WORLD NEWS Israel-Gaza war live: Israeli forces continue push into southern...

Israel-Gaza war live: Israeli forces continue push into southern Gaza amid ‘apocalyptic’ humanitarian situation

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Israeli troops continue drive into southern Gaza amid ‘apocalyptic’ humanitarian crisis

Israeli forces continues to push on Sunday into southern Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled in search of shelter from bombardments and intense fighting with Hamas militants.

Agence France-Presse reports that aid groups have sounded the alarm on the “apocalyptic” humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territory, warning it is on the brink of being overwhelmed by disease and starvation.

Hamas, which runs Gaza, said on Sunday that Israel had launched a series of “very violent raids” targeting the southern city of Khan Younis and the road from there to Rafah, near the border with Egypt.

A source close to Hamas and Palestinian militants Islamic Jihad told AFP both groups were involved in “fierce clashes” with Israeli forces on Sunday near Khan Younis. An AFP journalist reported strikes in the area.

At least 17,700 people, mostly women and children, have died in two months of fighting in the narrow strip of territory, according to the latest figures from Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry.

Key events

Israel claims to have struck ‘over 250 terror targets’ in Gaza in last 24 hours

Israel’s military has issued an operational update for Sunday morning in which it has claimed to have struck “over 250 terror targets” in the last 24 hours.

In the message posted to Telegram, it claimed:

IDF troops located and destroyed weapons stocks, carried out targeted raids on military sites, destroyed underground terror tunnel shafts and thwarted armed terrorist cells planning to attack IDF troops.

Overnight, an IDF fighter jet directed by ground troops struck a Hamas military communications site located adjacent to a mosque in the southern Gaza Strip. Following the strike, the troops conducted a targeted raid on the site.

Over the past day, IDF troops fired with precise munitions and struck underground tunnel shafts in Khan Younis. In addition, a drone assisted IDF troops in identifying an armed terrorist cell that planned to attack additional IDF troops forces in the area. The terrorist cell was eliminated.

It also claimed to have carried out “a raid on a Hamas military command centre” in Shejaiya. The claims have not been independently verified.

According to local authorities in Gaza, at least 17,700 Palestinians have been killed, and more than 48,780 wounded, by Israeli military actions since 7 October. An additional 7,780 people are believed to be missing. It has not been possible for journalists to independently verify the casualty figures being issued during the conflict.

For Almaza Owda, in Gaza’s besieged second city of Khan Younis, thoughts have turned to how she might die.

On Thursday night, four days into the Israel Defense Forces’ assault on the southern city, Owda – who is living in a tent in the grounds of a UN school turned shelter – described her feelings, posting on social media:

I keep asking myself how will I die? … The bombardment is very, very violent and intense nearby. The clashes never stop. [We’re] cold, hungry, scared, stressed, tired. They bombarded around us with tank shells and all the shrapnel fell on us.

The Israeli military has launched a relentless bombardment of Khan Younis, which it claims is the Hamas command centre. For this full story from Peter Beaumont and Kaamil Ahmed on the Palestinians trapped inside the city, see here:

French ship downs two drones amid warning from Huthi rebels

A French frigate shot down two drones in the Red Sea that were heading towards it from the coast of Yemen, the French military said on Sunday.

“The interception and destruction of these two identified threats” were carried out late on Saturday by the frigate Languedoc, which operates in the Red Sea, the general staff said in a press release.

The interceptions happened at 2030GMT and 2230GMT, it added, and were 110km (68 miles) from the Yemeni coast.

Agence France-Presse also reports that Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels threatened on Saturday to attack any vessels heading to Israeli ports unless food and medicine were allowed into the besieged Gaza Strip.

The latest warning comes amid heightened tensions in the Red Sea and surrounding waters following a series of maritime attacks by Huthi rebels since the start of the Israel-Gaza war on 7 October.

In a statement posted on social media, the Huthis said they “will prevent the passage of ships heading to the Zionist entity” if humanitarian aid is not allowed into Hamas-ruled Gaza.

The Huthis have recently attacked ships they claim have direct links to Israel, but their latest threat expands the scope of their targets.

An American destroyer shot down three drones last week while providing assistance to commercial ships in the Red Sea targeted by attacks from Yemen, according to Washington, which denounced “a direct threat” to maritime security.

In Gaza City in the Strip’s north, an Agence France-Presse journalist said thousands were sheltering in the al-Shifa hospital, which is no longer functioning and partly destroyed following an Israeli raid last month.

Hundreds of makeshift tents fashioned from scraps of fabric and plastic filled the hospital’s courtyards and garden amid collapsed walls.

Suheil Abu Dalfa, 56, from the city’s Shejaiya district, said he had fled heavy bombardment by Israeli planes and tanks.

He told AFP:

It was madness. A shell hit the house and wounded my 20-year-old son.

We fled to the Old City, everything was just strikes and destruction… we didn’t know where to go.

We don’t know if they will storm the hospital again.

Residents and civil defense teams conduct a search and rescue operation in a demolished building after Israeli attacks in Gaza City on Saturday. Photograph: Anadolu/Getty Images

In central Gaza, Hamas health authorities said on Saturday that 71 dead bodies had arrived at the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah over 24 hours.

And in the south of the territory, 62 dead bodies had arrived at Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, the health authorities said.

An AFP correspondent at the hospital saw a child on a makeshift stretcher and others waiting for care on the floor, while firefighters outside tried to douse a burning building hit by an Israeli strike.

