As 2024 starts, the city of Khan Younis finds itself at the centre of intense ground fighting, with Palestinians seeking refuge from ongoing Israeli shelling. Isreal killed 15 Palestinians in an attack on a home in the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza.

Israeli authorities have announced the withdrawal of reservists from their Gaza ground invasion, citing the need for troops to “gain strength” for future battles.

The toll on human lives in Gaza continues to rise, with the latest figures revealing that at least 21,822 people have been killed, and 56,451 wounded in Israeli attacks since 7 October. The revised death toll from an earlier attack in Israel stands at 1,139.

Israel’s ground offensive has effectively halted normal health services in Gaza, including vital vaccinations against childhood diseases that were previously under control through mass immunisation programmes. The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported the arrival of thousands of doses of vaccines against childhood diseases, including polio and measles. These supplies are expected to cover vaccinations for a significant period. The aid was facilitated through the Rafah border crossing, with the assistance of Egyptian government cold storage facilities.

As Isreal continues its offensive in Gaza, the United States military has launched an attack on three Houthi boats in the Red Sea, resulting in the deaths of at least 10 fighters. The incident underscores the broader regional tensions and the complex geopolitical dynamics at play.

Meanwhile, Iranian state media has confirmed the deployment of the warship IRIS Alborz to the Red Sea, contributing to the worsening militarisation of the region. This move comes in conjunction with reports of a meeting between Iran’s security chief, Ali Akbar Ahmadian, and top Houthi negotiator Mohammad Abdulsalam.