Israel continued to warn hospitals in northern Gaza to evacuate, the World Health Organization said overnight. But the W.H.O. said it was impossible to move without risking patients’ lives, and health officials say there is nowhere for them to go, with some hospitals shut down and the remaining ones already overcrowded and dangerously short of essential supplies.
The chief spokesman for Israel’s military, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, declined to say how many Israeli troops were inside Gaza, or where, but confirmed that a combined force of infantry and armored units, operating with air support, was engaging in “expanded ground operations,” but was moving gradually. He said Hamas gunmen typically gather at “staging sites” before trying to attack Israeli soldiers, “after which we strike them from the air.”
Overnight, he added, “dozens of terrorists were eliminated” after they barricaded themselves inside buildings and attempted to attack the soldiers who were moving in their direction. It was not possible to verify Israel’s account of the fighting.
Hamas’s armed wing released a video showing three women who were kidnapped on Oct. 7; one of them sharply criticizes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying the hostages are being held in “unbearable conditions” and demanding that Mr. Netanyahu exchange them for Hamas prisoners held by Israel. Families of hostages have made similar appeals.
Mr. Netanyahu’s office called the video “cruel psychological propaganda,” and in his news conference, the prime minister said the invasion of Gaza “actually creates the possibility of getting our hostages out.”
The Israeli military said it had rescued a woman, a soldier, taken hostage in the Hamas incursion and held in Gaza.
Conditions are dire for civilians in Gaza, under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade. Forty-seven trucks carrying food, water, medical supplies and other humanitarian aid entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt on Sunday, according to a Palestinian official at the crossing. That was the largest one-day total in the nine days since the shipments began, but less than half of what the United Nations says is needed.