Israel and Hamas at War
Israel has increased air strikes in the Gaza Strip – retaliation for the horrific attacks by Hamas on Israelis over the weekend.
Nearly 16-hundred people have been killed on both sides while Hamas holds more than 150 people – military and civilian – hostage.
Rallies have been held across the country in support of Israel – but, several anti-Israel demonstrations also popped up, including in downtown Toronto, with provincial, federal, and local officials collectively denouncing them as celebrating terrorism.
Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow called the rally deplorable, saying it glorifies the violence committed by Hamas, including against women and children.
Chow later addressed a pro-Israeli crowd at Mel Last Square, along with Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. Each offered their ‘’unequivocal’’ support for Israel and its right to defend itself.
Many humanitarian organizations are already on the ground, doing what they can to assist with the injured and displaced.
Doctors Without Borders says the situation is horrific, with massive Israeli and Palestinian casualties, potentially larger that current ”official” figures.
Matthias Kannes, the group’s head of mission in Gaza says their Palestinian colleagues are working day and night to cope with the influx of wounded.
His group is donating medical supplies to hospitals and health facilities in Gaza to respond to medical needs.
“Hospitals are overcrowded with injured people, there is a shortage of drugs and [medical supplies], and a shortage of fuel for generators,” said Ayman Al-Djaroucha, MSF deputy coordinator in Gaza.
The organization says a challenge facing medical staff in Gaza right now is the lack of safe ways to transfer patients to health facilities. “Ambulances can’t be used right now because they’re being hit by airstrikes,” said Darwin Diaz, the group’s medical coordinator in Gaza.
The Egyptian Red Crescent has managed to send in more than 2 tons of medical supplies and efforts are underway to organize food and other deliveries, according to an Egyptian military official.