As desperation in Gaza grows, Israel says it won’t allow aid to flow until Hamas releases hostages

by | Oct 12, 2023 | Religion

JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed American support to Israel on Thursday as its military pulverized the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with airstrikes and prepared for a possible ground invasion. As Palestinians tried to stock up on bread and groceries amid dwindling supplies, Israel said nothing would be allowed into Gaza until Hamas militants freed some 150 hostages taken during their deadly weekend incursion.International aid groups warned of a worsening humanitarian crisis after Israel halted deliveries of food, water, fuel and electricity to Gaza’s 2.3 million people and prevented entry of supplies from Egypt. The war has claimed at least 2,700 lives on both sides.
“Not a single electricity switch will be flipped on, not a single faucet will be turned on, and not a single fuel truck will enter until the Israeli hostages are returned home,” Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz said on social media.
Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, an Israeli military spokesman, told reporters Thursday that forces “are preparing for a ground maneuver” should political leaders order one. A ground offensive in Gaza, where the population is densely packed into a sliver of land only 40 kilometers (25 miles) long, would likely bring even higher casualties on both sides in brutal house-to-house fighting.
As Israel pounds Gaza from the air, Hamas militants have fired thousands of rockets into Israel. Amid concerns that the fighting could spread in the region, Syrian state media reported that Israeli airstrikes on Thursday hit international airports in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and in the northern city of Aleppo, putting them out of service.
Palestinians fleeing airstrikes in …

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