HomeGlobal Defence UpdatesIsrael expands offensive, death toll crosses 20,000

Israel expands offensive, death toll crosses 20,000

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RAFAH(GAZA STRIP): More than 20,000 Palestinians have died in Gaza during Israel’s war against Hamas, health officials said on Friday, the latest indication of the staggering cost of the conflict as Israel expands its ground offensive and orders tens of thousands more people to leave their homes.

The deaths, amounting to nearly 1% of the territory’s prewar population, are just one measure of the devastation wrought by the conflict that over 11 weeks has displaced nearly 85% of Gaza’s people and leveled wide swaths of the tiny coastal enclave.

More than half a million people in Gaza – a quarter of the population – are starving, according Oct. 7 attack. Despite the emergency, a UN Security Council vote on aid deliveries and terms for a ceasefire was delayed again late on Thursday, after days of high-level negotiations.

The United States, which has veto power, has pushed back against calls for an immediate cease-fire and giving the U.N. sole responsibility for inspecting aid deliveries. Israel, citing security grounds, insists it needs to be able to screen goods entering Gaza.

The US said it would back a revised resolution that calls for “creating the conditions” for a cease-fire, rather than an immediate end to fighting. Other countries support a stronger text and said diplomats would need to consult their governments before a vote, which is expected later Friday.

Martin Griffiths, the U.N humanitarian affairs chief, lamented the world’s inaction. “That such a brutal conflict has been allowed to continue and for this long – despite the widespread condemnation, the physical and mental toll and the massive destruction – is an indelible stain on our collective conscience,” he wrote in a post on X.Israel, shielded by the United States, has resisted international pressure to scale back its offensive and has said it would press on until Hamas, the militant group that has ruled Gaza for 16 years, has been destroyed.EU adopts $130 M AID plan
The European Commission on Friday said it had adopted a 118 million euros ($130 million) aidpackage to support the Palestinian Authority. The commission said the aid would help pay salaries and pensions of civil servants in the West Bank, social allowances for vulnerable families and the payment for medical referrals to East Jerusalem hospitals.

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