas fighters
- Biden set to visit Israel
Israel’s late-night strikes in Rafah and Khan Younis
More than 100 people were killed last night following strikes at homes in Rafah and Khan Younis in southern Gaza, local officials say.
The martyred include many Gaza residents who have fled there after the Israeli government told them to move south.
Israel Defense Forces spokesman Jonathan Conricus said around 600,000 people have so far fled northern Gaza – ahead of an expected ground offensive.
He warned that “a few hundred thousand” still remain and urged them to do the “safe” thing and leave.
In Khan Younis in the south, hundreds of thousands of people have arrived, after Israel warned them to leave the north, who are sleeping in the streets.
There is limited running water and huge queues are witnessed outside bakeries for bread.
Gazan situation worsens
The United Nations World Food Programme in a statement issued on Tuesday said the situation in the Gaza Strip was worsening by the minute with only four or five days of food stocks left in the shops.
The statement comes amid a deepening humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian enclave of 2.3 million people, where Israel prepares to escalate an offensive after a surprise attack by Hamas on Oct 7.
“Inside the shops, the stocks are getting close to less than a few days, maybe four or five days of food stocks left,” WFP’s Middle East spokeswoman Abeer Etefa, told reporters in Geneva via video link from Cairo.
The World Health Organisation has stressed that it needs urgent access to Gaza to deliver aid and medical supplies.
🚨Gaza is running out of #water.
🔹Public #health crisis imminent, compounding desperate situation for civilians.
— WHO in occupied Palestinian territory (@WHOoPt) October 16, 2023
All crossings into Gaza remain closed
Hundreds of lorries carrying vital supplies are reported to have headed towards the only crossing into Gaza not controlled by Israel, aid officials have said.
“We’ve not been told what time we’re going to cross but we were asked to head for Rafah,” an Egyptian Red Crescent official said, asking not to be identified.
However, all crossings into Gaza remain closed, including Rafah.
The arriving trucks with aid supplies have been piling up on the Egyptian side for days.
On the other side, Palestinians with foreign passports are waiting to leave.
Biden to visit Israel
On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden will make a high-stakes visit to Israel in a significant show of US support.
On Wednesday, I'll travel to Israel to stand in solidarity in the face of Hamas's brutal terrorist attack.
I'll then travel to Jordan to address dire humanitarian needs, meet with leaders, and make clear that Hamas does not stand for Palestinians' right to self-determination.
— President Biden (@POTUS) October 17, 2023
Biden would meet with Netanyahu, reaffirm Washington’s commitment to Israel’s security, and receive a comprehensive brief on its war aims and strategy, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
“(The) president will hear from Israel how it will conduct its operations in a way that minimizes civilian casualties and enables humanitarian assistance to flow to civilians in Gaza in a way that does not benefit Hamas,” Blinken added.
Blinken also said he and Netanyahu had agreed to develop a plan to get humanitarian aid to Gaza civilians.
He did not provide details.
Today, at our request, the United States and Israel have agreed to develop a plan that will enable humanitarian aid from donor nations and multilateral organizations to reach civilians in Gaza, including the possibility of creating areas to help keep civilians out of harm’s way.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) October 17, 2023
Biden would travel to Jordan to meet King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, after visiting Israel, US national security spokesperson John Kirby said.