Intense Israeli bombardment from air, land, and sea reportedly continued across much of the Gaza Strip on February 2, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of civilian infrastructure.  Ground operations and fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups also continue to be reported across much of Gaza.

Media outlets, citing the Ministry the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, reported on February 2 at least 27,131 people, including at least 11,500 children, have been killed and 66,287 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7.  The revised death toll in Israel from the October 7 Hamas attacks reportedly stands at 1,139.

UNICEF says about 17,000 children in Gaza are unaccompanied or have been separated from their families during the conflict.

More than one million displaced Palestinians reportedly fear a new Israeli military onslaught after the Israeli defense minister pledged to attack Rafah, an area once described as a “safe zone”.

However, Palestinians displaced from Gaza City are returning home to survey the damage in their neighborhoods after the Israeli army announced a withdrawal of its forces from small pockets of the area, according to Al Jazeera.

Meanwhile, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports that its preliminary investigations show that as of February 2, 2024, at least 85 journalists and media workers were among the more than 27,000 killed since the war began on October 7.  

photo / CPJ

Journalists in Gaza reportedly face particularly high risks as they try to cover the conflict during the Israeli ground assault, including devastating Israeli airstrikes, disrupted communications, supply shortages, and extensive power outages.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) told Reuters and Agence France Press (AFP) news agencies in October that it could not guarantee the safety of their journalists operating in the Gaza Strip, after they had sought assurances that their journalists would not be targeted by Israeli strikes, according to a Reuters report.

Al Jazeera reported on February 2 that US Senator Bernie Sanders has said that he will introduce an amendment to a foreign aid supplemental package that would cut US$10.1bn in “offensive weaponry funding” for Israel.

“The US must end its complicity in the nightmare unfolding in Gaza,” Sanders said in a statement on February 2.

“That is why I will be offering an amendment to the supplemental bill to ensure zero funding for the continuation of Netanyahu’s illegal, immoral war against the Palestinian people.”

Sanders noted that the amendment does not impact funding for missile defense systems in Israel.