As the latest Israeli-Palestinian war entered a ninth day on Sunday, scenes showed both an expanding offensive and the conflict’s sorrowful results.
Buildings turned to rubble. Body bags in the streets. Wailing sirens and shrieking rockets. Flag-draped coffins carried by mourners at funeral processions.
The images of the devastation on the ground in Gaza showed windows shattered by bullets and neighborhoods leveled by blasts.
Approximately 2,670 Palestinians have been killed and 9,600 wounded, and more than 1,400 Israelis were killed, the vast majority of them civilians, in Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault,
Desperate Palestinians scrambled for escape from northern Gaza on Sunday or huddled by the thousands at a hospital in the target zone in hopes it would be spared, as Israel intensified warnings of an imminent offensive by air, ground and sea following Hamas militants’ deadly rampage in Israel a week ago.
The evacuation directive covers an area of 1.1 million residents, or about half the territory’s population. The Israeli military said “hundreds of thousands” of Palestinians had heeded the warning and headed south.
The U.N. and aid groups say such a rapid exodus along with Israel’s siege of the territory would cause untold human suffering. The World Health Organization said the evacuation “could be tantamount to a death sentence” for the more than 2,000 patients in northern hospitals, including newborns in incubators and people in intensive care.