Israel pressed ahead on Tuesday with an offensive against Gaza’s Hamas rulers that it says could go on for weeks or months.
Ahead of a non-binding vote at the United Nations later on Tuesday, Israel and the United States faced global calls for a ceasefire in Gaza.
More than 17,700 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, around two-thirds of them women and children, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-controlled territory.
About 90% of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been displaced within the besieged territory, where United Nations agencies say there is no safe place to flee.
With only a trickle of humanitarian aid reaching a small portion of the Gaza Strip, residents face severe shortages of food, water and other basic goods.
Israel says 97 of its soldiers have died in its ground offensive after Hamas raided southern Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking about 240 hostages.
Qatar, which has played a key mediating role, says efforts to stop the war and have all hostages released will continue, but a willingness to discuss a ceasefire is fading.
Strikes overnight and into Tuesday in southern Gaza – in an area where civilians have been told to seek shelter – killed at least 23 people, according to an Associated Press reporter at a nearby hospital.
In a briefing with the Associated Press on Monday, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant refused to commit to a firm timeline, but signalled that the current phase of heavy ground fighting and air strikes could stretch on for weeks and that further military activity could continue for months.
He said the next phase would be lower-intensity fighting against “pockets of resistance” and would require Israeli troops to maintain their freedom of operation.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will maintain security control over Gaza indefinitely.
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