Gaza Conditions Deteriorating Rapidly: Fresh Wave of Protests Expected in Middle East
Gaza Conditions – As the crisis in Gaza worsens by the hour, new protests against Israel’s siege of the region are anticipated across various parts of the Middle East. Aid agencies have issued warnings that Gaza’s hospitals are running out of fuel, raising concerns that life-saving aid might remain stuck in Egypt for yet another day.
With the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, Israeli leaders have been mobilizing troops in preparation for a potential ground incursion. On Friday morning, they issued a mandatory evacuation order for approximately 23,000 residents residing near the Lebanon border.
In a speech from the Oval Office on Thursday, US President Joe Biden reaffirmed his government’s support for Israel’s conflict with Hamas, viewing it as crucial for America’s national security. However, he also advised the Israeli government not to be consumed by anger and emphasized the importance of acknowledging the humanity of innocent Palestinians.
Biden’s stance highlights the growing divide between Western allies and Arab nations, where fresh protests in support of the 2.2 million Palestinians trapped in Gaza are expected on Friday.
This further heightens the apprehension of a wider regional conflict.
Approximately 200 trucks carrying critical aid are currently queued outside the closed border, pending an agreement to allow their passage. Negotiations continued through Thursday, with workers repairing bomb-damaged roads to facilitate the initial delivery of up to 20 trucks.
A video released by the Sinai Foundation for Human Rights depicts repairs and road paving at the Rafah crossing, suggesting that it may soon be opened.
However, the potential passage of only 20 trucks falls drastically short of the usual amount. United Nations relief chief Martin Griffiths, in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, stressed that the aid program entering Gaza needs to be increased to the previous daily average of 100 trucks.
He emphasized the importance of consistently and reliably supplying aid on a large scale.
Gaza Conditions – While Biden and Egyptian officials indicated that aid would flow as planned on Friday, multiple sources have informed CNN that it may face potential delays.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in northern Sinai on Friday, describing the moment as a profound crisis unlike anything the region has witnessed in decades.
Guterres traveled to the Middle East as part of the UN’s effort to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid across the Egyptian border into Gaza.
Diseases are spreading, supplies are dwindling, and people are dying,” Guterres stated in a Thursday press release.
Life within Gaza is becoming increasingly challenging for hundreds of thousands of residents. The two-week siege of the enclave by Israel has exacerbated the situation.
A group of UN independent experts has accused Israel of committing “crimes against humanity” in its ongoing campaign, alleging violations of international humanitarian and criminal law.
On Thursday, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) reported that Gaza’s main medical facility, the Al-Shifa Hospital, only has enough fuel to last for 24 hours. MSF’s medical coordinator for Palestine, Guillemette Thomas, emphasized that without electricity, many patients will perish.
Al-Shifa hospital has become a refuge for thousands of Palestinians seeking safety from relentless bombings.
In addition to the dire medical situation, supermarkets are running out of food, and residents face arduous hours-long queues for basic necessities as airstrikes continually echo overhead.
Following the Israeli military’s instructions to approximately 1 million residents to evacuate northern Gaza, the population in southern Gaza has surged. Furthermore, Israel’s sustained assault has resulted in significant damage, including the destruction of Gaza’s oldest church.
Against this backdrop, protests have erupted across the Middle East in response to Israeli warplanes’ relentless bombardment, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless.
In Egypt, state-aligned political parties and institutions have called for nationwide protests, a remarkable departure from a decade of strict anti-protest laws.
Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, expressed concern over the potential regional spillover from the Israel-Hamas conflict. She noted the rage that has enveloped Arab streets across the region and the risk of derailing the recent historic rapprochement between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
The Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital blast in Gaza, where hundreds of Palestinians were killed, further fueled anti-Israel protests. Palestinian officials accused Israel of striking the hospital, but Israel denies the claim, asserting instead that the blast was caused by misfired rockets from another Gaza-based militant group. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq have condemned Israel and accused its military of bombing the hospital.
With mounting anti-Israel protests in the Middle East, there are concerns that other fronts, particularly Israel’s northern border with Lebanon dominated by Hezbollah, might become active amid an increasing number of clashes with Israel’s military in recent weeks.
The situation in Gaza continues to worsen each passing hour, demanding immediate attention and action from the international community to mitigate the escalating humanitarian crisis faced by the people of Gaza.