An Israeli airstrike on a Palestinian convoy fleeing northern Gaza has resulted in a devastating loss of life. According to the Hamas-run Palestinian health ministry, as many as 70 people were killed in the attack. Among the victims were women and children, some as young as two to five years old. The strike hit a convoy of vehicles that had been attempting to escape from the conflict zone.
The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) had previously allowed 1.1 million civilians just 24 hours to evacuate to the south of the territory. This deadline ended at 3 am BST, leaving many families scrambling to flee for their lives. The IDF later extended a window for safe evacuation, permitting Gazans to use two main roads between 10 am and 4 pm local time.
Despite the evacuation efforts, some Palestinians have chosen to remain in the northern half of Gaza, vowing to “die with dignity.” The situation remains dire, with wounded individuals continuing to pour into Gaza hospitals. Israeli military drones have dropped flyers urging evacuation, even targeting critically ill patients in hospitals. Tanks and elite commandos are also conducting localized raids into Gaza, aiming to neutralize Hamas terrorists and weaponry.
In a separate development, Israel has targeted key Hamas figures responsible for recent attacks. Ali Qadi, who led last week’s massacre of Israeli civilians, was killed in an airstrike. Qadi had been previously arrested by Israel in 2005 but was released as part of a prisoner exchange in 2011. Additionally, Murad Abu Murad, the leader of Hamas’ air forces, was also killed by Israeli forces. These strikes demonstrate Israel’s determination to dismantle Hamas’ capabilities and protect its citizens from further attacks.