- The UN Security Council on Wednesday passed a resolution calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip” to allow for aid delivery, medical evacuations, and the unconditional release of hostages. The resolution, which passed with 12 votes in favor, is the first to respond to the Gaza war after four previous failed resolutions. The US, UK, and Russia abstained from the vote.1
- Also on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden again defended his administration's refusal to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, saying that Hamas had vowed to continue attacks against Israel and Israeli forces had switched from aerial bombardment to ground operations. Biden described previous Israeli bombings as 'indiscriminate,' and suggested that Israel's current military operations are more targeted.2
- In Gaza, Israeli forces are still reportedly operating in al-Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in the strip. So far, the Israeli army has reported that it has found weapons and uniforms within the hospital's facilities. Israeli military officials, who have repeatedly said that Hamas used al-Shifa as a command center, said that what they found 'is probably what they [Hamas] were forced to leave behind.'3
- Hamas, as well as doctors working at al-Shifa, have denied Israeli claims that the hospital's underground facilities were being used as a command center, with one doctor saying that there were only civilians in the hospital. The Gaza health ministry's director of hospitals said that 'not a single bullet' had been fired because 'there are no resistors or detainees' inside; six premature babies reportedly died in recent days due to a lack of fuel, and a number of patients are still in the hospital.4
- Israeli forces on Thursday dropped leaflets warning Palestinians to flee parts of southern Gaza, stoking fears that Israel plans to widen its offensive to the entire strip. Israel has surrounded Gaza City in the north, seizing and demolishing government buildings, and most of the strip's residents have fled south — Israel also claimed that it had destroyed the Gaza residence of Ismail Haniyeh, a senior Hamas political leader based abroad.5
- As of Thursday, over 11K people in the Gaza Strip have reportedly been killed, over half of which were women and children, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Another 2.7K are reported missing, with most believed to be buried under the rubble. The official Israeli death toll, meanwhile, stands at 1.2K people.5
- Pro-Israel narrative, as provided by The Jerusalem Post. Israel has presented evidence that terrorists from Hamas have placed their headquarters underneath hospitals in Gaza, specifically to use civilians at the facilities as human shields. Indeed, the US has also verified that Hamas is using al-Shifa as a command center. Despite this, Israel, which has the right to defend its borders, is doing everything it can to minimize harm to the civilian population and provide aid while conducting critical military operations.
- Pro-Palestine narrative, as provided by Middle East Eye. Even if Israel's claims that Hamas is using hospitals as bases of operations are valid, it has an obligation under international law to protect these facilities during armed conflict. As Israel is committing horrendous human rights violations in Gaza, the international community must step up efforts to end the assault on Palestinians and work to address a humanitarian cataclysm.