UN says at least 58,000 Palestinians have been internally displaced and made homeless in Gaza after a week of Israeli airstrikes

Palestinians inspect damaged building after airstrikes by Israeli army hit buildings in Gaza City, Gaza on May 17, 2021.
Palestinians inspect damaged building after airstrikes by Israeli army hit buildings in Gaza City, Gaza on May 17, 2021.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said 58,000 Palestinians have been internally displaced within Gaza due to a week of Israeli airstrikes aimed at the Gaza Strip.

OCHA has said many of those now-homeless Palestinians are seeking refuge in United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East schools, and called on Israel to open Gaza’s crossings to allow humanitarian aid and basic resources into the area.

Israel’s weeklong bombardment of Gaza has killed at least 212 Palestinians, including at least 63 children, according to Gaza’s health ministry. Twelve Israelis, including two children, have been killed by rockets launched by the militant group Hamas that controls Gaza.

Israel says it is targeting Hamas militant leaders in the Gaza Strip. However, human rights groups have said that the bombing campaign has destroyed homes and hospitals. On Monday, Amnesty International said the Israeli attacks on residential buildings “may amount to war crimes.”

Hamas, over recent weeks, has launched thousands of rockets into southern Israel, at least 90% of which have been intercepted by its Iron Dome defense system.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has signaled the Israeli Defense Forces will continue their current campaign in Gaza, despite urgent calls for a ceasefire.

One Israeli airstrike on Sunday destroyed a building that housed the offices of media organizations like the Associated Press and Al Jazeera. The Israeli military claimed there was a Hamas presence inside the building, and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken confirmed the US was given intel about the building but asked Israel for further information.

The Associated Press pushed back against the assertion, asking Israel to offer evidence and saying staff, “narrowly avoided a terrible loss of life.”

The US President Joe Biden spoke in Dearborn, Michigan, on Tuesday, the hometown of Democratic, Palestinian-American Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and offered prayers for her family in the West Bank.

Tlaib and top Democrats in the US have continued to pressure the Biden administration to forcefully call for a ceasefire, as he finds himself at odds with many in his own party who are pushing for him to take a more forceful approach to end the conflict.

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