In a harrowing escalation of the Israel-Palestine conflict, Israeli airstrikes have tragically claimed over 80 lives in the densely populated Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza. The strikes, which targeted crowded UN shelters, mark a grim increase in civilian casualties, heightening global concern.

Early Saturday, the situation worsened as airstrikes near Khan Younis claimed 26 lives, reinforcing the stark reality that no place in Gaza is safe from the ongoing conflict. Al-Shifa, North Gaza’s largest hospital, was forced to evacuate, retaining only a skeleton crew of five doctors to tend to the most critical patients amidst continuous bombings, The Guardian reported.

The most heart-wrenching incident occurred at a UN-run school in Jabalia, where a dawn attack resulted in the death of 50 people. A separate strike obliterated a residential building, extinguishing 32 lives from a single family, including 19 children. These figures were confirmed by officials from the Hamas-run health ministry.

In response to these tragedies, UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths condemned the attacks, emphasizing the sanctity of shelters and schools as places of safety and learning. The Israeli military, having previously advised residents of Jabalia to evacuate via social media, did not immediately comment on these specific strikes.

The situation in southern Gaza, a previously recommended refuge, is now equally dire. Hundreds of thousands had relocated there following Israeli advisories, only to find themselves in a precarious position as the conflict extends southwards.

Compounding the crisis, al-Shifa hospital, Gaza’s largest medical facility, had to evacuate its premises on Israeli military orders, according to Hamas authorities. An IDF spokesperson mentioned that the evacuation was facilitated at the request of medical staff.

The humanitarian impact of the conflict is profound. Overcrowded shelters are struggling with limited food and water supplies, raising the specter of starvation and disease. The UN has reported that approximately 1.6 million people, over two-thirds of Gaza’s population, are now displaced.

Israel’s chief military spokesman, R Adm Daniel Hagari, has expressed the military’s intent to continue operations across Gaza, including the south. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged the civilian toll but placed the blame on Hamas.

As the conflict shows no sign of abating, the plight of civilians trapped in this war zone grows increasingly dire. International aid agencies face immense challenges in delivering necessary support due to fuel shortages, communication breakdowns, and restricted access to Gaza.

The escalating civilian death toll in Gaza, particularly in the southern regions, has prompted international outcry and fears of a worsening humanitarian crisis. The potential displacement and suffering of the Palestinian population have drawn comparisons to the Nakba of 1948, raising alarms across the region and the world.

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