In view of heavy fighting throughout the Gaza Strip, Israel’s military has spoken of “the most intense day since the start of the ground offensive.” The military said the troops were now “in the heart” of Khan Yunis, the largest city in the south of the Gaza Strip.

“Our forces are now encircling the Khan Yun area,” said Israel’s Chief of General Staff Herzi Halevi. There are also fierce fighting in the north. In terms of the number of “terrorists killed, the number of battles and the use of firepower on land and in the air,” this is the most intense day so far since the offensive began in the north of the coastal strip at the end of October. Meanwhile, international criticism of Israel’s actions continues.

According to the United Nations, the expansion of attacks in the south since the end of the ceasefire lasting several days on Friday is leading to more and more deaths among the civilian population. “The number of civilians killed is increasing rapidly,” wrote the Commissioner General of the Palestinian relief agency UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, in a statement.

With the resumption of military operations and the expansion in southern Gaza, “the horrors of the past few weeks are being repeated,” lamented Lazzarini. At the request of the Israeli army, hundreds of thousands of civilians seeking protection from the already heavily contested north fled to the south of the coastal area.

WHO: A child or young person is killed every ten minutes

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a child or teenager is killed in Gaza every ten minutes. “The situation is deteriorating hour by hour,” reported a WHO official from Rafah, on the Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt. He spoke via video link to reporters in Geneva.

The spokesman for the UN children’s fund Unicef, James Elder, criticized Israel’s calls for people to leave city neighborhoods and go to safe zones. There are no safe zones in the Gaza Strip, Elder said via video link from Cairo. Such zones should have health facilities, water and food, but they are just small vacant lots or sometimes just sidewalks. “I think the authorities know this, and I find it heartless. It reinforces indifference toward children and women, and that indifference is deadly.”

Ministry: More than 16,200 dead so far

According to the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health, more than 16,200 people have now been killed in the Israeli attacks. On Monday, the authorities spoke of almost 15,900 deaths. The number of victims cannot currently be independently verified, but the United Nations and other observers point out that the authority’s figures have proven to be overall credible in the past.

According to the Norwegian Refugee Agency (NRC), the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip is one of the “worst attacks on a civilian population of our time.” NRC General Secretary Jan Egeland said on Tuesday: “Every day we see more dead children and new suffering for innocent people who have to endure this hell.”

UN: The plight of internally displaced people in Gaza exceeds capacity

In view of the fierce fighting and a new mass exodus, the UN Palestinian relief agency UNRWA no longer sees itself in a position to provide for all the people seeking protection. Israel is calling on people in Khan Yunis, the largest city in the south, “to move to Rafah for help – but we are unable to care for hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people,” UNRWA Gaza director Thomas wrote White, on platform X, formerly Twitter.

White wrote that his organization will distribute its final 300 tents on Tuesday. “Thousands are living outside without shelter.” There will be more deaths, he warned.

Report: Israel has pumps for flooding

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Israel may be preparing to flood the Islamist Hamas tunnels. A system of large pumps could flood the extensive network of tunnels under the Gaza Strip.

The newspaper reported, citing U.S. government officials, that it was not known whether the Israeli government planned to use the flooding tactic. Israeli army spokesman Richard Hecht said: “We are using all means at our disposal to take action against the tunnel system.” Israel’s chief of staff calls the idea a good idea.

Israel has intelligence information on hostages

When asked whether the military had intelligence on where the hostages might be, an army spokesman said: “Yes, we do.” He could not provide any further information.

Israel believes that 138 hostages are still being held. Around 240 people were kidnapped into the Gaza Strip in the Hamas terrorist attack. Recently, 105 hostages were released in exchange for 240 Palestinian prison inmates.

According to media reports, harsh verbal exchanges broke out at a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and relatives of Israeli Hamas hostages. As the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and the TV channel N12 reported, Netanyahu said at the meeting: “At the moment there is no way to bring everyone back. Can anyone imagine that we would reject it if that were an option?” This statement sparked outrage among relatives.

Rocket alert in Israel

Meanwhile, there was another rocket alarm on the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip, as well as in Tel Aviv and the center of the country. The Israeli news site ynet reported a total of 15 projectiles were fired from the coastal area towards the greater Tel Aviv area.

The war was triggered by the worst massacre in Israel’s history, carried out by terrorists from Hamas and other extremist groups on October 7th in Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip. As a result, more than 1,200 people were killed on the Israeli side, including at least 850 civilians.

Baerbock: Israel must comply with international humanitarian law

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called on Israel to comply with international law in view of the dramatic humanitarian situation. “Israel has the right to protect its population within the framework of international law. What is crucial, however, is how Israel proceeds in this new phase,” said the Green politician after a meeting with Slovenian Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon in Ljubljana.

“Israel has a responsibility to comply with international humanitarian law, to alleviate civilian suffering and to protect the civilian population,” added Baerbock. “Too many Palestinians have already fallen victim to this conflict.”

Emir of Qatar accuses Israel of genocide in Gaza

The Emir of Qatar accused Israel of genocide with its military actions in the Gaza Strip. The right to self-defense does not allow genocidal crimes like those committed by Israel, said Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani during his opening speech at the summit of heads of state and government of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Doha.

“It is a disgrace for the international community to allow these heinous crimes to continue for almost two months, with systematic and deliberate killings of innocent civilians, including women and children,” the emir said. Qatar recently mediated between Israel and Hamas. At the same time, Qatar also hosts leading Hamas members.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg and other members of the Swedish branch of the climate protection group Fridays for Future have also accused Israel of genocide in the Gaza Strip. The fact that the Islamist Hamas ruling in Gaza murdered Israeli civilians in “a terrible attack” cannot legitimize Israel’s “ongoing war crimes,” wrote Thunberg and five other signatories in an opinion piece published in the newspapers “Aftonbladet” (Sweden) and ” Guardian” (UK) was published.

Fighting again on Israel’s border with Lebanon

According to Lebanese sources, several people were injured and one person died in renewed shelling on the border between Lebanon and Israel. The Lebanese army said at least one soldier was killed in an Israeli attack on a military site in the border area.

He is the first Lebanese soldier to die in the current conflict. Security sources in Lebanon also said that one person was injured in an attack on a residential building. The Israeli military has not yet commented on the incident. The shelling followed a series of attacks by Lebanon’s Hezbollah on Israeli territory.