The 25th day of hostilities witnessed the largest Israeli ground operation to date, primarily in northern Gaza and the outskirts of Gaza city, alongside intense bombardments. Between 30 October (15:00) and 31 October (noon), 216 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza. The fatality toll reported by MoH in Gaza since the start of the hostilities is 8,525, of whom 67 per cent are children and women.
On 31 October, 59 trucks carrying water, food and medicines entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt. This is the largest convoy since delivery of aid resumed on 21 October, bringing the total number of trucks that entered to 217. Entry of fuel, which is desperately needed to operate life-saving equipment, remains banned. Kerem Shalom crossing with Israel, which prior to the hostilities was the main entry point for goods, remains closed.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated on 31 October that the “level of humanitarian assistance that has been allowed into Gaza up to this point is completely inadequate and not commensurate with the needs of people in Gaza, compounding the humanitarian tragedy.” Guterres also reiterated his “appeal for the immediate and unconditional release of those civilians held hostage by Hamas,” as well as “for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.”
Assisting an estimated 300,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in shelters and hospitals in Gaza city and Northern Gaza is increasingly challenging, due to the hostilities and related inability of humanitarian actors to access them. Martin Griffiths, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, who visited Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, stated that “people are becoming increasingly desperate, as they search for food, water and shelter amid the relentless bombing campaign that is wiping out whole families and entire neighbourhoods.”
The two passenger crossings with Egypt (Rafah) and Israel (Erez) have remained closed since 7 October, preventing civilians seeking a safe haven to flee the Gaza Strip. The closure has also prevented the transfer of patients and critically wounded people to hospitals outside Gaza.
As of 30 October, more than 1.4 million people in Gaza were internally displaced, with over 689,000 sheltering in 150 UNRWA facilities. In recent days, tens of thousands of IDPs, who were previously staying with host families, have relocated into public shelters, seeking food and basic services, putting pressure on already overcrowded shelters. The average number of IDPs per UNRWA shelter is nearly four times their intended capacity.
On 31 October, Israeli media reported that three Israeli soldiers were killed fighting in the north of Gaza. Meanwhile, indiscriminate rocket firing towards Israeli population continued over the past 24 hours, with no fatalities reported. Overall, about 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, according to the Israeli authorities, the vast majority on 7 October.
According to the Israeli authorities, 240 people are held captive in Gaza, including Israelis and foreign nationals. Media reports indicated that about 30 of the hostages are children. On 30 October, Israeli forces reportedly rescued one female Israeli soldier who was held captive in Gaza. On 20 and 23 October, Hamas released four civilian hostages. Media reports indicated that about 30 of the hostages are children. On 26 October, Hamas claimed that 50 of the hostages had been killed by Israeli airstrikes.
In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed two Palestinians, including one child, between the 30 October (afternoon) and 31 October (noon). This brings the total number of Palestinian fatalities by Israeli forces or settlers since 7 October to 123, including 34 children, alongside one Israeli soldier killed by Palestinians.
Nearly 1,000 Palestinians have been forcibly displaced from their homes in the West Bank since 7 October. This includes at least 98 Palestinian households, comprising over 800 people, driven out from 15 herding/Bedouin communities in Area C, amid intensified settler violence and access restrictions. Another 121 Palestinians were displaced following the demolition of their homes by the Israeli authorities on grounds of lack of Israeli-issued building permits or as a punitive measure.