© FT montage
  • Latest situation: US announces new Israel-Hamas peace proposals

  • Impact on population: Death toll in Gaza tops 36,000; over 100 hostages remain in captivity

  • Food and water insecurity: Aid deliveries slump after IDF seizure of Rafah crossing

  • Infrastructure damage: More than half of Gaza’s buildings damaged by fighting

  • Key events in the war: From Hamas’s October 7 attack to Israel’s incursion

Latest situation: Dozens killed in Israeli strike on UN school in Gaza

An Israeli strike on June 7 on a UN school in central Gaza’s Nuseirat camp where displaced Palestinians had been sheltering killed dozens of people, according to Palestinian officials.

Israel’s military said the strike targeted Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants responsible for the October 7 attack, however Hamas’s media office said 40 people were killed including women and children and 74 others injured.

US announces new Israel-Hamas peace proposals

US President Joe Biden said on May 31 that Israel had offered a new proposal in negotiations with Hamas to free hostages and bring about a lasting ceasefire.

Biden said the Israeli proposal — coming after negotiators and international mediators reignited talks in recent days — would involve three phases:

  1. Establishing a “full and complete ceasefire” over six weeks, including the withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas of Gaza, and the return of some hostages, alongside the release of some Palestinian prisoners.

  2. The release of all hostages and a “permanent cessation of hostilities”.

  3. The “reconstruction” of Gaza.

Israel has been under increasing international isolation and mounting pressure to end the war after its forces stepped up their offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Map showing Rafah in southern Gaza. Displaced people are crowded into Al-Mawasi and the IDF declared ‘humanitarian area’. Central Rafah is largely deserted after tent camps disappeared within days. Much of eastern Rafah has been damaged by airstrikes or bulldozed.  Source: FT research; Planet Labs; damage analysis of Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite data by Corey Scher of CUNY Graduate  Center and Jamon Van Den Hoek of Oregon State University; Microsoft Building Footprints© FT

Impact on population: Death toll in Gaza tops 36,000; over 100 hostages remain in captivity

The Israel Defense Forces launched air and land offensives in Gaza in response to Hamas’s October 7 cross-border assault in southern Israel.

Hamas killed more than 1,200 people during the attack and seized about 250 hostages, according to Israeli officials, of whom 110 have since been released.

More than 36,000 people have been killed in the Israeli assault on Gaza, according to Palestinian officials.

Humanitarian workers inside Gaza have also faced significant danger during the conflict, with an unprecedented number being killed.

Seven international aid workers were killed in an April strike on a humanitarian convoy, with Israel later admitting that its soldiers had made errors in targeting the convoy. At least 200 employees of UNRWA, a UN agency that provides aid and support to Palestinians, have also been killed.

After October 7, the IDF initially moved into northern Gaza before sweeping south towards Khan Younis and then Rafah. On May 24 the International Court of Justice said conditions in Rafah were “disastrous” and ordered Israel to “immediately halt” its military offensive in the city.

More than 2mn people in Gaza have been displaced by the conflict, with many leaving Rafah and some moving to al-Mawasi or other IDF-declared “humanitarian areas”, while others head north towards the cities of Khan Younis and Deir al Balah.

Satellite images showing part of the coastline in the humanitarian zone al-Mawasi, Gaza. Images from May 12 2023 show the area is clear and largely sand. Imagery from Feb 21 2024 show tents have been set up across the area with even more tents by May 8 2024. Source: Planet Labs

Food and water insecurity: Aid deliveries slump after IDF seizure of Rafah crossing

Aid deliveries containing urgently needed food, water and medical supplies have not been able to enter Gaza at their usual levels since the war began.

The shortages have worsened since IDF troops took “operational control” of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing on May 6.

The struggle to access food aid, which is urgently needed to prevent Gazans slipping into famine, is forecast to have reached “catastrophic” levels.

The US has built a $320mn floating pier to help get more aid into Gaza. The first shipments entered the territory on May 17 but the pier was shut down on May 28 for repairs after being damaged by a storm.

The seaborne endeavour has drawn criticism from aid groups who say it is costly and limited in capacity, compared with more efficient land routes that have frequently been impeded by Israeli restrictions and far-right protests.

