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U.N. warns Gaza blockade might power it to sharply lower aid operations as bombings rise

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RAFAH, Gaza Strip — The U.N. company for Palestinian refugees warned Wednesday that with out speedy deliveries of gasoline it would quickly must sharply in the reduction of aid operations throughout the Gaza Strip, which has been blockaded and hit by devastating Israeli airstrikes since Hamas militants launched an assault on Israel greater than two weeks in the past.

The warning got here as hospitals in Gaza struggled to deal with plenty of wounded with dwindling sources, and well being officers within the Hamas-ruled territory stated the dying toll was hovering as Israeli jets continued hanging the territory in a single day into Wednesday.

The Israeli navy stated its strikes had killed militants and destroyed tunnels, command facilities, weapons storehouses and different navy targets, which it has accused Hamas of hiding amongst Gaza’s civilian inhabitants. Gaza-based militants have been launching unrelenting rocket barrages into Israel for the reason that battle began.

The Hamas-run Gaza Well being Ministry stated the airstrikes killed at the least 704 individuals between Monday and Tuesday, principally ladies and youngsters. The Related Press couldn’t independently confirm the dying tolls cited by Hamas, which says it tallies figures from hospital administrators.

The dying toll was unprecedented within the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian battle. Even higher lack of life might come when Israel launches an anticipated floor offensive geared toward crushing Hamas militants.

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In Washington, White Home Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby advised reporters the U.S. couldn’t confirm the one-day dying toll.

“The Ministry of Well being is run by Hamas, and I feel that each one must be factored into something that they put out publicly.”

Israel stated Tuesday it had launched 400 airstrikes over the previous day, a rise from the 320 strikes the day earlier than.

The U.N. says about 1.4 million of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents are actually internally displaced, with virtually 600,000 crowded into U.N. shelters.

Gaza’s residents have been operating out of meals, water and drugs since Israel sealed off the territory following the assault on southern Israel by Hamas, which is sworn to Israel’s destruction.

In latest days, Israel allowed a small variety of vehicles full of help to return over the border with Egypt however barred deliveries of gasoline — wanted to energy hospital mills — to maintain it out of Hamas’ palms.

The U.N. stated it had managed to ship a few of the help in latest days to hospitals treating the wounded. However the U.N. company for Palestinian refugees, the biggest supplier of humanitarian companies in Gaza, stated it might run out of gasoline by Wednesday night time.

Officers stated they have been compelled to cut back their operations as they rationed what little gasoline they’d.

“With out gasoline our vehicles can’t go round to additional locations within the strip for distribution,” stated Lily Esposito, a spokesperson for the company. “We must make selections on what actions we preserve or not with little gasoline.”

In the meantime, greater than half of Gaza’s main health care amenities, and roughly a 3rd of its hospitals, have stopped functioning, the World Well being Group stated.

Overwhelmed hospital workers struggled to triage {cases} as fixed waves of wounded have been introduced in. The Well being Ministry stated many wounded are laid on the bottom with out even easy medical help and others watch for days for surgical procedures as a result of there are such a lot of vital {cases}.

The Well being Ministry says greater than 5,700 Palestinians have been killed within the battle, together with some 2,300 minors. The determine consists of the disputed toll from an explosion at a hospital final week.

The combating has killed greater than 1,400 individuals in Israel — principally civilians slain throughout the preliminary Hamas assault, in accordance with the Israeli authorities. Hamas can also be holding some 222 those who it captured and introduced again to Gaza.

The battle threatened to unfold throughout the area, as Israeli airstrikes hit Syrian navy websites within the south Wednesday, killing eight troopers and wounding seven, in accordance with Syria’s state-run SANA information company.

The Israeli navy stated in a submit on X, previously often called Twitter, that its jets had struck Syrian navy infrastructure and mortar programs in response to rocket launches from Syria.

Israel has launched a number of strikes on Syria in latest days, together with strikes that put the Damascus and Aleppo airports out of service, in an obvious try to stop arms shipments from Iran to militant teams, together with Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Israel has been combating the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah throughout the Lebanese border in latest weeks.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah met Wednesday with prime Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad officers of their first reported assembly for the reason that battle began. Such a gathering might sign coordination between the teams, as Hezbollah officers warned Israel towards launching a floor offensive in Gaza.

Israeli navy spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari stated Iran was serving to Hamas, with intelligence and by “whipping up incitement towards Israel the world over.” He stated Iranian proxies have been additionally working towards Israel from Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.

Combating additionally erupted within the West Financial institution, which has seen a significant spike in violence.

Islamic Jihad militants stated they fought with Israeli forces in Jenin in a single day. The Palestinian Well being Ministry within the West Financial institution stated Israel killed three Palestinians in Jenin and two different in different cities, bringing the entire variety of these killed within the occupied West Financial institution since Oct. 7 to 101.

Israeli Overseas Minister Eli Cohen advised the U.N. Safety Council on Tuesday that the proportionate response to the Oct. 7 assault is “a complete destruction” of the militants. “It isn’t solely Israel’s proper to destroy Hamas. It’s our responsibility,” he stated.

The Israeli navy stated it thwarted an assault by a bunch of Hamas underwater divers who tried to infiltrate Israel on a seaside simply north of Gaza.

Throughout central and south Gaza, the place Israel advised civilians to take shelter, there have been a number of scenes of rescuers pulling the {dead} and wounded out of enormous piles of rubble from collapsed buildings. Graphic pictures and video shot by the AP confirmed rescuers unearthing our bodies of kids from a number of ruins.

A father knelt on the ground of the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al-Balah subsequent to the our bodies of three {dead} kids cocooned in bloodied sheets. Later on the close by morgue, employees prayed over 24 {dead} wrapped in physique luggage, a number of of them the scale of babies.

Buildings that collapsed on residents killed dozens at a time in a number of {cases}, witnesses stated. Two households misplaced 47 members in a leveled dwelling in Rafah, the Well being Ministry stated.

In Gaza Metropolis, at the least 19 individuals have been killed when an airstrike hit the home of the Bahloul household, in accordance with survivors, who stated dozens extra remained buried. The legs of a {dead} girl and one other individual, each nonetheless half buried, dangled out of the wreckage the place employees dug via the grime, concrete and rebar.


Magdy reported from Cairo and Nessman from Jerusalem. Related Press writers Wafaa Shurafa in Deir al-Balah; Gaza Strip; Aamer Madhani in Washington; Amy Teibel in Jerusalem; and Brian Melley in London contributed to this report.


Discover extra of AP’s protection at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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