Israeli troops fighting ‘in depths’ of Gaza City – Army spokesman

Conditions in some of the shelters are said to be deteriorating every day. In one shelter, there is less than 2 square metres available per person

Israeli ground troops are “currently in the depths” of Gaza City and are exerting “great pressure” on the ruling Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement there, Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said on Tuesday evening.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier in a televised address, “Hamas realises that we are reaching places they thought we would never reach.”

Hamas is classified as a terrorist organisation by the European Union (EU) and the United States.

Netanyahu once again linked a ceasefire to the demand for the release of all hostages: “There will be no ceasefire without the return of our abductees.”

According to Hagari, more than 14,000 targets in the densely populated coastal strip have been attacked by Israel since the start of the war.

There have been successes, “but the war will still be long,” he said.

A Red Cross convoy carrying medical supplies has come under fire in Gaza City, the aid group said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said two of the five lorries in the convoy were damaged on Tuesday and one driver was slightly injured.

The convoy was travelling to the Palestinian Red Crescent’s al-Quds hospital and other sites, the ICRC said.

“These are not the conditions under which humanitarian personnel can work,” said William Schomburg, the head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Gaza.

“We are here to bring urgent assistance to civilians in need. Ensuring that vital aid can reach medical facilities is a legal obligation under international humanitarian law,” he added.

Hamas fired rockets into central Israel again on Tuesday evening.

Warning sirens also sounded several times in the greater Tel Aviv area.

The military arm of Hamas claimed responsibility for the attacks on Telegram.

No one was injured, according to initial reports.

According to Israeli figures, more than 9,000 rockets have been fired at Israeli towns and villages from the Gaza Strip since the start of the war on Oct. 7.

Hamas has claimed responsibility for a large proportion of these attacks.

About 70 per cent of the population, amounting to about 1.5 million people, has been displaced in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war with Israel, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said on Tuesday.

Dozens of emergency shelters housing in total hundreds of thousands of people are sometimes overcrowded to four times their capacity, it said.

Conditions in some of the shelters are said to be deteriorating every day. In one shelter, there is less than 2 square metres available per person, UNRWA said.

At least 600 people have to share one toilet in one facility, and there have been thousands of cases of infectious diseases, diarrhoea, and chickenpox.

On Israel’s border with Lebanon, the Israeli army said it targeted and struck a suspected militant cell in Lebanon.

The military stated on Tuesday that a “terror cell” in the neighbouring country had attempted to fire anti-tank missiles towards Israel.

An Israeli tank then returned fire.

Israeli forces attacked a Hezbollah post earlier in the day to “counter a threat,” but the specific nature of the threat was not disclosed by the army.

Since the start of the Gaza war on Oct. 7, there have been repeated cross-border clashes in the most serious escalation between both sides since the second Lebanon war in 2006.

Elsewhere, at a group of seven (G7) meeting in Japan, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock urgently called for a humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza war.

The people need water, bread and, above all, medical care, she said.

According to the UN, 100 lorry loads of humanitarian aid are needed every day to supply the 2 million people in the Gaza Strip with the essentials.

An average of 33 trucks with relief supplies have arrived in the besieged Gaza Strip every day since the Rafah crossing linking Gaza to Egypt was reopened, according to a Palestinian Red Crescent statement.

A total of 569 trucks of aid have crossed the border from Egypt since Oct. 21, including 93 trucks on Monday evening.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk is travelling to the Middle East for a round of diplomatic talks, his office said.

In the Gaza war, both the Islamist Hamas and Israel are accused of serious violations of human rights.

The Gaza Strip has been almost completely sealed off by Israel since fighters from the Islamist extremist movement Hamas launched an unprecedented assault on Israeli border communities on Oct. 7, killing more than 1,400.

The number of Palestinians killed in Gaza since the start of the war on Oct. 7 rose to 10,328, the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry said on Tuesday. (dpa/NAN)

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