The situation “is not just a catastrophe, it’s apocalyptic”, said Bushra Khalidi of Oxfam.

Israeli troops continue drive into southern Gaza amid ‘apocalyptic’ humanitarian crisis

Israeli forces continues to push on Sunday into southern Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled in search of shelter from bombardments and intense fighting with Hamas militants.

Agence France-Presse reports that aid groups have sounded the alarm on the “apocalyptic” humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territory, warning it is on the brink of being overwhelmed by disease and starvation.

Hamas, which runs Gaza, said on Sunday that Israel had launched a series of “very violent raids” targeting the southern city of Khan Younis and the road from there to Rafah, near the border with Egypt.

A source close to Hamas and Palestinian militants Islamic Jihad told AFP both groups were involved in “fierce clashes” with Israeli forces on Sunday near Khan Younis. An AFP journalist reported strikes in the area.

At least 17,700 people, mostly women and children, have died in two months of fighting in the narrow strip of territory, according to the latest figures from Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry.

Opening summary

Welcome to our rolling live coverage of the Israel-Gaza war – this is Adam Fulton and I’ll be with you for the next while.

Leading the headlines, Israeli forces are continuing their push into southern Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled in search of shelter from Israeli bombardments and fighting with Hamas militants.

Aid groups spoke of an “apocalyptic” humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territory, warning it is on the brink of being overwhelmed by disease and starvation.

Hamas, which runs Gaza, said on Sunday that Israel had launched a series of “very violent raids” targeting Gaza’s main southern city of Khan Younis and the road from there to Rafah, near the border with Egypt.

Smoke billows from Khan Younis, southern Gaza, on Saturday amid the continuing Israeli bombardment
Smoke billows from Khan Younis, southern Gaza, on Saturday amid the continuing Israeli bombardment. Photograph: Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images

On Saturday, Israel ordered residents out of the centre of Khan Younis, including parts of the city centre that had not been subject to such orders before, as it pounded the length of the territory.

More on that story shortly. In other news as it nears 7.45am in Gaza City and Tel Aviv:

  • The Biden administration has used an emergency authority to sell about 14,000 tank shells to Israel without congressional review. The state department on Friday used an Arms Export Control Act emergency declaration for the tank rounds, worth $106.5m, for immediate delivery to Israel, the Pentagon said in a statement.

  • The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said it had only been able to distribute aid in a very small part of southern Gaza “because of the intensity of the fighting and the bombardment since the humanitarian pause stopped”. UNRWA’s deputy executive director, Carl Skau, said earlier: “About half the population in Gaza are starving … The humanitarian operation is collapsing. With the chaos with this active fighting it’s not possible to do the work that is needed.

  • The Israeli military says five of its soldiers have died in the war. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) named the five in a post on X and said four of them died in battle in southern Gaza and one succumbed to his wounds after fighting on 7 October.

Israeli soldiers operating in Jabalia, northern Gaza
Israeli soldiers operating in Jabalia, northern Gaza. Photograph: Israel Defense Forces/Reuters
  • A UN peacekeeping position in southern Lebanon was hit without causing casualties, the UN force said, adding it was seeking to verify the source of the fire. Lebanon’s national news agency reported that an “Israeli Merkava tank” targeted the UN interim force in Lebanon (Unifil) position near the border across from Metula in northern Israel on Saturday. An Israeli army spokeswoman said it : “did not aim at Unifil, we did not hit a Unifil position.”

  • Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded the US for vetoing a UN security council resolution which called for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, where more than 17,700 Palestinians have been killed. Netanyahu said on Saturday: “I greatly appreciate the correct stance that the US has taken in the UN security council. Other countries need to understand that.” US secretary of state Antony Blinken has continued to speak with counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and elsewhere amid open criticism of the US opposition to an open-ended truce.

  • Israeli fighter jets “completed an attack on Lebanese territory during which targets of the terrorist organisation Hezbollah was attacked”, the Israeli Defense Forces’ spokesperson tweeted on Saturday. Daniel Hagari added: “Among the targets that were attacked, a number of military positions from which launches were made into the territory of the country, military sites where the organisation’s terrorists operated and other terrorist infrastructures.”

  • The Gulf Cooperation Council is holding Israel legally responsible for killing thousands of Palestinians in Gaza. The GCC countries said on Saturday that they had renewed their condemnation of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza strip and were holding Israel legally responsible for ongoing attacks that resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians in Gaza.

  • Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian boy in the West Bank town of Azzun, in Qalqilya, on Saturday, according to the Palestinian health ministry. The boy has been identified as Mahmoud Abu Haniya by the Palestinian news agency Wafa. Local reports say Haniya was caught up in gunfire by an Israeli military unit and was fatally shot in the back.

  • Scotland’s first minister has criticised the UK government for its abstention in the United Arab Emirates-led UN security council resolution on Friday which called for an humanitarian ceasefire. Humza Yousaf tweeted on Saturday: “How can you choose to be complicit in the killing of thousands of children? Shame on the UK Government & Keir Starmer’s Labour Party who refuse to back a #CeasefireNow.”

  • More than 130 Palestinian families have been forcibly displaced from Bedouin communities by Israeli forces and extremist Israeli settlers in the West Bank since 7 October, the Palestinian foreign ministry has said. At least 260 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank by extremist Israeli settlers since then, Palestinian health minister Mai al-Kaila said.

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