Israel presses forward with bombarding Gaza, together with areas it advised Palestinians to evacuate to

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) – Israeli warplanes struck components of the Gaza Strip in relentless bombardment Saturday, hitting a number of the dwindling bits of land it had advised Palestinians to evacuate to within the territory’s south.

The strikes got here a day after the United States vetoed a United Nations decision demanding an instantaneous humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, regardless of its large help. The vote within the 15-member Security Council was 13-1, with the United Kingdom abstaining.

“Attacks from air, land and sea are intense, continuous and widespread,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres advised the council earlier than the vote. Gaza residents “are being told to move like human pinballs – ricocheting between ever-smaller slivers of the south, without any of the basics for survival.”

Gaza was at a “breaking point” with the humanitarian help system prone to collapse, and Guterres mentioned he feared “the consequences could be devastating for the security of the entire region.”

Gaza’s borders with Israel and Egypt are successfully sealed, leaving 2.3 million Palestinians with no possibility aside from to hunt refuge throughout the territory 25 miles (40 kilometers) lengthy by some 7 miles (11 kilometers) large.

With the conflict now in its third month, the Palestinian demise toll in Gaza has surpassed 17,400, the bulk girls and youngsters, in accordance with the Health Ministry within the Hamas-controlled territory, whose counts don’t differentiate between civilians and combatants.

Two hospitals in central and southern Gaza obtained the our bodies of a complete of 133 individuals from Israeli bombings over the previous 24 hours, the Health Ministry mentioned noon Saturday.

Israel holds the Hamas militants chargeable for civilian casualties, accusing them of utilizing civilians as human shields, and says it has made appreciable efforts with evacuation orders to get civilians out of hurt’s means. It says 93 Israeli troopers have died within the floor offensive after Hamas’ lethal Oct. 7 raid in Israel that killed about 1,200 individuals, largely civilians, and took about 240 hostage.

Hamas mentioned Saturday it continued its rocket hearth into Israel.

In Gaza, residents reported airstrikes and shelling within the north and south, together with the town of Rafah close to the Egyptian border – one space the place the Israeli military had ordered civilians to evacuate to. In a colourful classroom there, knee-high youngsters’s tables have been strewn with rubble.

“We now live in the Gaza Strip and are governed by the American law of the jungle. America has killed human rights,” mentioned Rafah resident Abu Yasser al-Khatib. “The Palestinian people will not leave and do not want to leave.”

Israel has been attempting to safe the army’s maintain on northern Gaza regardless of heavy resistance from Hamas. Tens of hundreds of residents are believed to stay regardless of evacuation orders, six weeks after troops and tanks rolled in.

The Israeli army mentioned Saturday its forces fought and killed Hamas militants and located weapons inside a college in Shijaia in a densely populated neighborhood of Gaza City. It mentioned troopers found a tunnel shaft in the identical neighborhood the place they discovered an elevator, and in a separate incident, militants shot at troops from an U.N.-run faculty within the northern city of Beit Hanoun.

More than 2,200 Palestinians have been killed for the reason that Dec. 1 collapse of a weeklong truce, about two-thirds of them girls and youngsters, in accordance with Gaza’s Health Ministry.

The truce noticed hostages and Palestinian prisoners launched, however greater than 130 hostages are believed to stay in Gaza.

On Saturday, a kibbutz that got here underneath assault on Oct. 7 mentioned 25-year-old hostage Sahar Baruch had died in captivity. His captors mentioned Baruch was killed throughout a failed rescue mission by Israeli forces Friday. The Israeli army solely confirmed that two troopers have been critically wounded in an tried hostage rescue and that no hostages have been freed.

With no additional cease-fire in sight and a trickle of humanitarian support reaching just some components of Gaza, residents reported extreme meals shortages.

“I am very hungry,” mentioned Mustafa al-Najjar, sheltering in a U.N.-run faculty within the devastated Jabaliya refugee camp within the north. “We are living on canned food and biscuits and this is not sufficient.”

While adults can deal with starvation, “it’s extremely difficult and painful when you see your young son or daughter crying because there are hungry and you are not able to do anything,” he mentioned.

Despite rising worldwide strain, the Biden administration stays against an open-ended cease-fire, arguing it will allow Hamas to proceed posing a risk to Israel. Officials have expressed misgivings in current days in regards to the civilian demise toll and dire humanitarian disaster however haven’t pushed publicly for Israel to wind down the conflict.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has argued that “a cease-fire is handing a prize to Hamas, dismissing the hostages held in Gaza and signalling terror groups everywhere.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken continued to satisfy with counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and elsewhere as frustration grew with the U.S. stance. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan has mentioned the U.S. veto of the Security Council decision confirmed Washington’s isolation.

“From now on, humanity won’t think the U.S.A. supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan mentioned in a speech on Saturday.

Fidan and the Palestinian, Saudi, Qatari, Nigerian, Indonesian, Egyptian and Jordanian ministers met with Blinken to press for an finish to the combating, and the group was to satisfy Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday.

Despite restrictions on demonstrations, protesters on the COP28 local weather summit in Dubai referred to as for a cease-fire.

Israel has expanded its blistering air and floor marketing campaign into southern Gaza, sending tens of hundreds fleeing.

“It was a night of heavy gunfire and shelling as every night,” Taha Abdel-Rahman, a resident of Khan Younis, mentioned by cellphone Saturday.

Airstrikes have been reported in a single day within the Nuseirat refugee camp, the place resident Omar Abu Moghazi mentioned a household house was hit, inflicting casualties.

Israel has designated a slim patch of barren shoreline within the south, Muwasi, as a secure zone. But Palestinians there described desperately overcrowded situations with scant shelter and poor hygiene services.

“We are living here in a tough cold. There are no bathrooms,” mentioned Soad Qarmoot, who was pressured to go away her house within the northern city of Beit Lahiya.

“I am a cancer patient,” Qarmoot mentioned as youngsters huddled round a wooden hearth. “There is no mattress for me to sleep on. I am sleeping on the sand. It’s freezing.”

Imad al-Talateeny, who fled Gaza City, mentioned Muwasi lacks primary companies to accommodate the rising variety of displaced households.

“I lack everything to feel a human,” he mentioned.


Magdy reported from Cairo and Becatoros from Athens, Greece. Associated Press writers Julia Frankel in Jerusalem and Andrew Wilks in Istanbul contributed to this report.


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