Airstrikes blast UN shelters, official says, as Israel announces complete encirclement of Gaza city
Israeli airstrikes have reportedly blasted two United Nations shelters in Gaza, as Israel moves to completely encircle the city following an announcement from the country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to Palestinian officials, the two strikes on Gaza City killed two people and injured dozens more. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) confirmed that the sites had sustained substantial damage and expressed “serious concern” over the incident.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu asserted that Israel would “surround all of Gaza with iron,” aiming to clamp down on the militant Hamas group which controls the area. He warned of a “prolonged” campaign of counterattacks.
Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett has confirmed that the goal of the new airstrikes is to completely destroy the militants’ capabilities in the region, although it is unclear exactly how this would be administered.
International critics have since raised alarm over the apparent lack of regard for civilian safety, with the UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock claiming that “any sort of immediate, humanitarian ceasefire is needed.”