On 7 October 2023, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict reached another turning point with an unprecedented assault led by the Al-Qassam Brigade, Hamas’s military wing. The attack involved ground, air, and sea operations, resulting in a significant number of casualties and hostages. Israel declared ‘war’ on Hamas and retaliated with indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force on the Palestinian civilian population. By 16 October 2023, the toll from this ongoing conflict had reached a devastating level, with at least 2,670 Palestinians killed, a quarter of them children. The number of Israelis killed in Hamas’s military operation stood at 1,400, which included 286 soldiers. In a bid to escape the relentless Israeli air raids, tens of thousands of Palestinians have sought refuge in UNRWA-run schools in Gaza. The conflict has had such a devastating impact that at least 50 families in the Gaza Strip have been completely wiped out from the civil registry, as reported by the Health Ministry.
This unprecedented conflict was initiated with the launch of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, which was announced alongside the first strike. This initial strike targeted enemy positions, airports, and military fortifications, exceeding 5,000 missiles and shells.