Israel has announced a total blockade on the Gaza Strip, banning the entry of food and fuel, as it intensified its air attacks on the besieged territory. The move came after Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians, including an elderly woman, in a raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli defense minister, Benny Gantz, said on Sunday that the blockade was aimed at destroying “the military and governing capabilities” of Hamas, the Palestinian group that controls Gaza. He said Israel would not stop its military campaign until it achieved “complete quiet” on its border.
Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes carried out multiple airstrikes on Gaza, targeting residential buildings, roads, and infrastructure. The health ministry in Gaza said that at least 35 people were killed and 120 wounded in an air raid on the Jabalia refugee camp, one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Among the victims were children, women, and elderly people, the ministry said.
The Israeli military said it was targeting Hamas and rocket launchers in response to more than 1,000 rockets fired from Gaza since the fighting began last week. It claimed that it was taking “all possible measures” to avoid civilian casualties and blamed Hamas for using civilians as human shields.
The escalation of violence has raised fears of a full-scale war between Israel and Hamas, the worst since 2014. The conflict has also sparked protests and clashes across the occupied Palestinian territories and inside Israel, where Palestinian citizens have faced attacks from far-right Jewish mobs.