Gaza being 'strangled' says UN as Israel prepares ground offensive

Thousands of people have died on both sides of the conflict after more than week of fighting.

  • More than 2,670 Palestinians have been killed, as well as 1,400 Israelis since the start of the fighting over a week ago, officials have confirmed.
  • The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said it was planning an “air, sea and land offensive” on Gaza.
  • Gaza’s hospitals are expected to run out of fuel for emergency generations within 24 hours, according to the United Nations (UN).
  • About half a million Gaza residents have taken refuge in UN shelters across the territory and are running out of water.

Conditions for millions of people left trapped in Gaza are continuing to worsen as supplies of food, water and medicine dwindle further with the UN warning the territory is being “strangled”.

Israel’s military has said it is planning to launch an “air, sea and land offensive” into Gaza, but has not specified when it will take place.

It comes after more than a week of fighting, which was prompted by a fatal, unprecedented surprise attack by fighters belonging to Hamas – a proscribed terrorist group – in southern Israel.

More than one million people in northern Gaza have been ordered to evacuate south by Israel, with at least 500,000 people having completed the journey, according to the IDF.

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip. / Credit: AP

Khan Younis has seen its population nearly double since the order was made, after hundreds of thousands of people flooded into the city.

The UN, meanwhile, has warned that Gaza is “running dry” after Israel days ago cut off supplies of water, food and electricity into the 25-mile long stretch of land.

Hospitals in Gaza are expected to run out of generator fuel within the next 24 hours, according to the organisation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chaired the first meeting of his “war” Cabinet on Sunday, saying the IDF are “ready to snap into action at any moment”.

Plestia Alqad, 22, a journalist from Gaza, takes ITV News through the reality of those living on the Gaza Strip, describing her home as a “ghost town.”

He said: “If Hamas thought we would fall apart, then no. We will tear Hamas apart.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is to return to Israel on Monday after completing a frantic six-country tour through Arab nations, which was aimed at preventing the fighting from igniting a broader regional conflict.

Fighting along Israel’s border with Lebanon intensified on Sunday, with Hezbollah militants firing rockets into Israel.

Israel’s military said at least one person was killed in the exchanges on the Israeli side and wounded several on both sides of the border.

On Monday, Israel said it is evacuating 28 residential communities near the border with Lebanon.

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