Israel's offensive against Hamas continues into day 44 as the death toll rises and international pressure mounts. The conflict began on October 7 after brutal cross-border raids left 1,200 people dead, the majority being civilians. Hamas claims that Israel's airstrikes and ground operations have killed 13,000, including thousands of children. In an effort to justify its actions, Israel is facing increasing scrutiny from the international community, as officials warn that the "window of legitimacy" for the war is closing.
Qatari mediators are making progress towards securing the release of some of the 240 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. Israeli troops have expanded their operations in additional neighborhoods, urging residents in Gaza's largest refugee camp, Jabalia, and a nearby coastal camp to evacuate. On Saturday, twin strikes on Jabalia killed over 80 people, including those seeking shelter in a UN school. The UN rights chief condemned the attack, describing it as "horrifying" and stating that recent events in Gaza are beyond belief.
Israel has presented evidence that Hamas gunmen used Gaza's largest hospital, Al-Shifa, to hide foreign hostages and conceal underground tunnels. The Israeli military released CCTV footage from October 7 showing two male hostages from Nepal and Thailand being brought into the hospital. The army spokesperson stated that they have not yet located these hostages. Israel also accused Hamas of executing a 19-year-old Israeli soldier at Al-Shifa and displayed images of a 55-meter-long tunnel beneath the hospital. Hamas and hospital administrators deny these allegations.
Al-Shifa, labeled a "death zone" by the World Health Organization, continues to face controversy. Over the weekend, hundreds of people fled the hospital on foot, seeking safety as explosions shook the complex. Sick, injured, and displaced individuals, along with doctors and nurses, were seen leaving the facility. As the conflict rages on, both sides maintain their positions while the world watches and calls for an end to the violence.