Ambulances in Gaza ‘chasing explosions looking for casualties’ after blackout

Palestinian health authorities have described current situation as ‘genocide’.

Ambulances in Gaza ‘chasing explosions looking for casualties’ after blackout
Palestinian health authorities have described current situation as ‘genocide’ (Picture: Getty Images)

Palestinian authorities say the ongoing comms blackout in Gaza has left emergency responders chasing the sounds of missile strikes to locate people in need of help. 

Israel’s decision to sever most communication networks in the Gaza Strip has meant residents are without means of contacting medical personnel amid the Israel Defence Force’s (IDF) continued bombardment of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Nepal Farsakh, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent, said ambulance teams are now simply listening out for artillery barrages and airstrikes to locate possible sites at which people may be in need of medical attention.

Several news organisations, including the Washington Post and Al-Jazeera, also say they are currently unable to make contact with their reporters on the ground, while Reuters and the Associated Press have been told Israeli authorities cannot guarantee the safety of the agencies’ staff in the area.

Almost 30 press workers have been killed since the fighting started earlier this month.

The new war between Israel and Palestinian militant groups including Hamas and Islamic Jihad has now raged on for 21 days. 

More than 1,400 people in Israel and some 7,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians and among them reportedly over 3,000 children, have died amid the fighting. 

Hamas is also thought to be holding as many as 200 hostages, with a further 50 held by other groups. 

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Last night, Israel advised civilians in the northern part of Gaza to make their way to the south of the territory, as the IDF announced a widening of its operations against militants in the Hamas-run enclave. 

Wael al-Dahdouh
The wife and two children of Al Jazeera reporter in the Gaza Strip, Wael al-Dahdouh (centre), were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Wednesday (Picture: Getty Images)

Many believe this most recent development may well signal the imminent launch of Israel’s long-promised ground incursion.

Israeli forces had previously only conducted smaller-scale raids into Gaza amid the bombardment, specifically targeted against suspected Hamas positions.

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said in statement last night: ‘We attacked above the ground and underground, we attacked terror operatives of all ranks, everywhere. 

‘The operation will continue until a new order.’

It comes as international governmental agencies and aid organisations continue to decry what has been widely condemned as a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

Recently released satellite images have also revealed the destruction felt across the territory following hundreds of airstrikes over the past few weeks.

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