Conditions remain dire as war surges on in Gaza

AP News
Posted: Jul 22, 2014 3:55 PM
Conditions remain dire as war surges on in Gaza

The war between Israel and Hamas is intensifying as an Israeli ground operation surges across the Gaza Strip. In the deadliest incident in Gaza thus far, 25 members of one family were killed, including 18 children, by an airstrike on their home. On the Israeli side, the death of 13 soldiers in one day marked the largest number of soldiers killed in combat since the 2006 Lebanon War.

Here's a look at where things stand in the Gaza Strip:


Gaza health officials say at least 633 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of Israel's campaign on July 8, although the exact number of militants and civilians killed is not clear. The Israeli military says it has killed up to 180 militants. The United Nations says over three-fourth of the dead are civilians. More than half of the total deaths occurred since Israel launched its ground offensive late Thursday. Twenty-nine Israelis have been killed so far, including 27 soldiers and two civilians who died from the constant Hamas rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli territory.


More than 2,100 rockets have been fired at Israel, 420 of which were intercepted and some 1,700 which hit Israel, according to the Israel Defense Force. Israel has targeted some 3,000 sites in Gaza, some of them locations which it has identified as military posts, concealed rocket launchers and military command centers.


More than 118,000 Palestinians have fled their homes and are staying in 77 United Nations shelters, according to UNRWA, the U.N. refugee agency for Palestinians. The number of people who have been forced to seek shelter has increased nearly six-fold since the start of Israel's ground operation. Between 469 and 499 homes in Gaza have been targeted and destroyed, according to various Palestinian human rights organizations.


Children make up more than a quarter of the dead in Gaza, according to UNICEF, the U.N. children's agency. Upwards of 100,000 children in Gaza will be in need of psycho-social support as a result of the current round of violence, and that number is likely to increase as the conflict continues, according to OCHA, the U.N. agency for humanitarian affairs. Israeli children stressed by rocket fire also have been traumatized.


As thousands of wounded and hundreds of dead continue arriving at hospitals across Gaza, doctors have warned of shortages of basic medical supplies to fuel for emergency generators.


Two-thirds of Gaza's population remains without access to adequate water supply and electricity, according to OCHA, the U.N. agency for humanitarian affairs. Nearly the same percentage receive electricity for about four hours a day, down from 12 hours before the conflict.


Israel's military say it has permitted at least 778 trucks carrying humanitarian aid, such as baby food, water and fruits and vegetables, to enter into Gaza, and at least 34 trucks with medicine and other medical supplies. But the military says that deliveries have decreased significantly since the start of the conflict because of the threat of rocket fire and militant activity near the border. On Sunday, the Israeli military established a field hospital for Palestinians from Gaza at one border crossing.