AA News

Planes carrying Turkish humanitarian aid for Gaza land in Egypt

Planes carrying Turkish humanitarian aid for residents of the Gaza Strip landed Friday in Egypt, neighboring the enclave under intense Israeli blockade and bombardment.

The aid came hours after the Israeli army ordered all residents of northern Gaza to evacuate their homes and head to the south within 24 hours.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the number of Palestinians displaced in Gaza had risen to more than 423,000.

In a dramatic escalation of Middle East tensions, Israeli forces launched a sustained and forceful military campaign against the Gaza Strip, a response to a military offensive by the Palestinian group Hamas in Israeli territories.

The conflict began last Saturday when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel, a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea, and air.

Hamas said the operation was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.

The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.