Children scavenged cardboard to make fires, adults lined up to buy bread and water, while bombs and bullets continuously rained down on the Gaza Strip.
On October 31, Gazans continued to experience a sleepless night due to Israeli air strikes. Israel has continuously bombed the Gaza Strip since October 7, in retaliation for the surprise attack by Hamas. The area was devastated on a large scale.
People carrying cans wait for water in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, on October 31.
According to the Hamas media agency, more than 18,000 tons of explosives have fallen in the territory since October 7. In the past three weeks, “every kilometer of streets in Gaza has been exposed to 50 tons of explosives”. More than 8,500 Palestinians were killed, including more than 3,500 children; 1,870 people are missing under the rubble, including 1,020 children.
Israeli leaders pledged to “crush” Hamas in retaliation for Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, which left more than 1,400 Israelis dead, most of them civilians, and 240 people taken hostage.
Israeli bombs have flattened many settlements and targeted some densely populated refugee camps. In the Shati refugee camp west of Gaza City, Ahmad Ghaben stood in front of a bomb site where houses had once stood.
“The whole area has been flattened,” he said. “Children, old people, all died. The whole family of Abu Mohammed al-Jabari, Abu Mohammed Abdelsamad, died. Hasouneh’s family has sick, elderly people. Three rockets fell on us. Does Israel think we are soldiers?”? We are just civilians.”
Israel affirmed that its raids on refugee camps targeted Hamas targets. The country accused Hamas of placing weapons depots and bases in civilian areas, using civilians as “human shields” to make “the international community blame Israel.”
In supermarkets, shelves are empty after Israel imposed a comprehensive siege on the Gaza Strip, limiting the supply of water, food, fuel, electricity and Internet connections. Aid groups and the United Nations warn that time is running out for the 2.3 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip who are living in poverty.
Bolivia cut diplomatic relations with Israel to condemn the Gaza offensive. Qatar warned that the expanded attack would “undermine mediation and de-escalation efforts”. Saudi Arabia also criticized Israel’s attacks.
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected international calls for a humanitarian ceasefire. He said that a ceasefire “is like Israel surrendering to Hamas, surrendering to terrorism, surrendering to barbarism.”
“A ceasefire will definitely never happen,” he said.
A baby holds just-baked bread in his hand in an alley in Rafah on October 31.
Israeli officials said 70 trucks carrying aid were allowed to pass through the border gate in Egypt to enter Gaza on October 31. This is one of the largest aid rounds since the US acted as a mediator, but it is still not enough.
Israel is afraid that food, water and medicine destined for Gaza could fall into the hands of Hamas or that aid shipments could hide weapons and military equipment. Israeli staff tightened inspection of aid trucks, causing supplies to “drip” into the Gaza Strip.
On the streets of Gaza City, people searched for clean water and lined up at bakeries. Others looked for gas cylinders to boil water, and some set up items to sell on the roadside.
People gather around a mobile phone and battery charging station in Rafah on October 31. Power comes from an oil-powered generator.
Children in Rafah collect cardboard to bring home to light a fire on October 31.
A boy cooks instant noodles on a stove made from recycled barrels in Rafah on October 31.