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Gaza Conflict Unveils Humanitarian Crisis and Political Strife

The conflict, initiated by an unprecedented surprise attack from Palestinian group Hamas on October 7, has brought the Middle East to a standstill. The four-day truce between Israel and Hamas, which began on Friday, marks a temporary cessation.

Human Toll: A Grim Reality

The toll on human lives has been devastating, with nearly 15,000 Palestinians, including over 5,000 children, losing their lives, and more than 35,000 sustaining injuries. Additionally, 1.5 million Gazans have been displaced amid the conflict’s chaos.

Unraveling the Timeline: Key Moments in the 48-Day Strife

Over the past 48 days, the world has witnessed tragic moments that have reshaped the region for the worse. Let’s delve into the significant events that unfolded during this tumultuous period.

1. Israel Caught ‘Off-Guard’

Hamas’s surprise attack on Israel on October 7 saw hundreds of fighters penetrating Israeli territory. The ensuing conflict resulted in over 1,200 Israelis killed and 240 taken hostage and smuggled into Gaza by Hamas.

2. Israel’s Offensive: A Complete Siege

On October 9, Israel initiated its Gaza offensive with airstrikes across the strip, imposing a complete siege that severed essential supplies. Gazans were given a 24-hour deadline to evacuate the northern part of the strip.

3. ‘Outrage’ at Al Ahli Hospital Strike

An Israeli airstrike on Gaza’s Al Ahli hospital compound resulted in 471 Palestinian casualties. Israel denied responsibility, attributing it to a “misfire” rocket by Islamic Jihad, a claim refuted by the group.

4. Hostages Freed Amidst War

In a glimmer of hope on October 20, Hamas released American hostages Judith Raanan and her daughter Natalie. Three days later, elderly Israeli hostages Yocheved Lifschitz and Nurit Kuper, aged 85 and 79, respectively, were also released.

5. Tanks Pave the Way

On October 26, Israeli tanks raided Gaza to clear the path for the army’s infantry. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu anticipated a “long” offensive in Gaza.

6. Rafah Border Crossing Opens

As the humanitarian crisis worsened, Egypt opened the Rafah border on November 1, facilitating the exit of wounded Palestinians, foreigners, and dual nationals from Gaza.

7. Gaza ‘Encircled’

On November 2, the Israeli military announced the “surrounding” of Gaza City, leading to the expulsion of hundreds of Palestinians stranded in Israel since October 7.

8. Grim Milestone: Death Toll Exceeds 10,000

The relentless Israeli offensive pushed the Palestinian death toll beyond 10,000 on November 6. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres labeled Gaza a “cemetery for children” and demanded an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire.”

9. Al Shifa Hospital Raid Sparks Outrage

Israeli troops raided Al Shifa hospital on November 15, leading to global condemnation from human rights organizations.

10. Hostage Swap amid Ceasefire Efforts

Amidst global efforts for a ceasefire, Israel and Hamas agreed on a four-day truce on October 22, including a hostage swap. The ceasefire, effective on November 24, saw the release of 39 Palestinian women and children from Israeli prisons, along with the release of 13 Israeli hostages and 12 Thai nationals by Hamas.

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