“There is no safe area for the people in Gaza to seek refuge or shelter,” senior Hamas official Ghazi Hamad said in a video statement, speaking in English.
“Every area and every building is under possible attack. Everyone is targeted and vulnerable to Israel’s killing, including women, children, the elderly and even disabled people.”
Hamad also decried the “illegal and unethical” siege by Israel on Gaza that is preventing fuel and humanitarian supplies from entering the territory.
“The Israeli leaders are giving clear instructions to their army to carry out a genocide [against] more than two million citizens in the Gaza Strip. We are facing unprecedented crimes in modern history,” he added.
Meantime, Hamas’s military wing, the Qassam Brigades, announced it is capable of fighting off an Israeli land invasion of Gaza.
“We reassert our readiness – with God’s help – in the defence aspect. And the enemy’s suggestion of widening the aggression via land will push us to activate new options that will mount massive losses on the enemy,” spokesperson Abu Obeida said in a video message.
He added that Hamas’s military infrastructure enables an “effective defence” of the Gaza Strip that Israel has not witnessed before.
Hamas also on Thursday appealed to world relief organizations to provide essential medical and relief supplies to Gaza as Israel continues airstrikes on the besieged territory.
Gaza’s humanitarian crisis has deepened, with warnings that the population is at risk of starvation and fuel could run out within hours. Israel is withholding essential supplies from the enclave in response to Hamas’ attacks.
“We call on all relief, health and charitable institutions in our Arab and Islamic world and in the international community, to intervene urgently and quickly to bring in all necessary medical and relief supplies and fuel, to save more than two million Palestinian citizens,” Hamas announced in a statement.
The Palestinian Minister of Health Dr. Mai Alkaila, in a statement on Thursday, warned of the collapse of healthcare system in the Gaza Strip, as a result of the severe shortage of medical supplies, supplies for operating rooms, medicines, and blood bags.
At least 1,537 people — including 500 children and 267 women — have been killed since Israel started strikes on Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. An additional 6,612 people have sustained injuries, the ministry added.
The number of people internally displaced in Gaza by the Israel-Hamas war has risen to more than 423,000, the United Nations announced Friday — a figure that represents over 20% of the besieged coastal enclave’s population.
The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said more than two thirds of those displaced are taking shelter in schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA).
Human rights organizations have “expressed concerns about incidents where civilians and civilian objects appear to have been directly targeted by Israeli airstrikes,” OCHA added.