As Israel hits the region with retaliatory air strikes, the UN warns of a humanitarian crisis.
Israel continues to hit Gaza with air strikes in retaliation for Hamas’s surprise attack that has so far killed 1,300 people in Israel and wounded thousands more. An additional 1,400 people have been killed in Gaza since then, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Gaza is facing a “huge” humanitarian crisis, one United Nations official told The New York Times, as Israel has cut off electricity to the region, and hospitals there are running out of the fuel necessary to keep generators running. Food and water in the region are also quickly running out, the UN’s World Food Program warned. And as Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Israel today to underscore the United States’ unequivocal support for Israel, he also said that “it’s important to take every possible precaution to prevent harming civilians.”
Meanwhile, Hamas is holding hostage at least 150 civilians captured in the attack on Israel, including children and elderly people. Officials in Israel believe the hostages are being held inside Gaza’s network of underground cellars and tunnels, where they could still be harmed by Israel’s air strikes on Gaza. “This is without question the most difficult hostage situation Israel has ever faced in its history,” Michael Milstein, a senior analyst at the Institute for Policy and Strategy at Israel’s Reichman University, told the BBC.