Satellite imagery showing US navy ship Roy P Benavidez, 10.9km off the coast of Gaza. The images show how a floating platform was assembled at sea between April 27 and 28. On May 16 the floating pier was anchored to the coast near a new logistics area. Source: Planet Labs, US military

Since Israel launched its Gaza offensive, damage to infrastructure and lack of fuel and electricity have also led to a severe water shortage.

Before the war, Gaza sourced most of its water from an underground aquifer or Israeli state-owned water company Mekorot. According to an April UN OCHA report, two of the Mekorot pipelines have been closed and the third is operating at only partial capacity. Israel has recently moved towards reopening them after pressure from the US.

Meanwhile, only one of the six wastewater treatment plants and two of three desalination plants are partially working.

Map of Gaza showing the 3 desalination plants, 6 wastewater treatment plants and the 3 Mekorot water pipeline connections. Sources: World Bank, UN OCHA

Infrastructure damage: More than half of Gaza’s buildings damaged by fighting

According to damage assessments from researchers at the CUNY Graduate Center and Oregon State University, more than half of all buildings across the Gaza Strip have suffered damage, rising to nearly 80 per cent in Gaza City.

The damage in Khan Younis and Rafah has also increased as Israel expanded its offensive from northern Gaza to the rest of the territory.

Map showing buildings likely damaged in Gaza between October 5 and October 12, December 4, April 21. Damage until December 4 is concentrated in North Gaza and Gaza. Damage to April 21 covers the entire strip, with much of Deir al-Balah, Khan Younis and Rafah damaged. Source: damage analysis of Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite data by Corey Scher of CUNY Graduate Center and Jamon Van Den Hoek of Oregon State University

October 9 2023 to present: Key events in the war

may 31 2024

US announces new Israel-Hamas peace proposals

May 24 2024

ICJ orders Israel to halt Rafah offensive

May 20 2024

ICC prosecutor requests arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior Hamas leaders over alleged war crimes

May 7 2024

Israel sends troops into Rafah and seizes border crossing despite Hamas agreeing to ceasefire-for-hostage deal

April 19 2024

Israel launches calibrated retaliatory strikes against Iran

April 5 2024

Israel admits “grave mistake” after strike on World Central Kitchen aid workers

March 25 2024

UN resolution demands Gaza ceasefire

February 29 2024

More than 110 Gazans killed in deadly aid convoy chaos

December 4 2023

Israel steps up aerial bombardment on southern Gaza followed later in the month by an offensive into the city of Khan Younis

November 24 2023

Israel-Hamas truce takes hold ahead of planned hostage release

November 16 2023

Israeli military raids Gaza’s largest hospital in climax of siege

OCTOBER 9 2023

Israel imposes a “complete siege” on Gaza, calling up a record 300,000 reservists and pounding the strip from the air

October 7 2023: Hamas attacks Israel

As much of Israel slept, Hamas militants launched an multipronged dawn assault on the country from the Gaza Strip.

The assault began in the early hours of the morning on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, with thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities. Many were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system, but satellite imagery showed fires and smoke rising from locations that were hit.

Satellite map of Gaza and Israel showing locations of fires and smoke plumes. The fires were detected by the Sentinel-2 satellite. The map uses a true colour satellite image composited with false colour image to highlight the fires. Source: Sentinel satellite data via EO Browser.

Hundreds of Hamas fighters simultaneously attacked by land, air and sea, breaching the fortified barrier between Gaza and Israel.

Militants used motorised paragliders to attack the Supernova music festival, which was taking place not far from the Gaza border. After flying in, they shot many Israelis and took others as hostages.

Map showing the location of Supernova music festival attacked by Hamas

After breaching the Gaza fence, armed Hamas fighters targeted Israeli communities and military sites at several locations, going door-to-door and performing execution-style killings as well as taking hostages.

More than 1,200 Israeli civilians and troops were killed on October 7, according to Israeli officials — making it the deadliest attack on the country since its foundation.

Visual and Data team: Aditi Bhandari, Jana Tauschinski, Janina Conboye, Peter Andringa, Steven Bernard, Chris Campbell, Sam Joiner, Lucy Rodgers, Ian Bott, Dan Clark and Alan Smith

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
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