Good afternoon, this is Doug Williams reporting from Tel Aviv. In a recent briefing with the Israeli military, CBS News was informed that the IDF is encouraging civilians in Gaza to evacuate and, under their supervision, thousands of individuals are walking south.
The impact of the war that started on October 7th is visible everywhere you look, with parents in Gaza desperately trying to protect their children. The grief is overwhelming for those who are unable to do so. Sadi Baraka, a Gravedigger for 40 years, shared with CBS News that before the war, this cemetery would bury two or three individuals per month. Now, it has received over 6,000 bodies, with more than half of them being children.
Baraka expressed his anger, questioning why innocent children in their homes are being killed, stating that while he has no issue with Hamas being targeted, the killing of innocent children is unjustifiable. Moreover, it is believed that dozens of children are being held hostage by Hamas, including 8-year-old Emily, whose father, Thomas Hand, is desperate for news about her.
She was at a sleepover when Hamas attacked and killed over 100 people. Other hostages include 9-month-old Cafir Silberman Bbus, who was taken along with his mother and 3-year-old brother, and AZ Calderon, who was taken away by militants and has now turned 12 while in captivity. Israelis are protesting in both angry and peaceful manners, demanding the return of these children.
However, Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to reject the idea of a ceasefire. He even stated in an interview that any moments of peace in the future will be short-lived.
Reporting from Tel Aviv, this is Doug Williams for CBS 2 News..