An Israeli airstrike on a Palestinian convoy fleeing northern Gaza has left 70 people dead, including women and children as young as two to five years old. The strike hit a convoy of vehicles that were reportedly using a route approved by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). The tragic incident occurred after the IDF had allowed 1.1 million civilians just 24 hours to escape to the south of the territory, with the deadline ending at 3 am BST. Subsequently, Gazans were given a window between 10 am and 4 pm local time (8 am – 2 pm BST) to flee safely via two main roads.
Desperate Escape and Humanitarian Crisis
Families crammed into cars and donkey carts, desperately trying to beat Israel’s exodus deadline. While some vowed to “die with dignity,” others sought refuge in Gaza hospitals as the wounded continued to pour in. The United Nations had requested that the move be revoked, warning of an impending humanitarian crisis. Israeli military drones dropped flyers throughout the day, urging all Palestinians—even those critically ill in hospitals—to evacuate the northern half of the strip or risk being caught in a military escalation.
Elimination of Hamas Commanders
In a deadly double strike, Israel targeted key Hamas figures. Ali Qadi, who had previously been arrested by Israel in 2005 for kidnapping and murdering civilians, was killed. He had been released into the Gaza Strip as part of the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange. Qadi led the ‘Nukhba’ commando force responsible for gunning down Israeli civilians during last week’s massacre. Additionally, Murad Abu Murad, leader of Hamas’ air forces, was also killed. He played a crucial role in overseeing attacks that saw terrorists descend on civilian targets in Israel using hang gliders.
CNN Video Controversy
CNN faced criticism over a viral video showing correspondent Clarissa Ward taking cover in a ditch on the Israel-Gaza border as rockets fired overhead. The network labeled the video “fabricated” and “inaccurate,” raising questions about its authenticity.