Gaza Journalist Says Escalation of War is ‘Inevitable’

The killing of a senior Hamas leader in Beirut by a suspected Israeli air strike, followed by more than 85 people killed in Tehran at a ceremony marking the four-year anniversary of Gen. Qasem Soleimani’s assassination, are the latest indications of a widening conflict.

Gaza-based journalist Akram Al Satarri spoke with “EWTN News Nightly” anchor Tracy Sabol from Khan Yunis about the state of the southern area of the Gaza Strip, Jan. 3, 2024.
Gaza-based journalist Akram Al Satarri spoke with “EWTN News Nightly” anchor Tracy Sabol from Khan Yunis about the state of the southern area of the Gaza Strip, Jan. 3, 2024. (photo: EWTN News Nightly / EWTN)

Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, more than 20,000 people have been killed in Gaza, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health. 

Yesterday the Associated Press reported that in central Gaza Strip, eight people were killed in a strike on a building in Nuseirat refugee camp, and on Tuesday, at least five people, including a baby, were killed and several injured in an airstrike on the Red Crescent headquarters in the city of Khan Yunis. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said they have launched an investigation. 

Gaza-based journalist Akram Al Satarri spoke with EWTN News Nightly from Khan Yunis about the state of the Gaza Strip as bombs went off in the background.

Al Satarri explained that the area is “witnessing a massive influx” of people who are relocating after the Israeli army provided instructions to move from Khan Yunis to the city of Rafah.

“When you travel down the road from Khan Yunis to Rafah, you will see countless numbers of tents that are constructed by the people,” Al Satarri told news anchor Tracy Sabol. 

He added: “Rafah is overcrowded by the people and some of the estimations say that there are around 1 million people who are already relocating to Rafah and who are already present in Rafah and struggling to secure their very basic needs.”

Al Satarri himself has had to relocate twice from his home and has “experienced the journey of trying to find food and water and secure the basic needs for the family.”

“It’s very difficult to say that people are coping,” he said. 

Satarri explained that some are being forced to use “negative coping mechanisms.” He gave the example of those looking for gas to cook with and are instead cutting trees down, whether they are clean or dry, for the sake of securing a source of wood for fire to cook with.

In terms of the conflict escalating, Al Satarri believes it is “inevitable.” The killing of a senior Hamas leader in Beirut by a suspected Israeli air strike, followed by more than 85 people killed in Tehran at a ceremony marking the four-year anniversary of Gen. Qasem Soleimani’s assassination, are the latest indications of a widening conflict.  

According to Iranian authorities, over 200 people were left injured after two bomb blasts went off near the tomb of Soleimani on Jan. 3. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to punish those responsible for the attack. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility. 

Al Satarri shared with Sabol that Palestinian, Lebanese, and other Arab analysts think that “the conflict is going to be expanded and is going to reach some unprecedented level with a greater deal and a greater level of destruction and devastation on both ends.”

Edward Reginald Frampton, “The Voyage of St. Brendan,” 1908, Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin.

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