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Just one plant will run out of fuel, leaving Gaza without power – NBC Chicago


Palestinians in the cordoned-off Gaza Strip rushed to safety on Wednesday, as Israel hammered neighborhood after neighborhood in the small coastal enclave in retaliation for the deadly mass incursion by Hamas militants and promised an even more punitive escalation.

The airstrikes reduced entire city blocks to rubble, leaving an unknown number of bodies under piles of debris, and continued even as Hamas militants held dozens of prisoners captured in their shocking attack on Israel this year. weekend.

Israel has vowed an unprecedented offensive against Gaza’s ruling Islamic militant group after its fighters breached the border fence and stormed into the country’s south, gunning down hundreds of Israelis in their homes, on the streets and during of an open-air music festival. They dragged around 150 people – soldiers, men, women, children and the elderly – into captivity in Gaza.

As Palestinians crowded into UN schools and a dwindling number of safe neighborhoods, aid groups pleaded for corridors to deliver aid to Gaza, warning that hospitals were overwhelmed with wounded lacked supplies.

“There is no safe place in Gaza right now,” journalist Hasan Jabar said after three Palestinian journalists were killed in the bombing of a downtown area housing government ministries, offices press and hotels. “I’m really scared for my life.”

Israel has banned the entry of food, fuel and medicine into Gaza, and the only remaining access from Egypt was closed Tuesday after airstrikes near the border crossing.

Gaza’s electricity authorities say their only power plant will run out of fuel within hours, leaving the territory without electricity after Israel cut off supplies. Palestinians in Gaza have long relied on generators to power their homes, offices and hospitals, but also have no way of importing fuel for them.

The war, which has already left at least 2,100 dead on both sides, is expected to intensify.

Israel appears increasingly likely to launch a ground offensive on Gaza – a 40-kilometre-long strip of land wedged between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea, home to 2.3 million Palestinians and governed by Hamas Since. 2007.

Exchanges of fire over Israel’s northern borders with militants in Lebanon and Syria have highlighted the risk of a widespread regional conflict. US President Joe Biden on Tuesday warned other countries and armed groups against entering the conflict. The United States already sends munitions and military equipment to Israel and has deployed a carrier strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean for deterrence purposes.

“We will not allow Israeli children to be murdered,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Tuesday during a meeting with soldiers near the southern border. “I have removed all restrictions – we will eliminate everyone who fights us and use every measure at our disposal.

Israel intensified its offensive on Tuesday, bringing the mobilization of reservists to 360,000. The Israeli army said it had regained effective control of areas attacked by Hamas in the south and along the border with Gaza.

In a new tactic, Israel warns civilians to evacuate neighborhood by neighborhood, then inflicts damage, which could be a prelude to a ground offensive. Warplanes repeatedly returned to the al-Furqan neighborhood, striking 450 targets in 24 hours, the Israeli military said.

An explosion hit Gaza City’s seaport, setting fishing boats on fire.

Gaza relief officials said “large numbers” of people were still trapped under the remains of razed buildings, with rescue equipment and ambulances unable to reach the area.

Palestinian Civil Defense forces took Abdullah Musleh out of his basement with 30 others after their building was razed.

“I sell toys, not missiles,” the 46-year-old said through tears. “I want to leave Gaza. Why do I have to stay here? I lost my house and my job.

On Tuesday afternoon, Hamas fired barrages of rockets at the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon and Tel Aviv. No casualties were immediately reported. On Tuesday evening, a group of militants entered an industrial zone in Ashkelon, sparking a shootout with Israeli troops, the army said. Three militants were killed and troops were searching the area for others.

Photos: Israel-Hamas War

The previous four rounds of fighting between Israel and Hamas between 2008 and 2021 all ended in inconclusive results, with Hamas defeated but still in control. This time, the Israeli government is under intense public pressure to overthrow Hamas, a goal considered unachievable in the past because it would require a reoccupation of the Gaza Strip, at least temporarily.

“The goal is for this war to end very differently from all previous ones. There must be a clear victory,” said Chuck Freilich, former deputy national security adviser to Israel. “Whatever needs to be done to fundamentally change the situation will have to be done,” he said.

Hamas officials said they were planning for all possibilities, including a punitive Israeli escalation. Desperation has increased among Palestinians, many of whom see nothing to lose in the face of Israel’s continued military occupation and growing settlements in the West Bank, the 16-year blockade of Gaza and their consider the apathy of the world.

Hamas may have been counting on the fighting to spread to the occupied West Bank and Lebanese Hezbollah to open a front in the north.

Days of clashes between stone-throwing Palestinians and Israeli forces in the West Bank have left 15 Palestinians dead, but Israel has severely cracked down on the territory, preventing movement between communities. Violence also spread to East Jerusalem, where Israeli police said they killed two Palestinians who threw stones at police on Tuesday evening.

The Israeli military said more than 1,200 people, including 155 soldiers, had been killed in Israel, a staggering toll not seen since the weeks-long 1973 war with Egypt and Syria. In Gaza, 950 people were killed, including 260 children and 230 women, according to local authorities; Israel says hundreds of Hamas fighters are among them. Thousands of people were injured on both sides.

The bodies of around 1,500 Hamas militants were found on Israeli territory, the army said. It was not clear whether these figures coincided with the deaths reported by Palestinian authorities.

Biden said Tuesday that at least 14 U.S. citizens were killed in the Hamas attack and that Americans were among the hostages in Gaza. In a televised speech, Biden paired his unwavering defense of Israel with just a quick reference to the suffering of Palestinian civilians.

“We now know that American citizens are among those detained by Hamas,” President Joe Biden said Tuesday.

In an apparent warning to Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which supports Hamas, Biden said: “To any country, to any organization, to anyone who plans to take advantage of the situation, I have one word: don’t do it. »

The State Department announced that Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Israel in the coming days to deliver a message of solidarity and support.

Hamas responded to Biden, saying his administration should “revisit its biased position” and “move away from double standards” over what it sees as the Palestinians’ right to defend themselves against Israeli occupation.

In Gaza, more than 250,000 people have fled their homes, according to the UN, a record number since Israel’s air and ground offensive in 2014 which uprooted around 400,000. The vast majority of them find refuge in schools run by the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees. Damage to three water and sanitation sites cut off services to 400,000 people, the UN said.

Tens of thousands of people in southern Israel have been evacuated since Sunday.

The U.N. World Health Organization said supplies it had prepositioned for seven hospitals in Gaza were already exhausted due to the flood of injured people. The head of the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders said surgical equipment, antibiotics, fuel and other supplies were running out at two hospitals it runs in Gaza.


Shurafa reported from Gaza City. Associated Press writers Amy Teibel and Joseph Krauss in Jerusalem contributed to this report.


NBC Chicago

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