Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Gaza, embroiled in relentless conflict, faced another night of deadly airstrikes while hopes for a ceasefire flickered with the resumption of talks between Israel and Hamas scheduled in Cairo on Sunday, as reported by Egyptian state television.

The intense fighting persisted in the besieged Palestinian enclave, with violence erupting near several hospitals, amplifying the plight of civilians amidst the nearly six-month-long war, ignited by Hamas’s October 7 assault.

Against the backdrop of a deepening humanitarian crisis exacerbated by Israel’s siege, an aid delivery within Gaza spiraled into tragedy on Saturday, marked by gunfire and a stampede, resulting in at least five fatalities, according to a Red Crescent paramedic. The Israeli army disavowed knowledge of the incident.

Eyewitnesses recounted a chaotic scene, with shots exchanged between overseeing Gazans and nearby Israeli troops, leading to a frantic retreat of lorry drivers, causing casualties in the process.

To address the dire conditions faced by Gaza’s 2.4 million inhabitants, a new aid ship, carrying 400 tonnes of food relief, set sail from Cyprus, joining a small flotilla of humanitarian assistance efforts. Despite international aid endeavors, UN agencies and charities stress the inadequacy of relief measures, as fatalities mount in stampedes and sea retrievals.

The latest onslaught claimed at least 75 lives overnight, predominantly women and children, as per the health ministry in the Hamas-controlled territory. The escalation persists despite a recent UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire and the release of all hostages held by militants.

Escalating tensions have strained relations between Israel and its chief ally, the United States, particularly over the civilian death toll and Israeli threats to deploy ground forces in Rafah, Gaza’s densely populated southern city. Amidst the unrest, mass protests erupted in Tel Aviv, urging swift action to secure the release of hostages, with demonstrators demanding a resolution to end the protracted conflict.

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