Israel, backed by the unconditional support from the United States and Western governments, has expanded its ground operations into the heart of the Gaza Strip, causing more civilian deaths and widespread destruction.

Huge explosions illuminated the night sky in Gaza as Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes on Friday night while ground troops entered besieged enclave from the north. Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters were reported in northern Gaza.

Reports say Israel used white phosphorus bombs, a highly controversial weapon known for its devastating effects, in the overnight attacks on Gaza. Human rights groups say the use of white phosphorus in Gaza, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, magnifies the risk to civilians and violates the international humanitarian law prohibition on putting civilians at unnecessary risk.

Gaza’s communication networks have been cut off, making it impossible to contact residents or coordinate emergency responses. This blackout has worsened the humanitarian crisis.

Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution, with the support of 120 member states, calling for an immediate humanitarian truce in Gaza. The resolution was proposed by Jordan.

Israel’s continued bombing campaign which began on 7 October has resulted in numerous civilian casualties and widespread destruction of homes, hospitals, mosques, churches, schools, and other civilian infrastructure. According to the health ministry in Gaza, more than 7,000 people, including over 2,000 children, have so far been killed by Israeli forces in the past 21 days.