In the midst of the conflict in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has acknowledged the challenges faced by the Israeli military in safeguarding civilians. Despite their efforts to minimize casualties, Netanyahu conceded that these attempts have been unsuccessful. He expressed deep sorrow at any civilian deaths, affirming that Israel is making every possible effort to evacuate civilians from imminent danger. However, he pointed out that Hamas remains the active force endangering innocent lives. The Prime Minister highlighted Israel's initiatives to ensure civilian safety, including the distribution of leaflets and phone calls urging evacuation. Yet, the whereabouts of those seeking refuge still pose a significant question as Israel continues its campaign across the territory. Emphasizing the objective to destroy Hamas, Netanyahu made it clear that Israel aims to achieve its goal with minimal civilian casualties.
In recent developments, the Israeli military has uncovered a tunnel used by Hamas near Gaza's al-Shifa Hospital. However, Hamas has refuted these claims and denied using the hospital for any military purposes. Human Rights Watch underlined the significance of hospitals being protected under international humanitarian law, unless harmful acts have been conducted from the premises. Despite this, the United States has not disclosed any information regarding its intelligence assessment concerning Hamas activities at al-Shifa Hospital.
With mounting concerns over civilian casualties, the European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, called upon Israel to intensify its efforts in protecting civilians in Gaza. The gravity of the situation is poignantly captured by Gaza health authorities who estimate the number of confirmed deaths from the Israeli bombardment and ground invasion to exceed 11,500, including over 4,700 children.
In the midst of this volatile situation, Prime Minister Netanyahu's acknowledgment of the challenges faced by the Israeli military in minimizing civilian casualties highlights the complexity of the conflict. The discovery of a tunnel near al-Shifa Hospital has added further scrutiny to the actions of Hamas, while calls for increased protection of civilians from international entities captures the gravity of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.The ongoing war presently forces around 1.5 million residents to leave their homes in the Gaza Strip, constituting approximately two-thirds of the total population of 2.3 million people.