Israel-Gaza Conflict Escalates Despite ICJ Order: A Surge in Attacks and Casualties

Death Rains from the Skies in Gaza

Palestinians search for survivors at the site of an Israeli strike on the Daraj neighbourhood in Gaza City on Friday [Omar Al-Qattaa/AFP]

The buzz of Israeli quadcopter drones has become a grim harbinger in Wadi Gaza, where six Palestinians were killed while trying to access aid or return home. Al Jazeera’s Hani Mahmoud reports from the tragic scene where lives are being cut short with shocking regularity.

As the world watches in horror, the G7 finance leaders are urging Israel to maintain banking ties with Palestine and release withheld funds to the Palestinian Authority. Their draft statement also calls for easing the suffocating measures that strangle commerce in the West Bank. But will such pleas be heeded?

The wail of air raid sirens has pierced the skies of northern Israel near the Lebanese border. Settlements like Misgav Am and Kiryat Shmona hold their breath, wondering if the next attack will breach their fragile sanctuary.

EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has insisted Israel must implement the International Court of Justice’s ruling. The ICJ has demanded Israel halt its brutal offensive in Rafah, open borders for desperately needed aid, and allow international investigators into the besieged enclave. But can such edicts rein in the relentless onslaught?

Across the border in Syria, Israeli drone strikes have reportedly claimed two more lives – members of Hezbollah. With 41 strikes on Syrian territory this year alone, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the cycle of violence only escalates.

Even the sea has become a battleground. Strong waves dislodged part of a US-built Gaza pier, briefly sending crucial aid deliveries adrift before it was recovered. Since May 17, the pier has allowed 97 truckloads of aid to reach the beleaguered Strip, though humanitarian groups warn land crossings are critical.

In the embattled territory itself, the Israeli army has killed dozens in Jabalia’s northern Gaza neighborhood. Another airstrike in Beit Hanoon has snuffed out 10 more lives, including women and children caught in the indiscriminate crossfire.

Elsewhere, separate attacks in as-Saftawi have left 10 dead and 17 injured – their only crime, seeking shelter in a school amid the carnage engulfing their homes.

“Israel’s actions in Gaza have crossed all limits,” declares Maha Hussaini of Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, echoing global outrage as the International Court of Justice’s decision recognizes the Palestinians’ plight.

In Rafah, the Israeli military has intensified its assault, raining destruction and injury while pushing the Kuwaiti Hospital to the brink of collapse due to dwindling supplies.

On the ground in the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have arrested 15 more Palestinians. And Hezbollah claims to have struck an Israeli tank near al-Marj, fueling fears of escalating retaliation.

As the cycle of violence spirals, will cooler heads prevail? Or will the people of Gaza and the region remain trapped in this unending crucible of death and despair?

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