Israel Vows to Escalate Gaza Offensive: 341 Killed

UN Aims to Increase Aid for Growing Refugee Crisis

Israeli ground troops continue to push deeper into the Gaza Strip today, backed by tanks and artillery fire, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to “significantly widen” the offensive in the days to come.

The ground invasion began Thursday afternoon, after the brief “humanitarian ceasefire” ended, and the death toll is once again spiking, with at least 341 now confirmed killed on the Palestinian side, with the wounded toll approaching 2,400. One Israeli civilian was killed in a mortar strike earlier this week, and an Israeli soldier was reported slain today during the invasion.

Exactly how much the invasion will expand remains to be seen, through the Israeli military called up another 18,000 reservists last night in anticipation of it, and all Israeli officials seem to be talking up broad new attacks.

In addition to the direct casualties of the Israeli attacks, the UN is warning of a growing refugee crisis, noting over 40,000 internally displaced Palestinians have applied for UN sanctuary now. The World Food Program is looking to send more food aid into the strip, though their ability to do that remains unclear, particularly with Israeli politicians openly calling for all food to be cut off from the enclave as part of the current war.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.