United Sates President, Joe Biden is set to make a high-stakes visit to Israel on Wednesday as it prepares to escalate an offensive against Hamas fighters that has set off a humanitarian crisis in Gaza and raised fears of a broader conflict with Iran.
Biden’s visit will mark a significant show of US support for its top Middle East ally after Hamas fighters attacked southern Israel on October 7. Death toll on the Israeli side has reached one thousand, four hundred people on Tuesday.
Israel has responded by tightening its blockade on Hamas-ruled Gaza, including by restricting the entry of fuel, and bombarding the area with air raids that have killed more than two thousand, eight hundred Palestinians and displaced hundreds of thousands more.
Al Jazeera’s Safwat Kahlout, reporting from Gaza, said at least 71 people were killed overnight on Tuesday in Israeli bombardments.
“The heaviest bombardments occurred in three areas in the south of Gaza: Khan Younis, Rafah and Deir el-Balah. Many of those killed are families who evacuated from Gaza City and the northern part of the Strip as ordered by Israel,” he said.
“Ambulances are transporting the injured to already overcrowded hospitals, and we are told that many people are still trapped in the rubble of the targeted buildings, awaiting rescue,” he added.