The streets and public spaces are practically empty. Most of the two million inhabitants remain confined to homes that cannot protect them from Israeli bombardment. Only a few hundred people have come out to participate in the burials of members of Al Qasam, the armed wing of the Hamas movement.
The exchange of fire between the militias and Israel was intense on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. So far, 487 Palestinians have been wounded and 83 killed, 17 of whom are minors. In Israel, seven people were killed by rocket fire from Islamic militias.
In Gaza, five high-rise buildings and a dozen office buildings of the Islamic National Bank were destroyed by shelling. According to the Israeli army, this institution would be controlled by Hamas.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OCHOAPT), the Israeli attacks have also left 350 houses destroyed and hundreds of homes with moderate damage. This has resulted in the forced displacement of at least 1,750 people.
The shelling also damaged seven factories, eight schools, a health center, and dozens of security facilities, one of which is the Gaza Police headquarters.
Since the beginning of the week, the Israeli army has carried out over 600 strikes in retaliation to some 1,600 rockets launched by Palestinian militias from Gaza, a territory that has been under a tight Israeli blockade since 2007.