“Our soldiers have been operating in Gaza City for the past few days, surrounding it from several directions, deepening the operation,” Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi stated.
“Our forces are in very significant areas of Gaza City,” he added.
The Israeli army began its full ground operation in Gaza last Friday, moving tanks, bulldozers, infantry, and combat engineer units into the strip. While the ground operation around Gaza’s largest population center has developed slowly, Israel has maintained its constant bombardment of the besieged strip by air.
At least 9,000 people have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7, according to figures released Thursday by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah. More than 32,000 others have been wounded.
A group of United Nations experts have warned time is running out to “prevent genocide and humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza, expressing their deep frustration with Israel’s refusal to halt plans to decimate the besieged Gaza Strip.
“We remain convinced that the Palestinian people are at grave risk of genocide,” the experts said in a joint statement on Thursday.
“The time for action is now. Israel’s allies also bear responsibility and must act now to prevent its disastrous course of action.”
The experts expressed “deepening horror” about Israeli airstrikes against the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza since Tuesday night, which have reportedly killed and injured hundreds of Palestinians, calling it a brazen breach of international law.
“The Palestinian people in Gaza, particularly women, children, persons with disabilities, youth, and older persons, have endured decades of hardship and deprivation,” added the experts, including several UN special rapporteurs on the rights to food, safe drinking water, and the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“We call on Israel and its allies to agree to an immediate ceasefire. We are running out of time.”