What did you expect?
Since the beginning of Israel’s latest military offensive against the Gaza Strip on July 8, at least 1,962 Palestinians have been killed, including 459 children. Sixty-seven Israelis were killed, of which 63 were soldiers.
Nearly 17,000 homes in the Gaza Strip have been demolished and entire neighborhoods have been flattened to the ground. At one point, nearly 500,000 Palestinians had been internally displaced, but according to the United Nations, that number has declined to 335,000 as hundreds of families returned to their homes during the first ceasefire. Nearly 100,000 Palestinians are homeless and 335,000 Palestinians remain in public shelters, in UNRWA schools, or with host families.
Most of the population is dealing with severe water shortages, and electricity is only available to meet 30% of the estimated demand. The severe humanitarian crisis has exacerbated already worsening conditions in the Gaza Strip, leaving most families even more food-insecure and destroying sewage collection and water treatment facilities.
During the invasion, Israel regularly targeted buildings used to shelter Palestinians that had fled the bombing in their neighborhoods. At least six UNRWA schools being used as shelters were hit by Israel. Most if not all of Gaza’s hospitals sustained damage and multiple accounts confirm the targeting of ambulances and medical relief workers, including during the two-day shelling of the Shuja’iyya neighborhood in Gaza City that left dozens dead and dozens more hidden underneath the rubble.
Israel has also launched air strikes on family homes despite having no evidence that the structures or their occupants posed any threat to Israel. Israeli policy dictates that homes owned by families that have a traceable connection to suspected Palestinian fighters, by blood or by law, are legitimate targets, contrary to international humanitarian lan.
Additionally, Palestinian journalists, aid workers, and even civilians combing through the wreckage to locate the bodies of friends and family members have been targeted by Israel, either by indiscriminate tank shellings and air strikes or by snipers hidden inside homes taken over by Israeli soldiers as temporary command bases.
Human rights organizations around the world have criticized Israel for its excessive and inhumane use of force in the Gaza Strip and for its blatant disregard for civilian life. Bolivian President Evo Morales declared Israel a terrorist state and renounced a visa exemption agreement with Israel to protest its assault on Gaza.
On the other hand, Middle East governments have remained silent. Egypt, for example, has continued to work closely with Israel to keep Gaza’s Rafah border crossing closed. Injured Palestinians seeking medical aid elsewhere were denied the ability to leave and international delegations of physicians were repeatedly denied entry.