Palestinian health authorities say 10,000 residents of Gaza have so far died in Israel’s bombing campaign there, and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Monday that it was a “graveyard for children.”
Both Israel and the Hamas militants who control Gaza have rebuffed mounting international pressure for a ceasefire. Israel says hostages taken by Hamas during its rampage in southern Israel on Oct. 7 should be released first; Hamas says it will not free them or stop fighting while Gaza is under assault.
“Ground operations by the Israel Defense Forces and continued bombardment are hitting civilians, hospitals, refugee camps, mosques, churches and U.N. facilities – including shelters. No one is safe,” Guterres told reporters.
“At the same time, Hamas and other militants use civilians as human shields and continue to launch rockets indiscriminately towards Israel,” he said, calling for an immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.
Israel’s assault on Gaza began after Hamas killed 1,400 people, and seized 240 hostages, in a morning raid last month—hostages who remain in Gaza. The war is popular in Israel, but not the implications of mass slaughter: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approval rating has sunk to 27%, Israeli police are cracking down on dissent and the government has promised not to provide U.S.-supplied weapons to extremist militias.