Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Carnage in Gaza: Israeli bombs rain down on trapped civilians, More than 200 Dead

HomeTop NewsCarnage in Gaza: Israeli bombs rain down on trapped civilians, More than...

Wave after wave of Israeli bombardment has brought mounting carnage in gaza and despair across the Gaza Strip over the last two days. As entire neighborhoods collapse into rubble, terrified civilians pack up what few belongings they can carry and flee for their lives. But inside the blockaded 140-square mile territory, there are few safe havens left.

At least 200 residents have perished since the latest eruption of violence on Friday, when a tenuous ceasefire agreement unexpectedly broke down after just one week. Gaza’s Health Ministry reports that over 70 percent of the rapidly mounting death toll are women, infants, and children who bore the brunt of intense Israeli air and artillery strikes.

In this carnage of gaza, thousands more suffered severe or permanent injuries from Israeli missiles and shells impacting their homes, roads, hospitals, and infrastructure across the coastal enclave. Triage units at Gaza’s overwhelmed central Shifa Hospital complex are overflowing with battered civilians suffering traumatic wounds from collapsing buildings and high-velocity shrapnel.

Many will require long and painful courses of reconstructive surgeries, doctors say. But medical supplies like anesthetics, antibiotics, IV fluids, and blood bags are running dangerously low due to Israel’s crippling 13-year air, land and sea blockade on Gaza.

Crowded Gaza City Districts Face Obliteration Amid Mounting Carnage in Gaza

By Saturday evening, triage units at Gaza’s main Shifa Hospital complex were overflowing with casualties as the death toll surged from Israeli strikes targeting major population centers.

Dozens of dead and injured civilians continued to flood into chaotic emergency rooms from a devastating missile barrage that suddenly flattened an entire residential block in Gaza City’s crowded Shijaiyah district around 8:30pm local time. Without any warning sirens, Israelis bombs and shells slammed into six densely packed multi-story apartment buildings full of Palestinian families who hunkered down for the night.

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Frantic rescue crews worked under flickering flashlights scouring meter after meter of smashed concrete, twisted metal and shattered glass late into the night in hopes of finding any possible survivors buried under three full collapsed towers. Initial reports from emergency medical teams counted at least 63 dead civilians – including 19 children – after multiple residential buildings brimming with families were obliterated in an instant.

“The site was utter pandemonium. We pulled one lifeless woman from the rubble, and by our flashlights her crushed hands still clutched a set of prayer beads. Another elderly resident died gasping in my arms a few minutes later before the ambulance could even arrive. Then we heard a small crying child somehow survived pinned under concrete next to her own dead parents and siblings. We urgently dug to extract her tiny broken body,” said one shellshocked neighborhood paramedic covered in white plaster dust and his patients’ blood.

The severely traumatized eight year old girl was gingerly rushed to Shifa Hospital’s overwhelmed pediatric ICU along with more than 100 other survivors found buried with traumatic physical wounds across the totalled apartment sites. After emergency surgery to stop internal bleeding, she remains in critical but stable condition – though the profound psychological trauma of being orphaned in a split-second bombing may prove far more lasting.

Health System Buckles Under Spiraling Carnage in Gaza

By nightfall Saturday, Gaza’s Health Ministry officially tallied over 15,000 Palestinian fatalities and at least 40,000 injured since the eruption of major hostilities on October 7 between Israel and Palestinian militant factions like Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and secular leftist groups.

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Seventy percent of the rapidly climbing death toll are women, infants and children largely unable to flee to safety from Israel’s devastating modern weaponry, officials say.

Meanwhile, essential medicines, anesthetics, antibiotics and 90 percent of Gaza’s safe drinking water supplies have been exhausted. Hospital morgues and makeshift communal graves spill over with decaying bodies as exhausted burial crews struggle to inter families faster than Israeli strikes kill their loved ones.

No Quick End Seen As Carnage in Gaza Rages Despite Failed Ceasefire Efforts

With its hands still bloodied from Saturday’s horrifying attacks on residential areas, the Israeli government abruptly withdrew its entire negotiation team from indirect talks in Cairo mediated by Egypt. The move seemed to definitively scuttle already slim hopes for a early resumption of ceasefires or humanitarian pauses after the last one disintegrated after only one week.

Israel insists no halts in its punishing military campaign will be considered before Gaza’s main militant factions surrender entirely and turn over significant stores of newly constructed rockets and guided anti-tank missiles captured during recent border skirmishes.

But Palestinian militant groups show little willingness to wave the white flag after decades of violent Israeli repression in occupied lands and inside the blockaded coastal strip have already left residents politically despairing and with “little left to lose,” as one tea-sipping Khan Younis grandmother put it while awaiting her turn at an overcrowded UN food line.

US Ceasefire Efforts Flounder Amid Israeli Intransigence and Heightening Carnage in Gaza

Hopes for a return to ceasefires and negotiations remain faint after the latest frantic mediation efforts by Egypt, Qatar and US diplomats collapsed.

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Visiting Egypt over the weekend, America’s vice president reiterated firm opposition to forced mass displacement of Palestinians or redrawing of Gaza’s boundaries. But behind the scenes Washington’s leverage appears minimal as Israeli leaders tune out external criticism and domestic politics shift ever rightward.

Israel’s newly empowered far-right coalition government is already accelerating expropriation of West Bank lands long slated for total annexation. Meanwhile settler provocations and violent rampages in neighboring Palestinian towns continue escalating after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered unbridled support to their internationally banned enterprise.

“Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed. Frankly, the scale of civilian suffering and the images and videos coming from Gaza are devastating,” Vice President Kamala Harris told reporters during this weekend’s climate conference.

No Breakthrough Seen in Endless Cycles of Gaza Bloodshed

But pleas from even its closest allies cannot shake Israel’s steely determination to continue the war at all costs after three months of bloody stalemate.

Ordinary Palestinians also show no signs of backing down after decades of loss have left many dreaming of martyrdom and final violent deliverance from occupation, blockade and statelessness.

These unaddressed core grievances remain the fundamental drivers of recurrent Gaza conflagrations and Palestinian uprisings in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Until a seismic shift in the political landscape enables new solutions, the world should only expect more horrific scenes of bombardment, mourning and loss of innocent life as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains trapped in an endless cycle of traumatic violence and retaliation.

Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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